Commissioner: “Bracket Integrity” Reason For SCSU Early Start [AUDIO]
The St. Cloud State men's hockey team earned a berth in this weekend's National Collegiate Hockey Conference Frozen Faceoff by sweeping UNO over the weekend in Omaha. On Sunday, with Miami University defeating Western Michigan, they learned they would be playing against North Dakota in the tourney's first round.
There were two possible start times for the matchup at Target Center: 4:07 and 7:07, with the other semifinal pitting Miami University against Denver. It seemed like a no-brainer, with the games being televised on CBS Sports Network, that the juiciest matchup between the Huskies and NoDak would take place in prime time.
To the chagrin of the masses of Twitter, the conference announced that the UND and SCSU game would be the preamble to Miami and Denver. Many fans went on the offensive and tweeted @TheNCHC, prompting this response:
NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton echoed that sentiment when he joined Granite City Sports on Monday afternoon, reinforcing the notion of "Bracket integrity."
"The biggest thing for us is bracket integrity, and protecting the highest remaining seed in the tournament which in this case is North Dakota," Fenton said. "(It is) very common and very typical with brackets to protect the highest remaining seed."
"(The highest seed) is positioned in the first game to allow the most rest they could possibly have between Friday and Saturday whether they are playing in the third place game (3:30 PM) or the championship game (7 PM)," Fenton said.
"This is regardless of who the institution is that is the highest remaining seed," Fenton said. "We did not do this last year and it was something that was addressed at our annual meeting."
Fenton says bracket integrity was a hot topic at the meeting among administrators and head coaches.
"It's something that the institutions voiced a concern for," Fenton said. "We are made up of our membership and we certainly try to abide by the requests of our membership, and this is certainly a very reasonable request."