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Caustic Undertow
03-26-2013, 01:28 AM
Michigan's tournament appearance streak may be over, but this post marks my third consecutive season complaining about the NCAA hockey regionals.

Last year we had a robust debate, which you can review here (http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?100067-College-Hockey-s-Playoff-Problem.) and here (http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?100213-More-proof-that-the-Regional-system-is-a-disaster-Today-s-attendance-at-the-X-is...). Those piggybacked on a debate from the year before, found here (http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?95630-NCAA-Change-the-Tourney).

Here's the basic argument: 16 college hockey teams are about to play the biggest game of their seasons. Through the year they have played at raucous road arenas and energized home arenas. They have encountered noise, taunts, and tension. And now, with the stakes as high as they can get they will play huge games... and nobody will be there to watch them.

Something has to change.

My proposal* is to disband the regional system and play the first two rounds of the tournament on consecutive weekends (hypothetically, this weekend and next weekend) at the home sites of the higher seeds. As I have demonstrated in the linked threads, attendance would remain the same or improve, while providing substantially better atmosphere and experience for the fans and players. The possibility of a lower seed getting a "home" game against a higher seed would be eliminated (if Michigan had beaten Notre Dame, how happy would Minnesota fans be to play them in Grand Rapids this weekend? Not very happy).

The embarrassment of empty arenas would be eliminated, the players would experience environments that befit the most important games of the season, and 8 fanbases would get to watch their favorite teams in the most exciting context imaginable--win or (stay) home.

Wouldn't you rather watch Minnesota-Yale in front of a raucous Mariucci Arena than in front of thousands of empty seats in Grand Rapids?

NCAA hockey, change the tournament.

_________________
*I love it when people use this word; it suggests that a detailed, sealed packet of literature containing the same information has, simultaneous to this post, been solicited by and submitted to the president of the NCAA for his personal consideration. I get to sound influential and imagine that people are marveling at my ingenuity. In fact, nobody has any idea who I am or what I am talking about.

Nick Papagiorgio
03-26-2013, 09:16 AM
Ways to avoid having empty arenas:
- Lower ticket prices. Make it more affordable for families. This will also help grow the sport.
- Stop scheduling games for 9 pm (or even 8 pm on a Sunday).

Seeing how things are run over these past few years I can only conclude this sport is not going to change for the better as the obvious is still somehow not obvious to people making decisions for this sport.

For the record, I don't support home site games for this and I don't even support site hosting. Go back to super regionals, 6 fanbases, most local will pack an arena with good game times and ticket pricing.

FlagDUDE08
03-26-2013, 09:27 AM
Ways to avoid having empty arenas:
- Lower ticket prices. Make it more affordable for families. This will also help grow the sport.
- Stop scheduling games for 9 pm (or even 8 pm on a Sunday).

Seeing how things are run over these past few years I can only conclude this sport is not going to change for the better as the obvious is still somehow not obvious to people making decisions for this sport.

For the record, I don't support home site games for this and I don't even support site hosting. Go back to super regionals, 6 fanbases, most local will pack an arena with good game times and ticket pricing.

Although you'd have to fit six games into a site instead of three, you could probably do it with having 1/8/9/16 and 2/7/10/15 playing on Friday and Sunday-early, while 3/6/11/14 and 4/5/12/13 play on Saturday and Sunday-late, but do NOT give a team a day advantage over another. The biggest issue with the ticket prices, though, is that the NCAA has to get the money in order to send these teams to the regional sites, any guarantees to arenas or teams, not to mention any deals that places may have with concessions (where an arena REALLY makes money).

ColSkate65
03-26-2013, 09:37 AM
I don't feel $$$ and fan bases should play a part in a 16-team tournamment that is supposed to crown the college hockey champion. What gets me is the way the teams have been distributed based on "home rule" and attendance expectations. For instance, why would four eastern teams play at Providence and four mid-west teams play in Toledo?? Why not mix it up and have two eastern teams in Toledo and two midwest teams in Providence. I'm sure most college hockey fans would rather see east vs. west, rather than geography-centric contests.

At least Denver and Wisconsin are coming east to Manchester, NH. This seems like a much more attractive slate, pitting western teams against the best of the east. Likewise, at Grand Rapids, Yale and Niagara mix it up with ND and Minny. As a pure college hockey fan, and not a "homer," I would rather pay to see an inter-region playoff than watch four teams from my geographic area play each other. It's just more interesting, more challenging, and I believe, would bring out more fans as well.

MGoBlueHockey
03-26-2013, 09:41 AM
32 team tournament. Regional First, Semis and Finals hosted by 1 seed.

Frozen Four in real areas and not freaking Tampa.

Jaws
03-26-2013, 09:44 AM
My biggest beef is the week off between the regionals and the FF. It is a momentum killer for hot teams and is just annoying. What other playoff system does this?(besides the NFL, apples and oranges)

JoeGopher
03-26-2013, 09:49 AM
32 team tournament. Regional First, Semis and Finals hosted by 1 seed.

