NCAA Tournament Regionals Set: Denver to Play UMass-Lowell Thursday Night

While the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament Selection Show is currently airing on ESPNU, ESPN themselves scooped the show by posting the matchups and airtimes for each of the eight first-round games, thereby effectively releasing the bracket early.

We already knew #1-seed Denver would play in Loveland, the regional they are hosting, and now we know for sure that they will play #4 seed and #13 overall UMass-Lowell in the first round, as expected after last night’s chaos. That game will take place Thursday night at 7pm at the Budweiser Events Center. The other first-round game in Loveland will be Minnesota Duluth – the only team to beat Denver at Magness Arena and shut the Pioneers out this season – vs CCHA at-large bid Michigan Tech at 1pm Thursday.

Should both Denver and UMD make it past the first round, the two rivals who have had no shortage of important games contested in the last five years will play for the sixth time this season with the Pioneers looking to exact some revenge. The Loveland Regional Final will take place on Saturday at a time yet to be announced.

The full bracket is below:

Top photo courtesy of the NCAA

6 thoughts on “NCAA Tournament Regionals Set: Denver to Play UMass-Lowell Thursday Night”

  1. Only four sections available when I searched for two tickets. Only two sections when I searched for four tix. I would strongly recommend getting tickets now before the event is sold out.

  2. This is a good draw for the Pios.

    Mass-Lowell is big, strong, experienced and scrappy – a bit like Western Michigan, but without the super high end offensive talent. They are led by a couple of big Swedes – Berglund and Lee, who have 28 points each.

    If the Pios get their feet moving and play puck possession hockey, the RiverHawks may have issues keeping up with DU at altitude.

    And should the Pios face UMD again, I like our chances. DU has beaten UMD twice this year, and knows what needs to be done.

    The fact that UMD, Lowell and MTU are all small schools a long way from Colorado and probably won’t have more than a few hundred fans each in Loveland also helps Denver. Ticket sales for Loveland look pretty good. That Budweiser Events Center arena holds 5,300 for hockey. I expect about 1,500-2,000 actual DU fans driving up from the Denver area and beyond, about 1,000 curious Northern Colorado types who hopefully get behind the Pios, and the rest will be fans of the other schools (maybe 500-750?). We’ll see who shows up…

    Go Pios.

  3. I’m cautiously optimistic about DU’s chances to emerge from this regional, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous about the prospect of seeing Duluth again. Those guys are battle-tested and know how to perform in the clutch. Their recent postseason track record speaks for itself. Obviously there are no easy opponents from here on out, but Duluth in particular worries me.

    On another note, does anyone know why these games are scheduled so far apart? Game 1 starts at 1pm, presumably will be over by 4, but then DU doesn’t play until 7?? Going to be a long day for just 2 hockey games.

    1. I believe that it is because of the broadcast schedule. The Notre Dame/North Dakota game is at 4pm and all of the games are airing on ESPNU.

  4. The draw looks OK on its face. But I’ve seen enough first and second round exits to know that it’s easy to get tripped up in a one and done situation. Frozen Four berth must be earned, coasting will get you booted out in the first round.

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