Hockey Bucks Make NCAA Tourney, Will Face Duluth in West Regional

By Aubrey Nelson on March 19, 2017 at 12:20p
These guys are NCAA tournament bound!

Johnny Polansky

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For the first time in eight years the Ohio State hockey Buckeyes are going to the NCAA tournament. The Scarlet and Gray finished the season in a three way tie with Providence and Boston College for No. 14 in the PairWise rankings. Only two of those teams made the cut, but thanks to a .0035 RPI advantage over the Eagles, the Bucks are one of those two teams. 

2017 NCAA tournament field
Midwest Regional (Cincinnati, OH)
No. 4 Michigan Tech vs No. 1 Denver
No. 3 Penn State vs No. 2 Union
West Regional (Fargo, ND)
No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth
No. 3 North Dakota vs No. 2 Boston University
East Regional (Providence, RI)
No. 4 Providence vs. No. 1 Harvard
No. 3 Air Force vs No. 2 Western Michigan
Northeast Regional (Mancester, NH)
No. 4 Notre Dame vs No. 1 Minnesota
No. 3 Cornell vs No. 2 UMass-Lowell

Many supposed Ohio State was headed for Cincinnati and the Midwest regional. However, the bracketologists in their infinite wisdom have placed the Buckeyes a bit further west. OSU will be the No. 4 seed in the West Regional which takes place in Fargo, North Dakota. 

This is the first NCAA appearance for the Bucks under the leadership of head coach Steve Rohlik, though both coach and program have separate tourney experience. Ohio State has made six previous trips to the big dance (1998, 1999, 2003-05, and 2009).

Rohlik skated in three NCAA tournaments as a player at Wisconsin, the most notable of which came in 1990 when the Badgers won it all. He also has two appearances as an assistant coach. Rohlik was part of Scott Sandelin’s bench crew at Minnesota-Duluth for their tourney journeys in 2004 and 2009.

Coincidentally, Ohio State is set to open the 2017 NCAA tournament against the regional’s No. 1 seed…Minnesota-Duluth. The Bulldogs are the NCHC’s regular season runners up and the conference's tourney champs. We’ll take a closer look at this match-up later in the week. For now, enjoy the prospect of some spring Buckeye hockey. It’s been awhile.

  • OSU and UMD face off on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The game will air live on ESPNU.
  • Buckeye associate head coach Mark Strobel also has NCAA tournament experience as a player (Wisconsin, 1992-95) and ties to Duluth where he was an assistant coach from 2000-02.

 

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