The brackets were set for the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four tournament as the 2015 champion Providence Friars returned to try and repeat. The Quinnipiac Bobcats, St. Cloud State Huskies and the North Dakota Fighting Sioux each earned top spots in their regions to begin play Friday March. 25. The National Championship takes place at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida April. 9
Quinnipiac earned the number one spot in the East region with St Cloud State leading the West region. North Dakota took the number one spot the Midwest and last year’s champions taking up the Northeast.
For the Bobcats, the 2013 finalists this was their third straight time making the tournament with their opponents being against Rochester Institute of Technology who ranked 37th in the nation. The Yale Bulldogs who beat Quinnipiac three years ago are playing in their second straight tournament taking on UMass-Lowell who got back in after a two-year absence.
The number one ranked North Dakota Fighting Sioux got their 31st NCAA tournament appearance secured in what they hope will be a journey towards their eighth championship. Their opponents were Northeastern who got back into the Frozen Four tourney for the first time since 2009 winning the Hockey East championship. They carry with them a 14 game winning streak that they hope will bring down the top ranked Fighting Sioux.
A huge rivalry rekindles between the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the Wolverines of Michigan. Michigan recently won the Big Ten Championship defeating Minnesota 5-3. This is the first time that both first round matchups in basketball and hockey have the two schools pitted against one another.
The Huskies of St. Cloud have a great spot of doing well playing two hours south of their school but play another Minnesota school. The Ferris State Bulldogs got into the tournament looking to get back to the final like they did back in 2012.
The Terriers of Boston University want nothing more than to redeem themselves after a devastating loss against the Friars in the finals; they take on the legacy of the Denver University Pioneers who have won the title seven times in their history. They finished with a 23-8-5 record and look to be a dark horse going in.
For last year’s tournament champions, their journey will put them up against Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs in the first round followed by a regional final against Boston schools Harvard or Boston College.
The two who both ranked in the top ten have a huge rivalry that has not seen much action in the tournament but has been live in non-conference play. The Golden Eagles defeated the Crimson in the Beanpot Semifinals last month and would try to get a second win against them to move into the regionals.
After two weeks of waiting, four teams will go into Tampa, where on April. 9 a champion will be crowned on ESPN at 8 p.m. eastern.