Michigan's 3-2 win over Bowling Green in the second overtime advances them to the CCHA championship game against Western Michigan. It also officially secured a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. In fact, it looks like the second overall seed has been locked up, as just about every game in the country went Michigan's way. Here's what happened on Friday around college hockey:
CCHA tournament: Besides Michigan over BG, Western Michigan defeated Miami. That probably drops the RedHawks out of a #1 seed, which is a little unfortunate.
WCHA tournament: Denver beat Duluth, and North Dakota beat Minnesota. Both results were good for Michigan, and ensure that no WCHA team can pass Michigan after tomorrow's games. That should lock up the #1 slot in Green Bay for Michigan, as long as the committee doesn't decide to put us in St. Paul to screw us.
Hockey East: BC beat Providence, but BU lost to Maine. This is also good, because we couldn't pass BC anyway, and now BU can't pass us.
So what does it all mean? Well, a lot can change tomorrow, but Michigan is probably the second overall seed in the tournament, and they should be placed in the closest regional, which is Green Bay. The opponent depends on other results, most notably the ECAC 3rd place game between Cornell and Colgate. Should Cornell win or tie,, we will probably face them in the first round. Should they lose to Colgate, the 13th, 14th, and 15th seeds could all be CCHA teams, in which case we would draw the Atlantic Hockey champ in the first round. Another scenario is if Harvard beats Union in the ECAC finals, they steal a bid (possibly from MSU), and we could end up matched up with Harvard.
As for the other teams in our region, it all depends on tomorrow's games; I have seen some scenarios that end up with Miami as #3 overall, and some that have Miami as #10, so a lot can change. I ran a scenario with most of the higher seeds winning, and came up with the bracket below. Note: should Michigan lose tomorrow, the only change in this bracket would be that MSU and Western would be switched. Changes in the other results (Maine beating BC, for example) would have much more drastic effects.
1. Boston College
16. Atlantic Hockey champ
4. North Dakota
14. Michigan State
9. Boston University
6. Ferris State
15. Western Michigan
The bracket integrity is a little off because Minnesota had to be placed in St. Paul, and first intraconference matchups had to be avoided. It should get good attendance to each regional, including Bridgeport, as Union and Lowell are reasonably close.
I’ll have another post up after tomorrow’s games with a final look at the pairwise standings before the actual brackets come out on Sunday. Go Blue!