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brianvf
05-06-2010, 10:00 PM
http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/160574


Under the most popular proposal, the tournament would stay as a 16-team field, but the first round would be a best-of-three series played at the venue of the higher seed.

The eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals would play at one of two super regional sites. The quarterfinals would be one-game shots with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line. The Frozen Four would not change.

The proposal would have to be approved by the NCAA and could not happen until the 2011-12 season at the earliest. Regional sites already have been scheduled for the upcoming season.

Federal League
05-06-2010, 10:06 PM
I like this idea. It would definitely help with attendance issues. I haven't put a whole lot of thought into it, though, so I'm sure someone will point out some downside I haven't considered.

Hammer
05-06-2010, 10:08 PM
I don't see much of a downside, upon first glance. It would add a week to the postseason, but that could be taken care of by using the current bye week between the regionals and the Frozen Four properly.

brianvf
05-06-2010, 10:11 PM
I like this idea. It would definitely help with attendance issues. I haven't put a whole lot of thought into it, though, so I'm sure someone will point out some downside I haven't considered.

They would have to push the "super regionals" and the F4 back a week to accommodate the best of 3 1st round.
So it would extend the season by a week unless they changed something else as well.

WildKitty
05-06-2010, 10:13 PM
the tournament would stay as a 16-team field, but the first round would be a best-of-three series played at the venue of the higher seed.

The eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals would play at one of two super regional sites. The quarterfinals would be one-game shots with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line. The Frozen Four would not change.

Iiiiiinteresting.

So, currently, 16 teams, four each at four regionals, two first-round games, one quarter final-like game, then 4 teams to ... um... that icy thing.... Semis, then THE GAME...

In the possible future: 16 teams, pre-quarterfinal best-of-three series hosted by high seed. Regional Quarters similar in match-up pattern to current Semis, only not so close to THE GAME. Two teams from each Regional advance to FF.

I could see the pre-quarterfinal games selling more tickets than the current regional format if hosting schools are allowed to charge their normal season rate. You also get closer fan base, so Joe the Fan is more likely to go. Regionals become less of a money pit because it's only two games: likely only one night of hockey.

Overall, I like. Financially, I think the NCAA will agree.

mookie1995
05-06-2010, 10:23 PM
the on-campus first rounds used to be pretty fun. i would certainly welcome it. i would hope that they stick to the seeds and not regionalize.

WildKitty
05-06-2010, 10:31 PM
Oh, scheduling!

Currently:
T-2: Regionals
T-1: bye week
Lift Off: Frozen Four

In future, here's my completely unqualified take:

One could put the Regional in the same weekend as the FF: Regional Thursday, fly Friday, play Saturday and Sunday. Travel would be a pain in the butt, but it could work. Financially? I guess not the best plan: schools won't be happy to shell out a grand for each player's last-minute tickets. UNLESS NCAA reserves x tickets on flight to FF, team to pay upon winning regional. I'm sure this will never happen, but the more I look at it, the more I like it!

One could put the Regional in the current bye week. However, let's not underestimate the usefulness of a week's planning: travel is easier to book the farther you get from the date it's booked.

With that argument in mind, you'd want at least week before the Best of Three, a week before the Regionals, and a week before the FF. And now we're into Stanley Cup time, and Greater ESPN can only handle so much hockey at once.

I predict IF the Association goes for the new format, they'll stick to the current plan of bye weeks, simply pushing the regionals back like Brian said. But I REALLY like the One Weekend plan... :o

moose97
05-06-2010, 10:31 PM
Overall, I like. Financially, I think the NCAA will agree.

Looking back at this last tourney, the smallest rinks would have been Bemidji State (2500), Miami (3200) and Cornell (4267). Even if you get the worst-case scenario (since two of those rinks were high-seed in the Midwest), BSU would certainly sell out the two games vs. Michigan (that would be one of the hottest tickets in BSU history) for nearly 5000 fans. That would beat almost any single session besides the West @ Xcel. Plus, it would double with another 6400 (again, worst case scenario) @ the UAH @ Miami games. The combined 8900 for the "Midwest Regional" games would still surpass actual attendance in Ft. Wayne (4133 and 3204 = 7337)

Zudnic
05-06-2010, 10:32 PM
Single elimination is what differentiates college hockey and what makes the NCAA's special. Don't dilute that.

RITProf
05-06-2010, 10:38 PM
Single elimination is what differentiates college hockey and what makes the NCAA's special. Don't dilute that.

