Sunday, March 21, 2010

Nanooks Punch Their Tickets To Their First NCAA Division I Tournament

The Nanooks made the NCAA Division II semi-final round in the 1983-84 and eventually lost to Bemidji State. They also made the NCAA Division II tournament in the 1982-83 season, and lost in the quarterfinal round against St. Thomas College (Minnesota).

Here is your brackets:

Midwest Regional
Fort Wayne, IND
Miami vs Alabama-Huntsville
Michigan vs Bemidji State

Interesting in the fact that two teams from two separate conferences are in this one. Will probably be a rematch between Michigan and Miami to get to Detroit in the Frozen Four. Watching Michigan play these last few weeks, I'm pretty sure Red Berenson is playing the role is Elwood Blues on a mission from God. Michigan has played phenominally, no doubt about that. Miami will be looking to exact revenge, so that will be a pretty epic battle, nevermind that they are conference mates. I don't think the first round will be a challenge for either of these teams, but as we saw last year, don't underestimate Bemidji State. This may be Alabama-Huntsville's only chance to really prove themselves worthy of being in the CCHA, so they will be looking at Miami very very carefully.

East Regional
Albany, NY
Denver vs RIT
Cornell vs New Hampshire

Denver gets to travel to New York, and get the opportunity to play two teams from New York state back to back, so they may have to play in a more hostile environment. Cornell owns the longest win streak in college hockey, and I expect that to roll through at least the first round. Denver versus Cornell would be another epic battle, and a battle of defense. Marc Chevrie and Ben Scrivens are two very elite goaltenders, both of which are top 10 Hobey Baker finalist. Scrivens has marked out 3 straight shutouts, so keep an eye on this bracket.

West Regional
St. Paul, MN
Wisconsin vs. Vermont
St. Cloud State vs Northern Michigan

Wisconsin, at least in my opinion, have the deepest team in this bracket, not only on defense, but also on offense. Wisconsin comes out of here without a lot of opposition.

Northeast Regional
Worcester, MA
Boston College vs Alaska
North Dakota vs Yale

This is an interesting bracket for Alaska to be in. That's a 5,000+ mile trip for them to make, and the BC Eagles are clearly the home team, at a grand total of 190 miles from their home arena. Nanooks will have to bring their best game, but I think they have a shot against the Eagles. I'll elaborate a little more later on in the week. Each game will be on ESPN 360 at, which basically means, the only way you are going to watch it, is if you go onto campus, as all of the local internet provider's don't offer that partnership. I'd be interested to see if a campus org quickly organizes something to be able to watch this game, though.

As previously mentioned, this is the Nanooks first trip to an NCAA tournament in their history playing Division I hockey. So getting there is unprecedented, winning will be even more special. Bemidji State was the underdog in virtually every game last year, and they made it to the Frozen Four. Can the Nanooks do the same? We'll see.


Jason said...

This is a long time coming, and I couldn't be prouder of the program.

Now, of course, comes the hard part. We are expected to be nothing more than a sacrificial lamb for 1-seed BC. I would like our chances better if this wasn't practically a home game for BC, but if we can play our trademark game, there's a chance we could catch them looking ahead.

Jason said...

Also, it looks like the game will be re-broadcast on ESPNU at 5:30 AM ADT on Sunday, so set the DVR!

Big Nick said...

It's actually only 40 miles from BC's home arena.

Here's to a good weekend of hockey.