Friday, March 25, 2011

Low-Seeded and Rusty

So, the Engineers are a #4 seed. They also didn't play last week (or the week before that, but that's beside the point). Some would say... well, they're going to be rusty and they're a low seed, so they're going to get bounced with no problem. And maybe they're right.

But... maybe neither of those are particularly relevant, either.

How have #4 seeds and teams that have had extra rest fared in the tournament lately? Well... pretty good actually. #4 seeds are in bold, teams playing with extra rest are in italics.

2006
Bemidji State - Lost to Wisconsin
Colorado College - Lost to Cornell
Holy Cross - Defeated Minnesota, lost to North Dakota
Nebraska-Omaha - Lost to Boston University
New Hampshire - Lost to Michigan

2007
Air Force - Lost to Minnesota
Alabama-Huntsville - Lost to Notre Dame (2 OT)
Maine - Defeated St. Cloud State, defeated UMass, lost to Michigan State
Miami - Defeated New Hampshire, lost to Boston College
UMass - Defeated Clarkson, lost to Maine

2008
Air Force - Lost to Miami
Clarkson - Defeated St. Cloud State, lost to Michigan
Michigan State - Defeated Colorado College, lost to Notre Dame
Niagara - Lost to Michigan
Notre Dame - Defeated New Hampshire, defeated Michigan State, defeated Michigan, lost to Boston College
Princeton - Lost to North Dakota
Wisconsin - Defeated Denver, lost to North Dakota

2009
Air Force - Defeated Michigan, lost to Vermont
Bemidji State - Defeated Notre Dame, defeated Cornell, lost to Miami
Miami - Defeated Denver, defeated Minnesota-Duluth, defeated Bemidji State, lost to Boston University
New Hampshire - Defeated North Dakota, lost to Boston University
Ohio State - Lost to Boston University
Vermont - Defeated Yale, defeated Air Force, lost to Boston University

2010
Alabama-Huntsville - Lost to Miami
Alaska - Lost to Boston College
Bemidji State - Lost to Michigan
New Hampshire - Defeated Cornell, lost to RIT
RIT - Defeated Denver, defeated New Hampshire, lost to Wisconsin
Yale - Defeated North Dakota, lost to Boston College
Vermont - Lost to Wisconsin

2011
Air Force
Colorado College

Nebraska-Omaha
New Hampshire
RPI

Union

#4 seeds are 8-12 in the first round since 2006, while teams that were off the previous week are 10-9 in the same stretch. Meanwhile, at least one #4 seed has won in the opening round in every tournament since 2006, and at least two supposedly "rusty" teams have won in the opening round against a team fresh from the fight in each of the last four years - not to mention that North Dakota has suffered losses to such teams in each of the last two tournaments (though neither were as a #1 seed).

Oh, and we've had at least one team in the Frozen Four for the last four years running that were either a #4 seed or were rested heading into the tournament (or both).

Hockey isn't basketball - a low seed isn't necessarily a killer. We'll see what happens tomorrow, we're just over 24 hours to go until we tangle with the Sioux.

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Today, games get underway in the East and West regionals in Bridgeport and St. Louis. There's the potential for an all-ECAC final in Bridgeport if Yale and Union, the higher seeds, win their games. Yale and Air Force have met once before this season, and it ended in Yale's first loss out in Colorado in a game they were winning 3-0 with 15 minutes left to play. Now in their backyard, I don't see this ending the same way. Meanwhile, Union and Minnesota-Duluth provides one of the truest toss-up games of the first round, as 8/9 matchups frequently do. This one's probably anyone's game, the Dutchmen have the stronger team while Duluth has the stronger individual players.

Out in St. Louis, it's Boston College and Colorado College in an interesting high/low matchup. The Eagles are certainly favored, but the Tigers seem like they could at least provide an interesting game if nothing more. Finally, there's Michigan and Nebraska-Omaha. Michigan shows up every year, but they rarely have been bringing home the national championship, with their only two championships during their long stretch of NCAA tournament appearances coming in 1996 and 1998. Omaha, meanwhile, had a pretty decent season overall but simply could not beat Bemidji State to save their lives this year (fully 1/3 of their losses this year are to the Beavers, including two in the WCHA playoffs). Dean Blais vs. Red Berenson has all the makings of a barnburner in this matchup between teams that were CCHA rivals just last year.

1 comment:

  1. I love the NCAA tourney but all these other games are meaningless to me :P! All week has been RPI, RPI, RPI. You know we don't see eye to eye on SA but all is forgiven with this NCAA appearance.

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