The OTHER March Madness, the one on ice, is entering its second phase this weekend. Last week saw BC sweeping Providence in 2 games, BU beating UMass-Lowell 2 out of 3, Vermont squeeze by Northeastern in 3 games, and UNH obliterate UMass-Amherst in 2 games. Now it's time for the Hockey East Finals and Semi-Finals, to be played at the TD BankNorth Garden. So if you want a little breather from basketball, check out the games on NESN. The Semi-Finals will be on Friday at 5 and 8 PM. The Final will be on tape delay Saturday night at 10:30.
Here is the bracket of the remaining teams:
Harvard is also in the semi-final of the ECAC tournament after blasting Quinnipiac by a combined score of 18-8 in three games. They play rival Cornell in Albany, with the winner advancing to the ECAC Finals against either Colgate or Princeton.
In order to make the 16 team NCAA Tournament, Harvard probably has to win the ECAC for the automatic bid, or make it to the finals and hope other games across the country produce perfect outcomes.
BC and UNH are probably already in the Tournament regardless of what happens this weekend, although the winner of the Semi-Final between them would be in much better shape. There's also the desire both teams have to play in the Northeast Region, held in Worcester.
Vermont is on the outside looking in, but not very far outside. A win against BU would go a long way to improve their standing, but they may need the automatic berth in order to make the tourney. BU is also just barely on the outside.
Late March is indeed the best part of the sports year. The college tournaments, the baseball season upon us, the NBA and NHL entering the playoffs, and the NFL draft coming up. Truly awesome time of the year.
I love it!
US College Hockey Online