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NCAA Hockey Tournament 2011: Boston College Faces Tough Road To Frozen Four

Boston College started this season as the top-ranked team in the country, and spent another few weeks there during the dead of winter. Yet despite winning the Beanpot, the Hockey East regular season title and the Hockey East championship, the Eagles didn't get an ideal draw in the NCAA tournament.

Sure, they're a number-one seed, but they're playing as far away from home as they could, and in the hardest bracket, to boot, writes BC Interruption

Because UNH and old friend Yale are hosting regionals in New England, Boston College is forced to travel as a one-seed, something which rarely happens in such a small tournament field. UNH - which draws one-seed Miami at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH and Yale - which draws some awful team that will probably knock the stuffing out of them in round one at the who-cares-what-it's-called-because-Yale-shouldn't-be-playing-hockey-anyway arena in Bridgeport, CT are required to play at the site where they host. 

For this, BC will wind up in St. Louis, facing off with Colorado College, which earned an at-large bid from the WCHA. The winner of their game will face either Michigan (CCHA) or Nebraska-Omaha (WCHA). If they make it to the Frozen Four in St. Paul, it's unlikely that they'll see familiar faces UNH or Merrimack there - UNH faces Miami and Hobey Baker-candidate Andy Miele in the first regional semifinal in Manchester, while Merrimack draws Notre Dame later that evening. Miami's likely to advance from the Manchester regional, while Minnesota-Duluth stands a strong chance of advancing from Bridgeport, especially if Yale or Union - the two higher seeds - fall victim to the ECAC postseason curse. 

It's only the second appearance in the NCAA tournament all-time for Merrimack, which last went in 1988. UNH is making their ninth straight appearance and 21st overall , but hasn't made it to the Frozen Four since 2003. 

On the heels of its tenth Hockey East title, Boston College is making their 30th appearance in the NCAA tournament. They've made 22 appearances in the Frozen Four to date, and will start the journey toward their third National Championship in four years this weekend.