Yes. All the fun RIT had this past year would turn into a trip to Denver for 2 (maybe 3) games with very few fans able to attend. It would really kill the excitement of the NCAA for the lower seeds and I would guess that would have a negative overall impact on building new programs like ours.

Of course ... RIT sweeping DU in two at Denver would be quite a Cinderella story too!! ;)

redhawkman10
05-06-2010, 10:41 PM
Oh, scheduling!

Currently:
T-2: Regionals
T-1: bye week
Lift Off: Frozen Four

In future, here's my completely unqualified take:

One could put the Regional in the same weekend as the FF: Regional Thursday, fly Friday, play Saturday and Sunday. Travel would be a pain in the butt, but it could work. Financially? I guess not the best plan: schools won't be happy to shell out a grand for each player's last-minute tickets. UNLESS NCAA reserves x tickets on flight to FF, team to pay upon winning regional. I'm sure this will never happen, but the more I look at it, the more I like it!

One could put the Regional in the current bye week. However, let's not underestimate the usefulness of a week's planning: travel is easier to book the farther you get from the date it's booked.

With that argument in mind, you'd want at least week before the Best of Three, a week before the Regionals, and a week before the FF. And now we're into Stanley Cup time, and Greater ESPN can only handle so much hockey at once.

I predict IF the Association goes for the new format, they'll stick to the current plan of bye weeks, simply pushing the regionals back like Brian said. But I REALLY like the One Weekend plan... :o


Im sorry but this is an awful idea...Playing a regional thursday, flying and then playing the frozen four saturday and sunday....

The proposed idea sounds pretty solid. You just don't have the weekend off inbetween the regionals and FF to accomidate for the round of 8 games. Play a single game that weekend and rest won't be an issue. I think this is a pretty smart way to go, not only do they save money on big regional sites that don't fill up. They are guranteed to have full buildings on a campus site.

Puck Swami
05-06-2010, 10:50 PM
Yes. All the fun RIT had this past year would turn into a trip to Denver for 2 (maybe 3) games with very few fans able to attend. It would really kill the excitement of the NCAA for the lower seeds and I would guess that would have a negative overall impact on building new programs like ours.

Of course ... RIT sweeping DU in two at Denver would be quite a Cinderella story too!! ;)

Think about it from Denver's perspective - you work hard all year, finish your season as one of the country's top teams, win your league and get rewarded by being assigned to a regional 1500 miles away from your campus and play a team from a larger school that is only a short drive down the Thruway and can easily bring 1,000 fans, while you work to scrounge up 35 fans...:eek:

Terrierbyassociation
05-06-2010, 10:51 PM
Think about it from Denver's perspective - you work hard all year, finish your season as one of the country's top teams, win your league and get rewarded by being assigned to a regional 1500 miles away from your campus and play a team from a larger school that is only a short drive down the Thruway and can easily bring 1,000 fans, while you work to scrounge up 35 fans...:eek:

I wouldn't be surprised if RIT out-attended DU even if it was at DU's rink.:D

JK.

Patman
05-06-2010, 11:15 PM
I think this is because the NCAA doesn't want to give up on its addiction to $$$. You get a good ticket sales figure from the first round... the second round is put into major cities and only major cities... and then the Frozen Four.

Doing this instead of say, lowering prices to human levels. Lets remember that the NCAA controls their tournaments and not the schools. Watch the tickets for a 3 game set be close to 100 dollars. Home fans will pay for it though not be thrilled.

alslammerz
05-06-2010, 11:18 PM
My one concern would be if they messed with how much they messed with the brackets to making traveling to another campus easier.

Looking at this year, for example:
Midwest
UAH traveling to Miami instead of to Fort Wayne. Not bad.
Michigan traveling to BSU instead of to Fort Wayne. An improvement.

East
RIT traveling to Denver instead of to Albany. :eek:
New Hampshire traveling to Cornell instead of to Albany. Not bad.

Northeast
Alaska traveling to BC instead of to Worcester. Probably an improvement, actually.
Yale traveling to North Dakota instead of to Worcester. An improvement for UND to be sure, but not great for Yale by any means.

West
Vermont traveling to Wisconsin instead of St. Paul. Not bad.
Northern Michigan traveling to St. Cloud State instead of to St. Paul. Negligible.

Not that it would matter much in the grand scheme of things, but you have to figure RIT and Alaska get switched in that 4 band- RIT to BC and Alaska to Denver don't seem to be bad trips. But we'd have to assume the super-regional sites would have one east and one west. Let's say for 2010, it's St. Paul for the Midwest and West, and Albany for the Northeast and East.

