Sunday, March 24, 2013

Field is set; where will MSU go?

Notre Dame defeated Michigan in the (last-ever) CCHA championship game on Sunday afternoon, meaning the 16-team field for the NCAA tournament is set. Now we have to wait until 8 p.m. and the Selection Show on ESPN U to find out where Minnesota State will end up.

We do know this, at No. 11 in the Pairwise, the Mavericks will be a No. 3 seed and will play a No. 2 seed. Those teams are Miami, Boston College, New Hampshire and North Dakota. The NCAA tries to avoid intra-conference matchups in the first round, so they will not play UND. Boston College, ranked 6th, is the matchup for MSU if you go by the straight rankings. But there could be adjustments.

USCHO predicts Minnesota State will go to the Midwest Regional in Toledo, Ohio, and play No. 5 Miami.

College Hockey News has two prognosticators, both of whom say MSU will play Boston College in the West Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Others see an MSU-BC matchup in Providence, which, being closer to Boston, could improve ticket sales in the East Regional. However, with No. 1 Quinnipiac going to the East, putting BC there doesn't protect bracket integrity.

Here are the teams, listed in order of seeding:

1. Quinnipiac
2. Minnesota
3. UMass-Lowell
4. Notre Dame
5. Miami
6. Boston College
7. New Hampshire
8. North Dakota
9. Denver
10. Niagara
11. Minnesota State
12. Union
13. St. Cloud State
14. Wisconsin
15. Yale
16. Canisius

The last time Minnesota State made the tournament, 2003, the Mavericks were the 16th seed and ended up playing No. 1 Cornell in Providence, R.I.

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