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NCAA Tournament Predictions

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I hate making predictions, partially, okay wholly, because I'm terrible at it. Also, it's not a lot a of fun since the only way to avoid being criticized is by simply writing, "Your team, whichever one it may be, will win because they are far superior people." Anything else and somebody is going to be pissed. But that's what the convention is, so I might as well do it.

In the spirit of competition, and because it's probably more accurate, in addition to making my own picks, I've decided to also flip a coin to predict the winner of each game. The higher seed in every game gets tails, since coin flips are almost usually tails, and one flip decides it.

West Regional

Wisconsin vs. Vermont: On Sunday, I had Wisconsin making it all the way to the championship game, but as the week passed, the idea of Vermont upsetting has grown on me. Vermont is better than their record would indicate and I think Rob Madore is the type of goalie that can carry a team through any game.

My pick: Vermont, Coin pick: Wisconsin

St. Cloud vs. Northern Michigan: Northern Michigan hasn't lost to anybody besides Michigan for nearly two full months. St. Cloud gets a little home ice advantage finally getting to play in their home state, though I think attendance will be dreadful tomorrow cancelling that out. I think the Wildcats will bring a more physical game that St. Cloud will have trouble dealing with.

My pick: Northern Michigan, Coin pick: Northern Michigan

Regional Final: I still like Madore, and after shutting down Wisconsin, I cant' see Northern Michigan stopping them.

My pick: Vermont, Coin pick: Wisconsin

Midwest Regional

Miami vs. Alabama-Huntsville: I think this game will be closer than most people expect, and might not be decided until the third period, but I can't see Miami losing here.

My pick: Miami, Coin pick: Miami

Michigan vs. Bemidji State: A lot of people are rightfully favoring Michigan here, and I believe they'll have an advantage in play, but this also has the feel of a game where Michigan outshoots the opponent 35-15 and loses 2-1, variations of which have happened a couple times this year. It's a very tough call.

My pick: Michigan, Coin pick: Bemidji St.

Regional Final: I think Miami wins the rematch of the CCHA semifinal. My evidence is more anecdotal than meticulously researched, but teams that lose a game in the conference tournament tend to have an advantage in the NCAA tournament.

My pick: Miami, Coin pick: Miami

East Regional

Denver vs. RIT: Denver comes in playing very poorly and RIT comes in playing very well, but I can't shake the opinion that every time RIT is the "hottest team in the country," it corresponds with a long stretch of crappy conference opponents.

My pick: Denver, Coin pick: RIT

New Hampshire vs. Cornell: I was not aware that these two teams played college hockey. This is the only first round match-up without a western team in it. New Hampshire brings a high-powered offense against Cornell's tough defense. Normally, you'd pick defense in a match-up like that, but I think New Hampshire will be able to score enough to win.

My pick: New Hampshire, Coin pick: Cornell

Regional Final: I can't think of a good reason why New Hampshire will win. Denver is more talented in every area, but for whatever reason, I have a feeling New Hampshire trips them up.

My pick: New Hampshire, Coin pick: Cornell

Northeast Regional

Boston College vs. Alaska: This is a tough match-up for Alaska in their first ever NCAA tournament appearance. But I think relying on defense the way they do will allow them to play better in a tough environment more than a team that relies on scoring. The Nanooks are fresh, and goalies are big this time of year and I really like Scott Greenham.

My pick: Alaska, Coin pick: Boston College

North Dakota vs. Yale: North Dakota played so well last weekend, and they've played so well down the stretch that it's practically impossible to pick agianst them. I really like what the Sioux bring in terms of team attitude.

My pick: North Dakota, Coin pick: Yale

Regional Final: Still the same with North Dakota. I'd be very surprised if they didn't make it out of this regional.

My pick: North Dakota, Coin pick: Yale

That gives me a Frozen Four of Vermont, Miami, New Hampshire, and North Dakota. George Washington ended up with a Frozen Four of Wisconsin, Miami, Cornell, and Yale. Apparently nobody told random chance that the ECAC sucks.