Frozen Four in real areas and not freaking Tampa.

I heartily disagree with this statement. Tampa was one of the best locations they have had for the FF. and I've only missed two since 1989. Based on my experience, it should be a 4 city rotation, like Tampa, St. Paul, Boston, and maybe Columbus, if it was at nationwide and not the Schott.

FlagDUDE08
03-26-2013, 09:56 AM
My biggest beef is the week off between the regionals and the FF. It is a momentum killer for hot teams and is just annoying. What other playoff system does this?(besides the NFL, apples and oranges)

It's all for ratings. You put it the next week, and ESPN gets ticked off because they can't show their 10 hours of hype programming for the squeakball tournament.

FlagDUDE08
03-26-2013, 09:59 AM
I don't feel $$$ and fan bases should play a part in a 16-team tournamment that is supposed to crown the college hockey champion. What gets me is the way the teams have been distributed based on "home rule" and attendance expectations. For instance, why would four eastern teams play at Providence and four mid-west teams play in Toledo?? Why not mix it up and have two eastern teams in Toledo and two midwest teams in Providence. I'm sure most college hockey fans would rather see east vs. west, rather than geography-centric contests.

At least Denver and Wisconsin are coming east to Manchester, NH. This seems like a much more attractive slate, pitting western teams against the best of the east. Likewise, at Grand Rapids, Yale and Niagara mix it up with ND and Minny. As a pure college hockey fan, and not a "homer," I would rather pay to see an inter-region playoff than watch four teams from my geographic area play each other. It's just more interesting, more challenging, and I believe, would bring out more fans as well.

You then get to pay more in order to cover the cost needed to fly those western teams to the east and vice versa.

chickod
03-26-2013, 09:59 AM
Why not mix it up and have two eastern teams in Toledo and two midwest teams in Providence. I'm sure most college hockey fans would rather see east vs. west, rather than geography-centric contests.

Then why would you call them "regionals?" I'm not sure that it's like basketball, where there seems to be unlimited money so a team can travel 3000 miles and still draw a crowd. If you put 2 midwest teams in Providence WITHOUT an eastern team that can DRAW (not Canisius, for example), you'll still have a half-empty arena. Unfortunately, we're not at the point yet (and probably never will be) where we can ignore regional "considerations."

chickod
03-26-2013, 10:00 AM
My biggest beef is the week off between the regionals and the FF. It is a momentum killer for hot teams and is just annoying. What other playoff system does this?(besides the NFL, apples and oranges)

We've been over this before. It's because they don't want to go head-to-head with the NCAA basketball tournament's Final Four. It's not going to change...

Gurtholfin
03-26-2013, 10:01 AM
I LOVE the idea of the first two rounds at home rinks of the higher seeds. Should also be a best of three series.

Could easily reseed after the first round as there'd be a week to make arrangements.

FF could reseed also.

Gurtholfin
03-26-2013, 10:02 AM
We've been over this before. It's because they don't want to go head-to-head with the NCAA basketball tournament's Final Four. It's not going to change...

Right, but if the first two rounds took two weeks, there wouldn't be that extra week off.

Jaws
03-26-2013, 10:05 AM
I know. Still annoys me though.
It's all for ratings. You put it the next week, and ESPN gets ticked off because they can't show their 10 hours of hype programming for the squeakball tournament.

COHockey
03-26-2013, 10:24 AM
Frozen Four in real areas and not freaking Tampa.

Tampa was awesome. Better than DC, better than Denver. They need to put Tampa in heavy rotation for the Frozen Four. As much as I love visiting Boston, please never again, or at least for another dozen or twenty years.

SCSU Euro
03-26-2013, 11:09 AM
Michigan's tournament appearance streak may be over, but this post marks my third consecutive season complaining about the NCAA hockey regionals.

Well what seems to be the common thread then?


Wouldn't you rather watch Minnesota-Yale in front of a raucous Mariucci Arena...

IALTO

Almington
03-26-2013, 11:24 AM
Odds are that any change to the tournament would involve stepping back to 12 teams. I'm not sure that is a trade off that I'm willing to make.

MavHockey14
03-26-2013, 11:26 AM
32 team tournament. Regional First, Semis and Finals hosted by 1 seed.

Frozen Four in real areas and not freaking Tampa.

You may be the only one who didn't like Tampa.

chickod
03-26-2013, 11:39 AM
Right, but if the first two rounds took two weeks, there wouldn't be that extra week off.

No...I don't mean they don't want the Frozen Four to go up against the Final Four...they don't want ANY hockey going up against the Final Four. They WANT the week off - that's the whole point. In other words, "Go away, hockey." NOTHING will compete with the Final Four, the BIGGEST event in college sports - period.

chickod
03-26-2013, 11:41 AM
Tampa was awesome. Better than DC, better than Denver. They need to put Tampa in heavy rotation for the Frozen Four. As much as I love visiting Boston, please never again, or at least for another dozen or twenty years.

What didn't you like about Boston? And that's not meant in a cynical or malicious way - I'm just curious (having spend most of my life here).