Unlike the last couple years, there was plenty of uncertainty heading into this year’s NCAA women’s hockey tournament selection show.
As we detailed in our final Bracketology earlier today, the committee had a decision to make. Would they keep bracket integrity, giving us four inter-conference matchups in the quarterfinals? Or would they swap #5 Boston College with #6 Cornell to significantly reduce travel and save some money?
It turns out that this year, unlike in 2016, the committee stuck to their directives and gave us a bracket that maintains bracket integrity while minimizing flights instead of swapping the Eagles and Big Red.
The final Pairwise rankings were:
(1) Wisconsin — WCHA Champion
(3) Northeastern — WHEA Champion
(4) Clarkson — ECAC Champion
(5) Boston College
(28) Syracuse — CHA Champion
Only the top four teams are seeded, so that gave us the following bracket if perfect bracket integrity held, before any changes for flights:
Cornell @ (3) Northeastern — 1pm EDT
Princeton @ (2) Minnesota — 4pm CDT
Boston College @ (4) Clarkson — 2pm EDT
Syracuse @ (1) Wisconsin — 2pm CDT
All games to be played Saturday, March 16th at higher seed
We have two flights, and can’t reduce that number. Based on the committee’s directives, that was the field we should have gotten — and indeed, this is the 2019 NCAA Women’s Hockey Tournament bracket.
For a casual fan, this is an ideal tournament setup. We have four non-conference matchups with three of them being teams who didn’t face each other in the regular season — it doesn’t get much better that that.
Check back here over the next hour or so as we should have game times updated above as well. We’ll have full coverage of the NCAA tournament starting up in the coming days!