Today is a ridiculous day. In the Frozen Four we have
- The clear #1 team in the country
- A team that failed to make the semifinals of its conference tournament
- Another team that failed to make the semifinals of its conference tournament
- A team that won its four-team conference that's on the brink of dissolution, the only team that needed its auto-bid to make the field of 16
It's the strangest Frozen Four in living memory. Either The Dynasty or Bemidji State will be in the national championship game. I find it hard to believe myself, and I was there when Bemidji State beat Cornell to win the Midwest Regional.
Vermont making the Frozen Four isn't all that weird, but to do it on a shot that went through the net after a decade-long absence from the tournament? That's an epic tale.
Three of the four #1 overall seeds went down in their first game. Seriously. Michigan? Lost 2-0 to Air Force while putting 41 shots on goal. Denver? Lost to The Dynasty, 4-2. Notre Dame? Got absolutely pantsed by Bemidji State, 5-1, in a game where they were thoroughly outplayed. Friend of blog Mike notes that in the first three years of the 16-team field, 1 seeds were 12-0 against the 4 seeds. The last four years? 9-7.
So that's where we've been. Where are we going? Well, it's Miami vs. Bemidji State at 5:00 EDT, and I have no idea what's going to happen. Theoretically, Miami should win. They're bigger, stronger, and have better numbers than the Beavers, but I can't count Bemidji out. I wonder how well the George Mason band will do with the Beavers' polka-inflected fight song.
After that, BU vs. Vermont. Vermont was a top team throughout most of the year, but tanked down the stretch. They should still be a handfull for the Terriers, but BU has been mechanically destroying its opponents all year. After obliterating Ohio State 8-3 in the first round, New Hampshire offered a much stiffer test in the regional final, but they still prevailed, 2-1. They're rested and, by far, they're the best team left in the tournament. Let's see how this one plays out.
It didn't turn out to be Next Year in DC for the Wolverines, but I'll still be watching.