Thursday, July 3, 2008

A .500 record is needed...

... for an at large bid to the Men's and Women's NCAA Hockey Tournament going forward.

No on should really be surprised by this announcement w/ all the complaining around College Hockey w/ Wisconsin's inclusion into the NCAA tourney this past season. The best complaining came from the people who said that Wisconsin got in because they were hosting a regional and the NCAA didn't want to lose $$$, when in fact Wisconsin made it because the pairwise rankings said they were the 13th ranked team after all the dust had settled. Just a refresher to the Mankato fans out there, Notre Dame was actually the last team in.

Personally I don't have any problems w/ this rule. In the Badgers last 8 games leading up to the NCAA selection, they certainly had every opportunity to lock up a bid and take themselves off the bubble. This included getting just 1 more point, which would have filled the Kohl Center for the 1st round of the WCHA playoffs, instead of St. Cloud's arena. The Badgers probably didn't deserve a spot based on the late season slide.

Of course once the Badgers skated out onto the ice for the Regional they played like a team no one had seen all season, and really removed all doubt that they belonged in the post season.

Their selection was based on the existing rules, plain and simple. Now the rules are changed, for the better.

One thing that Wisconsin's inclusion showed last year, schedule good opponents and build that strength of schedule. This year is no different, in regards to the schedule, but unlike last year Wisconsin's NCAA bid will be wrapped up long before selection sunday.

Edit: I forgot to say there is more to the article than the 0.500 record thing. This committee also recommends that all 6 conferences receive auto bids for the tourney winners again next season. It should be noted that the CHA is now down to 4 teams. Also, they will be selecting the hosts for the Midwest and West Regionals for 2010 and 2011 in September. Hopefully the Kohl Center appears on there for one of those seasons. The 0.500 record and the auto bids need to be approved in September, so they aren't set in stone.