NCAA Tournament Preview

Welcome to the Bulldog Country NCAA Tournament overview.  Below, you'll be able to find team statistics, history, and some information on how each team has been doing this year.  Finally, on the bottom of the page is a list of what games ESPN will air.  Enjoy.

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Team Statistics

League
Enroll.
Win %
GF/G
GA/G
PP%
PK%
SOG/G
PIM/G
Quinnipiac
ECAC
8,400
0.756
3.00
1.62
13.8%
91.0%
34.1
16.3
Minnesota
WCHA
52,557
0.731
3.51
1.97
24.7%
86.5%
34.7
9.1
Mass-Lowell
H. East
16,330
0.711
2.97
2.08
16.7%
85.7%
31.7
11.9
Niagara
Atlantic
4,200
0.689
3.11
2.51
15.3%
83.9%
34.6
12.6
Miami
CCHA
20,126
0.663
2.52
1.73
15.8%
88.1%
32.6
13.5
Notre Dame
CCHA
11,773
0.663
2.95
2.15
18.1%
82.2%
31.6
12.6
Boston College
H. East
9,110
0.649
3.43
2.76
22.1%
84.8%
30.3
12.5
Minnesota State
WCHA
15,649
0.638
3.17
2.38
23.4%
83.3%
33.5
13.1
Wisconsin
WCHA
42,595
0.622
2.71
2.02
12.9%
80.8%
29.0
14.1
Union
ECAC
2,194
0.618
3.08
2.08
23.0%
86.7%
33.8
11.8
North Dakota
WCHA
15,250
0.613
3.30
2.45
20.5%
83.6%
31.5
14.6
New Hampshire
H. East
12,218
0.608
3.16
2.32
19.0%
89.7%
34.0
9.3
St. Cloud State
WCHA
16,457
0.603
3.36
2.49
17.6%
82.2%
30.0
8.5
Denver
WCHA
11,476
0.592
3.39
2.71
21.9%
85.4%
31.5
16.3
Yale
ECAC
5,379
0.591
2.82
2.76
20.9%
83.3%
35.4
13.6
Canisius
Atlantic
3,381
0.512
2.62
2.38
18.8%
90.5%
30.0
11.0



West Regional
Grand Rapids


University of Minnesota
Enrollment: 52, 557
WCHA

NCAA Tourneys: 34
Frozen Fours: 20
National Titles: 5

We Made It.  The Gophers have been a lock as a regional one seed for the past few weeks.  In fact, the loss they sustained in the very first Final Five game they played in didn't shuffle them around in the pairwise at all.  The Gophers have had a successful season for the majority of the year, so making the big tourney was expected, but with recent trouble against Colorado College, the Gophs will have some people to prove wrong.

What Else?  Armed with the nation's best power play unit and scoring offense, the Gophers haven't had much difficulty in finding the net.  With depth as their ally, Minnesota is able to shuffle lines and get goals from even the "grind line".


Yale University
Enrollment: 5,379

NCAA Tourneys: 6
Frozen Fours: 1
National Titles: 0

We Made It.  Yale had one of the most lucky situations this year, getting the very last at-large bid in the tournament.  When Michigan fell to Notre Dame in the CCHA championship game, Yale was finally able to take a big sigh of relief.

What Else?  Yale leads the NCAA tournament teams with the amount of shots they get on goal in a single game.  The Bulldogs find their downfall in the fact that they struggle to keep goals out of their own net.  Averaging 2.76 goals against per game, Yale will have to buckle down in hopes of making the Frozen Four this year.


University of North Dakota
Enrollment: 15,250
(Photo: Matthew Semisch)
WCHA

NCAA Tourneys: 28
Frozen Fours: 19
National Titles: 7

We Made It.  To no surprise North Dakota made the show again this year.  This officially marks the 11th straight ticket that NoDak has punched to regionals.  They earned it, by the way, with an at-large bid that was sealed up before the Final Five, actually.

What Else?  North Dakota isn't as much of a big deal this year, which could in fact give them a little boost with the lack of expectations.  Ranking among the rest of the 16 teams in the tournament, North Dakota look incredibly average.  But we all know this team performs best post-season, so I have a feeling they will make a decent run.


