Apparently, now you can't spell Cinderella without RIT.
To really comprehend what happened to my bracket, it is key to understand the term “catastrophe.”
From Merriam-Webster Online:
Main Entry: ca·tas·tro·phe Pronunciation: \kə-ˈtas-trə-(ˌ)fē\ Function: noun Etymology: Greek katastrophē, from katastrephein to overturn, from kata- + strephein to turn Date: 1540
- the final event of the dramatic action especially of a tragedy
- a momentous tragic event ranging from extreme misfortune to utter overthrow or ruin
- A: a violent and sudden change in a feature of the earth, or B : a violent usually destructive natural event (as a supernova)
- utter failure : fiasco <the party was a catastrophe>
- letting me fill out a bracket for any sport at anytime
How sad is it when the best thing I can say about my basketball bracket is it isn’t my hockey bracket? Where the hardcourt heartbreak fills with the Syracuses and Georgetowns of the world, merely shifting to the ice doesn’t change the fact that one really doesn’t have much hope for winning when the teams slated for the finals in your bracket gag in the first round. On the floor, the Big East became the Big Least, and on the ice, the Western Collegiate Hockey Assocation (WCHA) simply forgot to show up.
As a conference, the WCHA led the tourney with four teams seeded, including two #1 selections. Throughout the season, the WCHA had several teams rated in the Top 20. Throughout the season, the WCHA was regarded as the best conference in the nation. Leave it to the post-season to bring about that violent and sudden change in a feature of the earth, as the tournament has created a tectonic shift away from the WCHA’s dominance.
In the past decade, a WCHA side has won the national championship 6 times, but hasn’t hoisted the trophy since the Wisconsin Badgers did it in 2006. In 2005, the Frozen Four was a WCHA-only affair when Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota, and North Dakota all advanced. Having the final four in any NCAA tournament all being from the same conference has never happened before or since, but shouldn’t be shocking considering the WCHA has placed as many as six teams into this sixteen-team field on multiple occasions. But it certainly seems the rest of the hockey world has caught up to the west.
Mr. Burns Loses to Yale:
Yes, I get the irony of North Dakota losing to the eggheads from its representative Simpsons character’s alma mater. Frankly, other than the burst through the WCHA Tournament, North Dakota’s play this season has been as flat as the Red River Valley it calls home. While the Sioux made a living off Game Two comebacks, that strategy doesn’t play well in a one-and-done format.
Grimey Grabs the Wires:
A #4 seed has only ever beaten a #1 once, and that upset victim also came from the WCHA. In other words, now Denver now knows how Minnesota feels. I want to picture Denver head coach George Gwozdecky sitting in a dark room crying, a bottle of Jim Beam in one hand and Don Lucia on the phone.
GWOZDECKY: “I…I just can’t believe it happened that way. Rochester seemed so nice.
“LUCIA: “That’s how it happens George. One minute they are charming and buying you drinks, and the next they are on top of you, and you can’t get away.”
GWOZDECKY: “It…it all happened so fast…”
This leaves us with the Rochester Institute of Technology playing giant killer, just like Holy Cross did to the Gophers a few years ago. If you are of the correct age, you remember exactly where you were when man landed on the moon.
Ahhh, memories...Eat me, Minnesota.
Being first to slay a giant gave Holy Cross a “man on the moon” moment, but just because somebody else planted the flag doesn’t lessen the accomplishment. In fact, RIT has taken “one giant step” a step further by advancing to the Frozen Four, where it will test its ability to kill Badgers. Besides, it gives me another chance to break out one of my favorite graphics of all time, which I will use every chance I get because as we all know, Minnesota sucks.
Lisa Simpson Finally Loses Her Cherry:
One of the few bright spots for the WCHA came when perennial “one and done” St. Cloud State broke through the barrier by finally winning a tournament game. But one bright moment supernovas into another, as the Huskies’ run ended at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers, who advance to be the sole WCHA side still skating. The rest of the bracket heading into the Frozen Four at Ford Field in Detroit is shown below.
|East Region: Albany, New York
||Frozen Four Detroit, Michigan
||#1 Denver#4 RIT
||#1 Denver #4 RIT
|| #2 North Dakota
|#4 Rochester Institute of Technology
||#2 Cornell#3 New Hampshire
|#3 New Hampshire
|West Region: St. Paul, Minnesota
|#2 St. Cloud State
||#3 Northern Michigan#2 St. Cloud State
|#3 Northern Michigan
|Northeast Region:Worcester, Massachusetts
|#1 Boston College
||#1 Boston College
|| #2 North Dakota#1 Boston College
|| #2 North Dakota
|#2 North Dakota
||#2 North Dakota#3 Yale
|Midwest Region: Fort Wayne, Indiana
|#1 Miami (OH)
||#1 Miami (OH)
||#1 Miami (OH)
|#2 Bemidji State
||#2 Bemidji State#3 Michigan
If you are a fan of the WCHA, don’t stare at it too long…it isn’t going to get any better.