NCAA tournament, etc.

For today’s paper, I wrote a column about the NCAA tournament. Basically, I’d like for them to go with an idea that came up at last year’s AHCA convention in Naples, Fla.

They discussed going to a best-of-three series in the first round at the site of the higher seed. Then, there would be two super regionals (two games at each site) to determine the Frozen Four teams.

Read the story to hear the reasons behind it. What does everyone else think about it?

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We always give out the Last Man Standing award here for the last Sioux player to be left playing his season. This year, the first round of the NHL playoffs were rough on former Sioux and there aren’t many left overall.

In the NHL, the only former Sioux left is Matt Smaby with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Smaby hasn’t played yet in the playoffs.

In the AHL playoffs, the only Sioux left is Corey Fienhage with the Portland Pirates. And the only other former Sioux left playing, to my knowledge (let me know if I’m missing someone) is Aaron Schneekloth with the Central Hockey League’s Colorado Eagles.

There also is one recruit left. Mike Parks and the Cedar Rapids Roughriders are in the USHL semifinals.

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J.T. Miller was on The Pipeline Show this week. You can listen here.

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Wisconsin’s Jordy Murray is expected to do the same thing that his brother, Brady, did at UND: Leave early to go to Switzerland.

13 thoughts on “NCAA tournament, etc.

  1. In the AHL playoffs I think David Hale is on Binghamton’s active roster and Hunter Bishop is on Hamilton’s. Both have been scratches throughout the playoffs due to injuries though.

  2. I agree that some sort of change to the current format is very necessary. I like the idea of a best-of-three first round, which, like you said, rewards teams for having good regular seasons. The other thing I’d like to see, personally, is a best-of-three for the championship. The games are played as a two-game series the entire season, then it’s one and done in the playoffs. I like to compare to NCAA baseball, where you play two or three game series against the same opponent during the regular season, and then it’s a double-elimination format in the regionals followed by best-of-three in the Super Regionals, and then back to double-elimination in the CWS before a best-of-three in the championship series. I’m not proposing any type of double-elimination; just the best-of-three for the championship.

  3. I’m not sure why everyone is so against the current format. Because the Sioux can’t win it? Credit the teams that have won it as prepared for the challenge. It’s not like it’s some sort of mystery as to what you need to do to win it: sweep two weekends (4 games) of national competition. The only change I would propose is letting the four #1 seeds host their regionals. That would be a big attendance boost, and still give those teams a “reward” for a good regular season and/or conference championship.

    • As Brad correctly pointed out, the change in format would (1) reward higher ranked teams so that they do not have opening round games at their opponent’s home rink; (2) and both create a better atmosphere; and (3) result in higher profits now that regionals will no longer be played in front of only a couple hundred to a couple thousand people.

      In reality this has little, if anything, to do with Sioux hockey. But I’m all for the change.

  4. I agree with Dustin. 5 of the last 7 years the Sioux have not had a problem getting out of the first round of the NCAA. The problem is once the Sioux get to the Frozen Four they have more times than not had some rough games against some pretty good teams. For example, this year, one would think when your goaltender holds a team to one goal your chances of winning should be pretty good.

    • Any format which has a #1 seed (aka Miami) playing a #4 seed (aka New Hampshire) in what is essentially a home game for the #4 seed needs to be changed. The regular season is a grind, and it is awfully hard to earn a #1 seed. Those teams that do so should be rewarded by either being able to host a 1st round series or by hosting an entire regional.

      • I don’t mind the current format. Like the NCAA basketball tournament, winning requires a good run at the end of the year. The best team won’t always win these types of tournaments but allows for a run by any team (even more so than does the NCAA basketball tournament). The only thing I would change is to eliminate the week off and schedule the Frozen Four during the Final Four weekend.

        If the tournament were changed to allow for hosting by the #1 seeds, I could see potential scheduling issues for those arenas because many are used for other events, thus requiring each to block out all events for that weekend. Also, how would you ensure hotel rooms for teams if other events are taking place that week. I like the idea of #1 seeds hosting, but scheduling could be a nightmare on short notice.

        Finally, I don’t think the NCAA needs to make money on this tournament since it kills on the basketball tournament.

  5. They should also look into less TV timeouts in the Frozen Four. Really kills the atmosphere. I know it’s a long shot because it brings in more $$$, but it would be nice.

  6. The NCAA will never schedule the hockey championship the week before, not just because of the Men’s final four, but also the women’s final four. The alternative is to schedule it a week ahead (currently when the regionals are played). This would be a viable alternative if the first round conference playoff could be eliminated. To me, the first round of conference playoffs is a wasted weekend. Let the top half teams who earned their position throughout the entire season go directly to the Final 5 (I know, I know. The first round is where the league makes a ton of money). Why does a conference champion take longer to determine than a national champion?

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