USCHO.com's Dave Starman recently tackled the issue of the NCAA Hockey Tournament's Regional round, citing complains about, you name it -- empty barns, bad travel destinations, game times, TV exposure and ticket prices. Apparently we aren't the only ones complaining ...
I do know that the coaches are in constant communication to try and find a better way to do the regionals. There is talk of a two-site, eight-team regional. There have been discussions of going back to campus sites. It is a problem they are aware of and working on.
Starman suggests writing directly to the NCAA and letting your voice be heard. But before you do, what is the plan here? Scaling back to a two-site, eight-team regional as I proposed last week? Or moving the Regional round to campus sites?
I suppose you could run the Regional round two different ways on campus:
-- Have the four no. 1 seeds in each Region host the Regional round with the same format as today, though this would have to be done on very short notice (but not unlike the NIT and the opening rounds of other NCAA-sanctioned tournaments).
-- Spread the Regional round out over two weekends, and hold best-of-three first round the first weekend and quarterfinal round series the second weekend at the lower seed's home ice, then move to a neutral site Frozen Four.
So which do you prefer? Certainly anything is better than the current setup, where neutral site venues are barely even a quarter full for some NCAA Tournament games. What's the best format to preserve bracket integrity, maximize TV exposure and finally fix an extremely broken Tournament format?