The NCAA Hockey Tournament Could Be Better: 2018 Edition

The NCAA Hockey Tournament Could Be Better: 2018 Edition

Submitted by NastyIsland on March 21st, 2018 at 11:30 AM

Plinkoplinko2

This is the appropriate reaction to Plink-O. [wiki.com and cnn.com]

I wrote this last year. It is more or less what I will say now, but with a couple of things shifted and an update to 2018. All of the block quotes are highlights from my previous piece. Later on this week, I will have a Northeastern/overall 2018 tournament preview. Let’s begin:

What Could Have Happened in 2018:

Final Top 16 (PairWise plus Conference Tournament Winners):

1 St Cloud State
2 Notre Dame
3 Cornell
4 Ohio State
5 Denver
6 Minnesota State
7 Providence
8 Michigan
9 Northeastern
10 Clarkson
11 Penn State
12 Minnesota-Duluth
13 Boston University
14 Princeton
15 Michigan Tech
16 Air Force

If we’re going to do Best-of-Three matchups at home sites, the format would follow the pattern of 1v16, 2v15, 3v14, 4v13, etc. We will need to take into account: 1.) no intra-conference matchups in the Round of 16 and 2.) travel costs versus bracket integrity.

Most of it seems fine. We’ll have to switch Penn State and Minn-Duluth, but the rest of it actually looks good, with a few already-close matchups. We could have St Cloud State and Notre Dame swap timeslots so that it's not as late in South Bend, but I’m guessing the Irish would rather be on national television. Obviously, there would still be an OCTO-BOX-esque RedZone channel, as well.

[After THE JUMP: what's broken and how to fix it]