In the St. Paul super-regional- you'd have a team that played in Miami, a team that played at Bemidji, a team that played in Wisconsin, and a team that played at St. Cloud the weekend before. Not bad.

But in the Albany super-regional- you'd have a team that played in Boston, a team that played in North Dakota, a team that played in Denver, and a team that played in Ithaca the weekend before. Imagine those upsets happen-Yale and RIT have to travel out to North Dakota and Denver for a best of three series, and then come back east to play in Albany the next weekend. Yikes. Who do you switch? You could switch Miami and Denver in the 1 band. But the two western 2 teams besides North Dakota are from Minnesota- doesn't make sense to move them east either.

This, of course, will also lead to large(r) arguments in seeding.

So lets recap:
First moves- to make games closer to home leads to this:

ST PAUL SUPERREGIONAL
West
Vermont traveling to Wisconsin
Northern Michigan traveling to St. Cloud State

Midwest
UAH traveling to Miami
Michigan traveling to BSU

ALBANY SUPERREGIONAL
East
Alaska traveling to Denver
New Hampshire traveling to Cornell

Northeast
RIT traveling to BC
Yale traveling to North Dakota


Second move-make sure home series are closer to their super regional.

ST PAUL SUPERREGIONAL
West
Vermont traveling to Wisconsin
Northern Michigan traveling to St. Cloud State

Midwest
Alaska traveling to Denver
Michigan traveling to BSU

ALBANY SUPERREGIONAL
East
UAH traveling to Miami
New Hampshire traveling to Cornell

Northeast
RIT traveling to BC
Yale traveling to North Dakota


Hmm, seems odd to have Vermont potentially out west for two weekends. UAH was originally going to St. Paul anyway. So let's switch them around.

Third move

ST PAUL SUPERREGIONAL
West
UAH traveling to Wisconsin
Northern Michigan traveling to St. Cloud State

Midwest
Alaska traveling to Denver
Michigan traveling to BSU

ALBANY SUPERREGIONAL
East
Vermont traveling to Miami
New Hampshire traveling to Cornell

Northeast
RIT traveling to BC
Yale traveling to North Dakota


There's no way to fix Yale/UND playing in North Dakota one weekend and Albany the next, so that stays put. All in all, six teams got moved- RIT to Northeast, Alaska to Midwest, Vermont to East, UAH to the West, Denver to the Midwest, Miami to East. That's a lot of chaos to sort out, without even looking to see what teams gain an advantage by this (though Wisconsin getting UAH, no offense to the Chargers, comes to mind-to the detriment of the No. 1 seeded Miami team).


At the same time, I also really like the idea. I think it would be really fun if sometime down the road, in the first round, Harvard were matched up with a BC or BU, and getting to play in Boston at a campus site rather than Worcester. It's also a great chance to see teams that never get on the schedule-for all the teams, and even to get some big name Western teams out to Eastern barns. I, for one, wouldn't mind getting a chance to broadcast playoff hockey from, say, Michigan, and it would be great to see a WCHA team or CCHA team skate into Lynah for the playoffs- Cornell fans would eat it up. Their first opponent, for karma's sake, will probably be whatever big name team is pushing this the most, but still, it would make for great tv, though tickets sales would get hurt. I think it would be great to see the NCAA playoffs with a better chance for the students to make it out to the games and see the real bands since most of them don't travel, and all of that pomp that makes college hockey great. But I certainly wouldn't want to be a bracketologist, and this is a system that could certainly cause some legitimate gripes as well.

So yeah, I'd recommend with reservations. It would be great to see some of the old time east-west rivalries get played out in the playoffs in someone's home barn, but I imagine the NCAA would try to move seeds to keep teams close to one another (sort of defeating the purpose for me, though it makes sense financially and even, gasp, academically) and that could play merry chaos with the fairness anyway.

Priceless
05-06-2010, 11:28 PM
Wodon (http://www.collegehockeynews.com/news/2010/05/06_commentary.php) weighs in

4four4
05-07-2010, 12:11 AM
Would the NCAA get rid of the pairwise and go back to the old way of doing things? For example, private rooms of smoke and cigars?

Caustic Undertow
05-07-2010, 12:27 AM
There are definitely negatives to this idea.

1. We lose the easy-to-produce television coverage. This has no effect on the publicity of the sport as a whole, since casual fan viewership is negligible, but it is likely that it will be difficult for us average folk to watch out-of-area games on TV, including fans of teams on the road. If, say, Minnesota and Bemidji both host series, will Bemidji get tv coverage? I don't think so.

