The field is set for the 16-team 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. The first-round pairings were announced live earlier today on ESPNU, while the bracket is available online at NCAA.com.
The top four overall seeds in this year’s tournament are ECAC playoff champion Quinnipiac, NCHC champion St. Cloud State, North Dakota, and defending NCAA champion Providence. Nine of the 16 schools in this year’s tournament have won at least one national title.
Quinnipiac, which just won its first-ever Whitelaw Cup as ECAC playoff king, will be the top seed at the East Regional in Albany. The Bobcats will face 16th seed RIT, this year’s Atlantic Hockey champion, at 4 p.m. ET at the Times-Union Centre on Saturday. The nightcap will feature No. 8 Massachusetts Lowell against No. 10 Yale at 7:30 p.m. ET, with the winners meeting on Sunday, also at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Northeast Regional gets underway at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass on Friday when Providence faces 14th seed and NCHC runner-up Minnesota-Duluth. The late game will pit No.5 Boston College against No. 11 Harvard. The two winners will face off on Saturday at 9 p.m.
The West regional will begin Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. St. Cloud will meet No. 15 Ferris State, the WCHA playoff champion, at 2 p.m. CT, followed by No. 6 Denver against No. 9 Boston University. The regional final will be held Sunday at 4 p.m. CT.
Last but not least, the Midwest Regional will be held on Friday and Saturday at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. The first day’s slate will see North Dakota take on Hockey East winner and No. 13 seed Northeastern at 2 p.m. ET, followed by Big Ten champion and No. 7 Michigan against No. 12 Notre Dame.