Advertisement

What to know as UND awaits its regional placement

Mar. 23—ST. PAUL, Minn. — UND went to the Xcel Energy Center knowing if it beat Omaha on Friday afternoon it had a good chance to be in Sioux Falls, S.D., for the NCAA regionals next weekend.

That didn't happen.

UND's regional placement is now up for debate and in the hands of the NCAA Division-I Men's Ice Hockey Committee.

It could be Maryland Heights, Mo., Springfield, Mass., or Providence. It almost certainly will not be Sioux Falls.

UND will find out at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, when the bracket is revealed on ESPNU.

Here are a few things we know:

1. UND will be a No. 2 seed. That was locked in by the end of Friday night.

2. UND's first-round opponent will be a No. 3 seed. The No. 3 seeds will be Quinnipiac, Michigan, Omaha and Cornell. Because the committee avoids conference matchups in the first round, Omaha is out as a possible matchup. That leaves Quinnipiac, Michigan or Cornell as the potential opponents.

3. The site is up in the air.

4. There will be four NCHC teams in the NCAA tournament — UND, Denver, Omaha and Western Michigan. Denver knocked Colorado College out by winning the NCHC Frozen Faceoff championship game. Had Omaha won, the Tigers would have been in and UMass would have been out.

5. Springfield and Sioux Falls are Thursday and Saturday. Maryland Heights and Providence are Friday and Sunday.

While the Committee can do a number of things, here's the Herald's projected bracket.

Sioux Falls Regional: No. 1 Boston University vs. No. 4 RIT; No. 2 Minnesota vs. No. 3 Omaha. Of note, Omaha must be placed in Sioux Falls, because it is the host.

Springfield Regional: No. 1 Denver vs. No. 4 UMass; No. 2 Maine vs. No. 3 Cornell. Of note, UMass must be placed in Springfield because it is the host.

Maryland Heights Regional: No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 4 Western Michigan; No. 2 North Dakota vs. No. 3 Michigan.

Providence Regional: No. 1 Boston College vs. No. 4 Michigan Tech; No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Quinnipiac. Of note, because Boston College is the No. 1 overall, it will get priority to play close to home.

The No. 1 vs. No. 4 matchups are the easiest to predict.

No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchups — and sites — are harder to pick.

The official bracket will be revealed Sunday night. Then, we'll know for sure.