NCAA Men’s Bracket: Minnesota State Claims Top-Seed In NCAA Hockey Tournament

The NCAA unveiled its 16-team men’s hockey bracket on Sunday.

Minnesota State (29-7-3) was awarded the top-seed overall and placed in the Midwest Region. The Mavericks won the Western Hockey Collegiate League for a second straight season. The Mavericks are 0-3 in three previous tournament appearances.

Minnesota State will open up the competition against No. 4 RIT (19-14-5) at the Compton Family Reunion Arena in South Bend Arena on March 28. RIT earned an automatic bid by winning the Atlantic Hockey tournament. The Tigers enter the tournament on a seven-game winning streak, while the Mavericks have won five in a row.

This will be RIT’s second ever appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers advanced to the Frozen Four in 2010, before losing to Wisconsin in the semifinals.

The other Midwest Region matchup will feature No 2 Nebraska-Omaha versus No. 3 Harvard. Harvard (21-12-3) won the East Coast Athletic Conference crown to gain entrance into the tournament, while Omaha (18-12-6) received an at-large bid.

Harvard is making its 22nd appearance in the tournament, but first since 2006. Omaha’s No. 2 seed is its highest ranking in three tournament appearances.

North Dakota, Boston University, and Miami (OH) are the other No. 1 seeds.

North Dakota (27-9-3) is the top seed in the West Region and No. 2 seed overall. UND received an at-large bid after falling to St. Cloud State in the semifinals of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament. Noth Dakota will host No. 4 Quinnipiac (23-11-4) in Fargo on Friday.

North Dakota is making its 13th NCAA appearance and 30th overall. UND has made 20 Frozen Fours and won seven national championships, with the last being in 2000.

No. 3 St. Cloud State (19-18-1) and No. 2 Michigan Tech (29-9-2) will meet in the other West Regional matchup. St. Cloud State lost to Miami (OH) in the finals of the NCHC tournament. Michigan Tech is making its first tournament appearance since 1981.

Boston (25-7-5) is a five-time national champion and No. seed in the Northeast Region. The Terriers earned an automatic bid by taking the America East title. Boston, which is making its 33rd tournament appearance, will face-off against No. 4 Yale (18-9-5) on Friday in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Yale is making its fifth tournament appearance in seven years. The Bulldogs captured the national title in 2013.

The other Northeast Region contest features No. 2 Minnesota (23-12-3) against No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth (20-15-3). Minnesota won the Big Ten Crown. This will be the fifth meeting this year between the in-state rivals with Minnesota-Duluth holding a 3-1 season series edge.

Miami (25-13-1) earned the top seed in the East Region after winning the NCHC tournament championship. The Red Hawks will face No. 4 Providence (22-13-2) at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence on March 27. No. 2 Denver (23-12-2) will face No. 3 Boston College (21-13-3) in the other East semifinal.

The Frozen Four will begin April 9 at the TD Garden in Boston.

[Photo via Minnesota State]