The regional question

USCHO has brought up what will be one of the hot topics at the coaches meetings in Florida — the NCAA tournament format and its attendance problems at “neutral” sites. Read that here.

The reason I put the word neutral in quotations is that it’s fair to question how neutral some of these sites are.

Since the NCAA tournament moved to its current format in 2003, Minnesota and Boston College are a combined 19-1 in regionals played in their home states. They are 7-8 in out-of-state regionals.

Minnesota has reached nine NCAA tournaments. They’ve been placed in the Twin Cities four times and reached the Frozen Four every time (8-0 record). They’ve been placed elsewhere five times and reached zero Frozen Fours (2-5 record).

Boston College is 11-1 in Worcester regionals, reaching the Frozen Four five times in six tries. The Eagles’ lone loss in Worcester was in 2005 against North Dakota. The Eagles are 5-3 elsewhere, going 4-0 in Manchester, 1-2 in Providence and 0-1 in St. Louis (BC’s lone regional flight).

One team that really hasn’t taken advantage of backyard regionals is New Hampshire. The Wildcats are just 3-5 in Manchester. They haven’t reached a Frozen Four since beating St. Cloud and Boston University in Worcester in 2003.

12 thoughts on “The regional question

  1. DEFINITELY a home ice advantage that should be addressed (very similar to Grand Forks hosting the State high school hockey tourney forever). BTW, I’m betting we might see Gwoz applying for the now-vacant CC job (as you predicted). Just a gut feeling….. :-)

  2. I don’t know why they’re making this so complicated. For having the best record (RPI), you should be rewarded with home ice in regionals. Top teams host as long as home arena holds 10,000+, if arena is not big enough, then home team needs to find a close arena that can hold that many. . If home team can’t find an arena, than it goes to the second seed and so on. Everyone’s happy (except Lucia, which means they’ll never do it).

      • From what I read before, after Holy Cross crushed the gophers at the Ralph, Lucia went on a rant to the NCAA preventing further tournaments at college rinks.

          • The one that’s seven miles from the campus of the University of Minnesota, the one that Gopher fans claim isn’t a home game. That’s like saying Worcester isn’t like a home game for Boston College. Yep!

  3. IMO some ideas to help the tourney would b 1) to start the season 1 week ealier so they can put a 2 week break between conference tourneys and ncaas to give fans mkre time
    2)award teams with home regionals based on a mix of top the 4 in pairwise and top 4 in average home attendance
    3) drop prices

  4. I think they need to go back to best two-out-of-three at campus locations for regionals. They do it for the NCAA baseball tournament.
    Reward the team’s that have best records by playing at home. NCAA can have the ticket revenue. Likely best way to get a full or close-to-full building at each regional.

  5. I think the NC$$ has 3 problems to fix…
    1) Give the teams a day off between regional games. The winner of game 1 usually has 24 hours to rest while the winner of game 2 has about 21 hours to rest. What’s the rush?
    2) Put the regionals in 2 cities, one out east and one out west. With a day off in between games, it would be possible to send 8 teams to one city, but still play 2 separate regional tourneys… Thurs & Sat as well as Fri & Sun.
    3) Require the TV network to broadcast the entire game live. Since it’s hard for fans to travel, give them the peace of mind of knowing the game won’t take a back seat to lacrosse.

    • Didn’t they used to do a Thurs/Saturday Friday/Sunday regional format? I could have swore a few years back that was how it was done but don’t remember when or why it changed.

    • I’ve been on board with the #1 seeds hosting the 4 regionals, but the idea of an 8-team regional at one arena spread over four days actually seems to make a lot of sense. When the tournament was 12 teams (mid ’90s to early ’00s), this is what they did. It’s kind of like a mini Frozen Four. Having 8 teams’ fan bases to fill an arena should make for better attendance, too.

  6. The NCAA lacks so much common sense, I doubt anything will change for the good of the game, or its fans. Football & Basketball programs don’t have to go to a neutral site, why does hockey have to be different? And then to give BC & MN Home ice every year? While the other two sites, might draw 2-3 hundred people in the stands for the game is a joke.

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