After a rollicking weekend of college hockey tournament action, King Banaian leads the Fraters group with nine points in the USCHO Pickem Challenge. Overall, he ranks #436 out of 11,110 entrants. King still has four points on the table, which he can secure if UMass-Lowell beats Yale in their Frozen Four semifinal. If that happens, he will win the group and have college hockey bragging rights for the next year (and a round of golf at the expense of the Nihilist in Golf Pants).
Interestingly enough, while King did correctly pick his own St. Cloud State Huskies to reach the Frozen Four, he didn’t think they would advance any further. In fact, no one in the Fraters group correctly predicted the 2013 NCAA national champion. We all went with teams who have already been eliminated. The only way for King to lose the Fraters group would be if Yales beats U Mass-Lowell and if SCSU downs Quinnipiac, a tradeoff that I’m sure King would make.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Nihilist in Golf Pants. Not only did he lose his side bet with King on the Notre Dame-SCSU game, he somehow only picked two of the opening eight games correctly and zero second round games. Which gives him a grand total of two points for the tournament.
My heart was broken when the Gophers lost to Yale in overtime on Friday afternoon and by Saturday afternoon my bracket was as well. My theory of the superiority of the WCHA proved badly misguided as the only WCHA team to reach the Frozen Four was St. Cloud State and four WCHA teams lost in the first round. Before the tournament, I joked on Twitter that the ECAC was clearly the best conference in the land and now there exists the very real possibility of an all ECAC championship game in Pittsburgh. The world truly is turned upside down.
One final note: I received a late invitation to join another group in the USCHO Pickem challenge. I filled out that bracket in my eldest son’s name and took all of about thirty seconds to complete it. I had a Minnesota-SCSU final in that bracket and so can still pick up some more points if the Huskies win their semifinal game. At this point, that bracket has won eleven points and is ranked #47 overall. And that’s the bracket that I didn’t put any thought into. Seems like there’s a lesson in here somewhere.