The 2012 NCAA Hockey Tournament begins on Friday, March 23, but on Sunday, the bracket will be announced. The Air Force Falcons and the Denver Pioneers are awaiting their placements in this year's tournament. The Falcons are guaranteed a spot in the tournament after winning the Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament for the conference's automatic bid. The Pioneers, on the other hand, are looking at a No. 3 or No. 4 seed as an at-large team following a 4-0 loss to the North Dakota Fighting Sioux in the WCHA Final Five title game.
There are the teams with automatic bids this season:
Atlantic Hockey: Air Force
CCHA: Western Michigan
ECAC Hockey: Union
Hockey East: Boston College
WCHA: North Dakota
USCHO has made its last bracketology projections, placing the Pioneers as a No. 3 seed against a No. 2 seed Ferris State in the Midwest Region. The Falcons are a No. 4 seed against a No. 1 seed Boston College in the Northeast Region. The Eagles are expected to be the No. 1 overall seed (last year the Falcons played No. 1 overall seed Yale and lost in overtime, 3-2).
The Falcons are making their fifth tournament appearance in the last six years while the Pioneers will be on their 23rd (and fifth straight) appearance. Denver is out for its eighth title and Air Force for its first.
WHEN: 10:00 a.m. MT, Sunday, March 18, 2012
Head over to Western College Hockey Blog for more WCHA news and notes.