2. The tournament loses symmetry. Right it is a nicely divided win-and-advance production with four four-team regionals and then a four-team final. I have never been a huge fan of playoff formats where some rounds have different requirements for winning than others, and this format gives us some tournament games that you can lose and still have a chance to advance, and others that are one-and-done. Awkward.

3. The superregionals will still have the same problems that they had before, except for one day instead of two. They are kind of a bizarre way-station between an intense home-ice opening round and the Frozen Four. Weird.

All this said, I like this idea. The current regional format is unattractive on television and, apparently, unattractive even to die-hard college hockey fans who do not attend. Worcester is the one regional that can count on local teams and decent attendance every year, and nobody has any affection for it at all. All other regionals are attractive only when they are unfair. That is, they are interesting when there is a local team involved with a home crowd. Otherwise, they are empty.

Eight first round home series would eliminate this issue entirely; home ice is earned by regular season record, attendance is good, and the atmosphere is guaranteed to be electric. The games that are on television will make casual fans take notice, and the highlights on Sportscenter (say, of a game-three overtime winner in Alfond) would be incredible. As Dave Hakstol was quote, it would be more fun even for visiting teams, who get to experience the atmosphere and a real playoff series that matters.

Higher seeded teams would win more often, but I have no problem with that. They earned their high seeds. Frankly, I think the opening rounds are a bit too tossup anyway--I would rather have seen what Denver would do against Wisconsin than RIT. As much as I enjoyed watching lower seeds upset higher seeds again this year, I was left disappointed that Denver and North Dakota were not able to face the real cream of the crop because they were playing in practice-rink settings 1500 miles from home.

Attendance would be fixed, atmosphere would be fixed, and we could avoid television embarassments. Good reasons.

Even better reason: The 2002 and 2003 regionals at Michigan were absolutely off-the-hook bonkers. As amazing an atmosphere as you can find in sports, and I've seen some great ones. It was an endorsement of college hockey--anyone who was there or who watched could not deny that something special was happening. The problem was that Michigan was getting the benefit of that atmosphere against higher seeds. The "Best team not to win a National Title" thread has a handful of teams listed that were devoured there. It was fun, but it wasn't fair.

Move the top eight seeds to home rinks, and you get that incredible experience for thousands and thousands of fans--and it is fair. It looks great on tv, it feels great to the home team, and even the road team gets the chance to silence the crowd with one flick of a stick.

Bring it.

moose97
05-07-2010, 12:29 AM
My one concern would be if they messed with how much they messed with the brackets to making traveling to another campus easier.

Looking at this year, for example:
Midwest
UAH traveling to Miami instead of to Fort Wayne. Not bad.
Michigan traveling to BSU instead of to Fort Wayne. An improvement.

East
RIT traveling to Denver instead of to Albany. :eek:
New Hampshire traveling to Cornell instead of to Albany. Not bad.

Northeast
Alaska traveling to BC instead of to Worcester. Probably an improvement, actually.
Yale traveling to North Dakota instead of to Worcester. An improvement for UND to be sure, but not great for Yale by any means.

West
Vermont traveling to Wisconsin instead of St. Paul. Not bad.
Northern Michigan traveling to St. Cloud State instead of to St. Paul. Negligible.

And why is UMich traveling to BSU any better than Yale to UND?

And then you come to my whole argument this past March - who cares what's fair for the 3 &4 seeds? BSU did what it needed to do to get a 2 seed. How where they rewarded? With a partisan UMich croud as the higher seed since UMich fans could drive a couple hours no problem, while it was a 15 hour drive from northern Minnesota. For some reason, the NCAA felt that $$$ and attendance was more importaint than the play of the teams. I'd rather reward the 1 & 2 seeds with home games than move 3 & 4 seeds close in off-campus neutral sites (like was done for UMich and Yale).

moose97
05-07-2010, 12:31 AM
1. We lose the easy-to-produce television coverage. This has no effect on the publicity of the sport as a whole, since casual fan viewership is negligible, but it is likely that it will be difficult for us average folk to watch out-of-area games on TV, including fans of teams on the road. If, say, Minnesota and Bemidji both host series, will Bemidji get tv coverage? I don't think so.

Bemidji (and for that matter, SCSU, UMD and MSU) all have their own TV deals, and therefore, would have a local option to pick-up the games outside ESPN.