Minnesota State-Mankato earns top seed for NCAA hockey tourney

Mar 22, 2015 - 5:42 PM Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Minnesota State-Mankato earned the top overall seed for the 2015 NCAA men's ice hockey tournament.

The other top seeds in the 16-team field are North Dakota, Boston University and Miami-Ohio.

Minnesota State-Mankato won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association title for the second straight year and earned the top seed in the Midwest Region. The Mavericks have yet to win an NCAA Tournament game in three tries and will open this year's event against Atlantic Hockey champion RIT next Saturday.

The other game in the Midwest Region next Saturday will feature Omaha against Harvard, which won the ECAC crown. Harvard, which won its lone NCAA championship in 1989, last reached the tournament in 2006.

North Dakota, a seven-time NCAA champion, is the top seed in the West. UND had been the top-ranked team in the nation before losing to St. Cloud State in NCHC semifinals. Quinnipiac will be North Dakota's opening opponent next Friday.

St. Cloud State could meet North Dakota again in the NCAA Tournament. St. Cloud State, which lost to Miami-Ohio in the NCHC final, will play Michigan Tech in other West Region opener.

Miami-Ohio was awarded the top seed in the East Region and will open against Providence next Saturday. Former champions Boston College and Denver will meet in the other East Region game. BC won the last of its five titles in 2012, while Denver captured the last of its seven championships in 2005.

Boston University claimed the top seed in the Northeast Region and will face Yale in the first round next Friday. BU, a five-time NCAA winner, captured the Hockey East championship to halt a two-year NCAA Tournament drought. Yale won its lone NCAA title two years ago.

The other Northeast Region opener will feature Big Ten champion Minnesota against Minnesota-Duluth. Minnesota hasn't won an NCAA crown since the last of its five in 2003, while Minnesota-Duluth's only championship came in 2011.

The winners of the opening round games will meet in the regional finals. The regional champions will advance to the Frozen Four, which will take place April 9 at TD Garden in Boston. The national championship game is set for April 11.

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