Road to Frozen Four – Projecting the 2024 NCAA men’s hockey tournament field

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Feb 22, 2024, 07:55 AM ET

With the men’s hockey season winding down, the selection of the NCAA tournament field is less than a month away. While some spots in the 16-team field are secure, there is a bigger and more unstable bubble of teams than usual scrapping for a chance to embark on the road to the Frozen Four.

The NCAA field includes the winners of the six conference tournaments — Atlantic, Big Ten, CCHA, ECAC, Hockey East and NCHC — and 10 at-large teams based on the PairWise rankings. Conference tournaments will begin March 8, with the finals scheduled for March 23.

Pairings for the NCAA tournament will be announced March 24, with regionals to be held March 28-31 in Springfield, Massachusetts; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Providence, Rhode Island; and Maryland Heights, Missouri. The Frozen Four will be held April 11-13 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Here’s a look at where the NCAA field stands, broken into tiers based on how secure each team’s spot is, with teams listed in order of the PairWise rankings as of Feb. 22. Each team’s résumé includes an outlook by ESPN college hockey analyst Colby Cohen.

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Safe and sound

Boston College

Record: 23-5-1, 15-3-1 Hockey East

Numbers to know: The Eagles are third in scoring offense (4.34) and fourth in scoring defense (2.24) while playing one of the toughest schedules in the country. BC also has the nation’s top penalty kill unit and is third in power play percentage.

Cohen’s take: BC has separated itself as the top team in the country, led by the freshman trio of Will Smith, Ryan Leonard and Gabe Perreault. Between those three and sophomore Cutter Gauthier, who can score from anywhere on the ice, no team plays with more speed, skill and puck possession than BC. Plus the Eagles are backstopped by future NHL goalie Jacob…

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Source link : https://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/39569973/road-frozen-four-projecting-2024-ncaa-men-hockey-tournament-field

Author : ESPN

Publish date : 2024-02-22 12:54:23

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