One final weekend of college hockey before the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament bracket is released on Sunday. While Boston College is currently tops in the PairWise, the Eagles actually don't control its own destiny in terms of winning out and earning the NCAA Tournament's top seed. Minnesota-Duluth does. College Hockey News' Adam Wodon explains:
"If Boston College was going to lose a game this weekend, it would be better off losing the semifinal to Providence than losing in the final to Maine/BU. That's because Providence is not a Team Under Consideration (TUC), so a loss there is not as harmful. You can see this by viewing Dahl's chart: If BC goes 0-1, it has a 81.0% chance of getting the No. 1 overall seed. If it goes 1-1, it has a 79.8% chance. Of course, these differences are very slight, so BC doesn't exactly have much to gain by losing to Providence. In fact, even two wins don't do much to improve BC's odds of being No. 1. It appears as though BC will be No. 1 unless Minnesota-Duluth wins the WCHA Tournament, in which case, UMD is No. 1 no matter what and BC is No. 2."
This isn't entirely accurate. It really depends on who Minnesota-Duluth, the WCHA Tournament's No. 2 seed winds up playing. If Minnesota-Duluth faces No. 3 Denver in the WCHA Semifinals and No. 1 Minnesota or No. 4 North Dakota in the WCHA Final, then the Bulldogs can jump the Eagles with a WCHA title.
But if chaos reigns and a Michigan Tech upsets Denver in the WCHA Quarterfinals, St. Cloud State upsets North Dakota and also gets past Minnesota, it's the Eagles that will finish with the tournament's top seed.
So, rooting interest this weekend:
-- Minnesota-Duluth fails to capture the WCHA title, OR
-- Michigan Tech over Denver AND St. Cloud State over North Dakota AND St. Cloud State over Minnesota
While BC doesn't control its own destiny to earn the Tournament's top seed and a Regional Semifinal matchup with the Atlantic Hockey Champ, there is this lovely partying gift:
So, expect Boston to be hosting the Worcester Regional, no matter what happens this weekend.
So it's almost certain you can now start planning your road trips down the Mass. Pike to the DCU Center for BC's NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals matchup. The Northeast Regional Semifinals will be played on Saturday, March 24 at 4 PM (ESPNU) and 7:30 PM (ESPN Syndication / ESPN3.com), while the Regional Final will be played the following day at 8 PM (ESPNU).
That's great news for the Eagles as the DCU Center has been a sort of home away from home for BC come NCAA Tournament time.