Niagara University
Enrollment: 4,200
Atlantic

NCAA Tourneys: 4
Frozen Fours: 0
National Titles: 0

We Made It.  Niagara earned an at-large bid into the NCAA show and was defeated by Canisius in the Atlantic league tournament.  Niagara will play against North Dakota in the first round, hopefully making the game very interesting as they have been battle-proven themselves.

What Else?  Niagara, much like their first round opponent North Dakota, doesn't jump off the charts statistically wise, but nonetheless are a very good hockey team.  I would assume the Purple Eagles have a great chance at beating North Dakota, or at least giving them a run for their money.


Midwest Regional
Toledo

University of Notre Dame
Enrollment: 11,773
CCHA

NCAA Tourneys: 6
Frozen Fours: 2
National Titles: 0

We Made It.  Notre Dame earned the one seed overall in this region by battling hard over the last few weeks.  They took an at-large bid, obviously, to put them in Toledo, but they also won the very last CCHA championship.

What Else?  Notre Dame has been through a little bit of a battle this year.  As they've always been a top contender, inconsistent play towards the beginning of the year had a chance to penalize them, but as of lately the Fighting Irish have been "golden" (get it?).  For ND to advance, they'll have to rely on their deep offensive group for goals, which they've been able to do recently, because goaltending has usually been very consistent.


St. Cloud State University
Enrollment: 16,457
WCHA

NCAA Tourneys: 9
Frozen Fours: 0 (one while D2)
National Titles: 0

We Made It.  The Huskies surprising fell in their first game in the Final Five to a very talented Wisconsin team.  Unfortunately for the Huskies, they had to wait around for the rest of the NCAA to finish up with tournaments to see if they made the tournament with an at-large bid, which is ridiculous as they did win the WCHA regular season, right?

What Else?  The "Locks for Love" team has the ability to skate with anyone in the country when they're performing.  I've had the chance to watch this team skate a couple times this year, and when they're on, it's damn good hockey, but consistency gets the best of every team.


Miami University
Enrollment: 20,126
CCHA

NCAA Tourneys: 11
Frozen Fours: 2
National Titles: 0

We Made It.  The Redhawks of Miami, Florida are lead by captain Lebron James.  Totally kidding.  Miami, Ohio.  Miami was able to get an at-large bid to the show with impressive play throughout the season.  Luckily for them, they're close to home.

What Else?  Enrico Blasi, Miami's coach, has fueled his young team through some big wins this season.  But recently, Miami has had some issues with consistency, usually the result of a team this young.  The Redhawk's fall comes in their amount of goals they score per game, which on average is 2.52.  Their solid defense and goaltending has allowed them to keep afloat in ganes, though, exhibiting an excellent 1.73 goals against average.


Minnesota State University
Enrollment: 15,649
(Photo: Matthew Semisch)
WCHA

NCAA Tourneys: 2
Frozen Fours: 0
National Titles: 0

We Made It.  Minnesota State has reached the tournament for the first time in a very long time under new coach Mike Hastings.  The Mavericks earned an at-large bid, with the added anxiety of waiting of course, and punched their ticket to the show in hopes of winning it all.

What Else?  Minnesota State took a tumble against Wisconsin in the first round of the WCHA Final Five, but have had much success this season.  With the second best powerplay in the tournament, the Purple Mavericks definitely have what they need to do a lot of damage this year.


Northeast Regional
Manchester

University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Enrollment: 16,330
Hockey East

NCAA Tourneys: 5
Frozen Fours: 0
National Titles: 0

We Made It.  Umass-Lowell earned an at-large bid, but also won the Hockey East tournament.  Playing arguably their best hockey of the season, Lowell, coached by Norm Brazin, should be able to venture deep into the action.

What Else?  Lowell fans are livid with the placement of their team in the bracket.  First off, they play Wisconsin, who is might just be as hot as the River Hawks are.  If they do get by UW, UML will play UNH or Denver, whom they have yet to beat this season.  Special teams aren't exactly the most impressive, but peaking teams are always the most dangerous.


University of Wisconsin
Enrollment: 42,595
(Photo: Matthew Semisch)
WCHA

NCAA Tourneys: 25
Frozen Fours: 12
National Titles: 6

We Made It.  Wisconsin's only way into the tournament was going to be via tournament bid, which they luckily got in the WCHA's Final Five with a 3-2 victory over Colorado College, who was also playing for a bid.

