Well, so much for no surprises.
In a complete shocker, the NCAA committee deviated from its stated criteria and opted to minimize travel distance rather than minimizing flights.
The final Pairwise as it shook out on the conference championship day:
(1) Boston College -- WHEA Champion
(2) Wisconsin -- WCHA Champion
(4) Quinnipiac -- ECAC Champion
(13) Mercyhurst -- CHA Champion
The final, official bracket as announced by the NCAA on Sunday night is as follows:
Clarkson @ (4) Quinnipiac
Northeastern @ (1) Boston College
Princeton @ (3) Minnesota
Mercyhurst @ (2) Wisconsin
According to the NCAA's own selection criteria, Princeton should have come to Boston, but instead the committee decided to send them out west in favor of having Northeastern come to BC on a shorter bus trip.
This is completely out of character for the committee. Not only did they worsen bracket integrity, but they also added an intraconference matchup instead of a compelling BC vs. Princeton matchup (and an even more compelling Northeastern vs. Minnesota matchup).
More on this to come. The NCAA tournament kicks off next weekend at the home arenas of the top seeds, followed by the Women's Frozen Four on March 18th-20th at the Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, NH.