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2013 NCAA Hockey Tournament: Bracket unveiled; Quinnipiac earns top seed

After all the predicting and prognosticating, here is a first look at the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship bracket that was announced on Sunday night on ESPNU. Quinnipiac, Minnesota, UMass Lowell, and Notre Dame will be the top seeds.

Defending national champ Boston College will face Union on Saturday at Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I.
Defending national champ Boston College will face Union on Saturday at Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I.
Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

The wait is finally over as ESPNU announced the 16-team field for the upcoming 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship on Sunday night.

The regionals will kick off on Friday afternoon, March 29 and continue through the weekend at four geographical sites. After all the predicting and prognosticating, the final bracket is here, with Quinnipiac taking the top overall seed, as expected.

Rounding out the top seeds are Minnesota, Hockey East champion UMass Lowell, and Notre Dame, which finished off the field by defeating Michigan for the final CCHA title. Because of the loss, Michigan's 22-year tournament qualification streak came to an end and allowed the Atlantic Hockey Association to qualify two teams for the field for the first time in league history.

NORTHEAST (Verizon Wireless Arena - Manchester, N.H.)

(3) UMass Lowell vs. Wisconsin
Denver vs. New Hampshire

EAST (Dunkin' Donuts Center - Providence, R.I.)

(1) Quinnipiac vs. Canisius
Boston College vs. Union

MIDWEST (Huntington Center - Toledo, Ohio)

Miami vs. Minnesota State
(4) Notre Dame vs. St. Cloud State

WEST (Van Andel Arena - Grand Rapids, Mich.)

(2) Minnesota vs. Yale
North Dakota vs. Niagara

The Northeast and West brackets will open play on Friday, while the other two uncap the semifinals on Saturday. Winners in each bracket will advance to the Frozen Four, which will be held April 11 and 13, for the first time at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.