What Else?  Wisconsin plays this 1-1-3 styled hockey, which they have perfected to a "T".  Getting scoring easily from not only their first dominating line, but even the 3rd line as well.  The Badgers don't score very many goals, but they don't necessarily need too.  If they hit the board early, getting a dangerous 2-goal lead, the Badgers are able to sit back and watch opponents suffer against their killing defense.


University of New Hampshire
Enrollment: 12,218
Hockey East

NCAA Tourneys: 22
Frozen Fours: 7
National Titles: 0

We Made It.  New hampshire has been able to provide Hockey East with great a great obstacle in their play all year, thus earning an at-large bid.  Under his 23rd season, Dick Umile will have his Wildcats in great shape in Manchester, even though there has been recent difficulty.

What Else?  New Hampshire has been pretty straight going across the statistical board.  They get a lot of shots on goal throughout games getting them above that 3-goal average this season.  Another plus with the Wildcats is they don't take very many penalties, which could in fact be a game changer this season.


University of Denver
Enrollment: 11,476
WCHA

NCAA Tourneys: 23
Frozen Fours: 14
National Titles: 7

We Made It.  Denver started off the year on a tear, but feel a little bit short during the middle of season, leading to a perfect mixture of unbelievable play and weird losses.  They did in fact get enough season-support to earn an at-large bid, even after losing in the first round of WCHA playoffs and failing to make the Final Five, so their season shall continue.

What Else?  When the Pioneers show up, they can play a helluva good game.  Olkinuora has been unbelievably solid in net this year, allowing DU to stay in a good number of games, much of their success is due to him.  The big downfall we see in Denver is the amount of penalties they take.  Their PK unit is pretty solid, but they cannot kill every penalty.

East Regional
Providence

Quinnipiac University
Enrollment: 8,400
ECAC

NCAA Tourneys: 2
Frozen Fours: 0
National Titles: 0

We Made It.  Surprising virtually everyone in the country, as I'm sure a grand total of 3 people picked them to finish as the one overall seed, Quinnipiac has been dominating.  They have been locked in for the #1 overall seed in the tournament for quite a while now and for good reason.

What Else?  The Bobcats success comes from their ability to keep the puck out of their own net.  Averaging 1.62 goals per game, QU is able to continuously show strong defense and average three goals as well.  Their downfall comes in the amount of penalties they take and their powerplay unit.  If they stay out of the box and score early, the Bobcats should breeze by.


Canisius College
Enrollment: 3,381
Atlantic

NCAA Tourneys: 1
Frozen Fours: 0
National Titles: 0

We Made It.  Canisius also surprised the nation, taking the Atlantic tournament by storm right under the feet of Niagara earning the conference bid.  For being the hottest team in the conference, Canisius shouldn't be couldn't out by western bias, as this team can play hockey.

What Else?  This is the Golden Griffins first NCAA appearance and they will be hungry to punch a ticket to Pittsburgh.  The eight-game win wave Canisius is riding has propelled the team farther than anyone could have projected, making the peak team very dangerous.  On a special teams note, the Griffins play an incredible penalty kill, above 90%.


Boston College
Enrollment: 9,110
Hockey East

NCAA Tourneys: 32
Frozen Fours: 23
National Titles: 5

We Made It.  To no surprise, Boston College is back in the tournament once again.  The pre-season polled champions took an at-large bid, but season play forced to enter the tournament as a second seed, instead of a first.

What Else?  The Eagles have been fortunate to have ease in finding the back of the net, much because of the talent that sophomore Johnny Gaudreau, who has displayed an incredible ability of making goaltenders look foolish.  Boston College's downfall comes in keeping the puck out of their own net, allowing on average, 2.76 goals per game, respectably.


Union College
Enrollment: 2,194
ECAC

NCAA Tourneys: 3
Frozen Fours: 1
National Titles: 0

We Made It.  Surging back into the tournament once again is the Union Dutchmen.  The dutchmen were an automatic qualifying team as well as the ECAC tourney champs, allowing them to find there way back to the show for another year.

What Else?  The Dutchman have had the ability to play decently consistant hockey all year, which is far better than what most teams can say, anyway.  They can score, protect their net pretty well, and have a decent special teams group to create more opportunities, but there is just one thing standing in their way...  First round opponent?  Defending national champions, Boston College.


TV:

(Via College Hockey News)
Enjoy.

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