We know you’re busy with the NCAA basketball tournament and have probably set your brackets ablaze by now, but fear not there’s a chance for redemption with hockey.
The NCAA announced the 16-team field for this season’s tournament and after a season that saw new conferences come into play, there are more than a few familiar faces in the field this year.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers head into the tournament as the No. 1 team and will be the top seed in the West Region. They are followed by fellow regional top seeds Boston College (Northeast), Union College (East), and Wisconsin (Midwest).
Here’s how the brackets break down for the right to play for the national championship at the Frozen Four in Philadelphia on April 10 and 12.
Northeast Regional – Worcester, MA (March 29-30)
1. Boston College vs. 4. Denver
2. UMass-Lowell vs. 3. Minnesota State
Notes: Boston College features Hockey East player of the year and Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau. Denver won the NCHC Tournament to earn a spot in the NCAAs. UMass-Lowell did the same winning the Hockey East tournament. Minnesota State took home the WCHA tournament title after playing strong all season.
East Regional – Bridgeport, CT (March 28-29)
1. Union College vs. 4. Vermont
2. Providence vs. 3. Quinnipiac
Notes: Union was the ECAC regular season and tournament champion. Providence had a strong season before losing in the Hockey East semifinals. Quinnipiac lost in the national championship game to Yale last season and had another strong campaign this season. Vermont had a surprisingly strong season in Hockey East.
Midwest Regional – Cincinnati, OH (March 28-29)
1. Wisconsin vs. 4. North Dakota
2. Ferris State vs. 3. Colgate
Notes: Wisconsin won the Big Ten tournament title and by doing so helped North Dakota get into the NCAA tournament. Ferris State lost to Minnesota State in the WCHA Final. Those two were the top teams in that conference all season. Colgate powered their way into the ECAC Final against Union capping off a strong season for the Raiders.
West Regional – St. Paul, MN (March 29-30)
1. Minnesota vs. 4. Robert Morris
2. Notre Dame vs. 3.St. Cloud State
Notes: Minnesota is the top team in the country and they’ll face a Robert Morris team making their first trip to the NCAAs. Amazingly, the Colonials started the season 2-12-2 and rallied to make it to the big dance. Notre Dame bowed out in the Hockey East semifinals losing to Lowell while St. Cloud comes in well rested after losing to Miami in the first round of the NCHC Tournament.