Screw the NCAA (Hockey Edition)
Let me get this crystal f@cking clear. The Minnesota State Mavericks came in first over the WCHA Regular Season with a 32-7-2 record. Then they won the 2019 WCHA Men's Hockey Tournament, not dropping a single game, and capped an amazing comeback against Bowling Green with a goal in overtime, winning 3-2 in the Championship Game. They anxiously awaited their slot in the Frozen Four, but since they were ranked #3 in the nation (by RPI), the Mavericks were basically guaranteed a #1 slot.
Then the committee screwed 'em. How so, you ask?
Let's break down the brackets by Region:
#1 St. Cloud St.
#31 American International
#9 Ohio State
There is no "home team" in the regionals, but St. Cloud St. is the closest team to Fargo and clearly has the easiest path to the Semifinals.
#12 Notre Dame
Having to play in-state rival Harvard will be no fun for Massachusetts, but if they can get past the Crimson, they will have a distinct home field advantage with New Hampshire just up the road.
#15 Bowling Green
#10 Arizona State
No teams in the Midwest are near Penn State, and no teams from the Midwest are in the Big Ten Conference. Truly a neutral site game for everyone.
#3 Minnesota State
With the Regional games being in Providence, Rhode Island, Minnesota State could be playing the equivalent of 2 away games before they even set foot in Buffalo. (#6 Northeastern is an hour and a half away from Providence.)
Quit yer whinin' Fred Hunt, why do you care anyhow?
Minnesota State is my team. The committee basically dropped bracket rankings by RPI without considering if MSU would be an Away team. If you're not taking into account any other factors when picking brackets, dissolve the committee and just use the damn RPI. If the committee used uscho.com's rankings, Minnesota State would be playing Arizona State in their first game.....
.....or if the committee used USA Today's rankings, MSU would be playing Harvard.
Minnesota State is still looking for their first victory in Frozen Four history and all I'm asking for is a neutral site game, not the Friars in Friarland. If the chalk was to hold, the Mavericks would have to win an away game, an away game, a game against the Defending Frozen Four Champs, and then finally beat the #1 seed in this year's tournament in order to be crowned 2019 Champs. That is a recipe that should have been reserved for the #31 ranked team in the nation that snuck into the Frozen Four, not the #3 ranked team in the nation.
I'm not being unreasonable. Let's take the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, for example. Right this second, the basketball brackets have nearly run along chalk lines, and the brackets are down to the final 16 teams. (Same as in Hockey.) Somehow no teams left have a distinct home field advantage AND somehow no lower ranked teams are significantly closer geographically to the court site than the higher ranking teams DESPITE the fact that 2 rounds of basketball have already been played.
Even the ever critical Jim Rome declared "The (Basketball) Selection Committee gets it Right."
Could you imagine the uproar if #2 Michigan State was playing #1 Duke in the Elite 8... in Detroit? That f--- up by the committee would be headline news on ESPN for a week. James B. Duke's statue would cry blood.
No, I'm not exaggerating.
Have you ever met a college basketball fan?