Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rosie's Rebounds: NCAA Tournament Edition

Mascot Shenanigans at TD Garden

It been said before by sports journalists that, “95% of sports writers are sports writers because of the free food served before games.” While I cannot
confirm nor deny that statement, I can, however, confirm that this creature decided to crash the party, uninvited.

Take a look at the evidence here with this picture as seen during the first intermission of the Boston College – Vermont game on Level 3 at the TD Garden Friday afternoon.

Photo taken from my Blackberry.

The Call: BC’s beloved mascot Baldwin gets two minutes for mooching.

I cannot confirm nor deny what he had to eat, but an investigation is currently taking place with the mascot police.

We’ll try to keep you up to date on the latest surroundings of this situation, but until then, we must attend a briefing on this situation…

…Get Ready for another edition of Rosie's Rebounds

Initial Thoughts on NCAA Tournament

Aside from Barry Melrose’s frequent mistakes on the Selection Sunday show on ESPN2, this year’s selection show was very intriguing then in previous years, especially right off the bat.

When the Midwest regional was revealed first, I thought Miami and Alabama-Huntsville would be the 1 vs. 4 matchup, while Bemidji State
and Yale would be the 2 vs. 3 showdown. Well, one of the matchups was right – Miami and Huntsville – and Bemidji State is going to Fort Wayne next Saturday.
But, the committee decided to throw a curveball by sending the CCHA Tournament Champions, the Michigan Wolverines (more on them later), to Fort Wayne as the No. 3 seed in that regional.

From a matchup standpoint, I thought Michigan would originally go to the East regional in Albany against Cornell (I hear they have a pretty good basketball team these days) or perhaps they would’ve stayed in the West against St. Cloud State in the first round. But from an attendance standpoint, sending Michigan to Fort Wayne for the Midwest Regional made all the sense in the world.

After that, the dominos started to fall together.

With Michigan going to the Midwest, the other No. 3 seeds – Northern Michigan, Yale and New Hampshire – stayed closer to home in their
regionals. Northern Michigan will be in the West Regional in St. Paul, Yale goes to the Northeast Regional in Worcester and UNH will head to upstate New
York for the East regional in Albany. At the end of the day, all four teams are just a bus ride away.

And finally, it was great to see a team like Alaska in the NCAA tournament for the first time under second year head coach Dallas Ferguson. They will face BC in their first round game on Saturday in Worcester.

For more bracket analysis, check out Kevin Edelson’s NCAA tournament breakdown.

Rebounds of the Week:

In sticking with the college theme this week, here are your Rebounds of the Week for March 22, 2010.

Player: Matt Lombardi, Sr. F, Boston College

Lombardi’s heroics in the Hockey East championship game Saturday night against Maine earned him tournament MVP honors. Of course, he couldn’t have written a better ending for his game-winner, as his overtime game winning goal at 5:25 was the goal that was the hat-trick.

Team: Michigan Wolverines

As Matt Fazio stated in his recap for the CCHA championship: “Looks like no one told Michigan that they were lucky No. 7.”

Michigan faced lots of questions after the regular season ended as the Maize and Blue finished seventh in the final CCHA standings. After
a sweep of both Lake Superior and Michigan State in the first two rounds of the CCHA, respectively, the Wolverines stormed to Detroit and took home the Mason
Cup by beating Miami in the CCHA semifinals and Northern Michigan in the CCHA championship.

While the win gave Michigan an automatic bid to the big dance, head coach Red Berenson earned will be heading to his 20th straight appearance in the NCAA tournament as head coach of the Maize and Blue.

Game: Cornell vs. New Hampshire (Friday, East Regional)

These two teams did battle earlier in the year where Cornell defeated UNH at the Whittemore Center back on January 3 in a 5-2 victory. The ‘Cats have had two weeks off after a devastating loss in Game 3 of their Hockey East quarterfinal series with Vermont, while Cornell is coming off their victory in the ECAC Finals over Union. To me, this is the most intriguing matchup in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but one could also make an argument with the Wisconsin-UVM matchup in the West Regional, which also takes place on Friday.

And finally, what would be a Rosie’s Rebounds NCAA Tournament Edition be without a Frozen Four Pick from yours truly.

Frozen Four: Miami, Cornell, BC, Wisconsin; National Championship: Miami over Cornell

See you next week…

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