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Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

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  • #46
    Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

    I've heard coaches lament the lack of atmosphere. I think they want neutral sites and a great atmosphere. Very difficult to achieve that though.

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    • #47
      Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

      Dumb question - what is the source that validates coaches on the whole prefer the current system?

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      • #48
        Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

        Originally posted by purpleinnebraska View Post
        I think the coaches like the neutral sites BECAUSE there's no attendance. If you know the crowd isn't going to be for you, at least you take comfort in the fact that it's not going to be against you. If that's the case with coaches, why is the NCAA mouthing platitudes about attendance when the coaches don't really want that?

        I think a lot of this comes back to not really having a good set of priorities in what we're looking to get out of the regionals. Bracket integrity, minimized travel, maximized attendance, "neutral" sites, host schools, good TV venues...If one is in conflict with another, which one comes out on top? Having no clear answer to that, the NCAA stumbles forward.
        Your second paragraph makes good points, points I have made for years. Especially the notion of serving two masters. We can have bracket integrity, or we can place teams as close as possible to the natural fanbases. Rarely can we have both for more than two or three teams of the 16 in the tournament.

        I don't know about coaches in general and their secret preferences for smaller crowds, but I do know my coach and his feelings. He HATES it. Jeff Jackson famously decried the awful issues with atmosphere at the 2013 Toledo regional. Some took it as sour grapes because of the pasting his team took in the game, and if nothing else he was guilty of horrible timing, and it may have been a sour grapes issue too. But he was right. It was pathetic, and easily the worst post-season tournament crowd I have ever been in, conference or NCAA. My guess is for each of the four teams, their worst, most apathetic crowd that season was 10 times more energetic than what was in Toledo.

        For Jackson it is easy to want higher seeded teams to host, because Notre Dame has a facility where there is not question you can host. Even hosting a 4-team regional is no problem, with ample amenities at the rink, and hotel rooms walking distance away. At most of the bigger name schools this is true. But what of the smaller ones? I think it would be unfair to allow some teams to host, but to say other's don't have the "right" facilities.

        That's one reason I like neutral sites. I also think that is the proper way to crown a "champion." But as we've noted every year for at least a decade, there are serious issues with how the NCAA puts these together. The best way to solve that is to eliminate the NCAA's greed. Good luck with that. But if they had reasonable financial criteria for putting on the show, perhaps more teams or venues would bid. Maybe allow a guarantee to the host committee the NCAA won't take all of your cash and leave you hanging in case -- despite best efforts on your part -- your regional performs poorly due to factors outside your control. Like who ends up there. It isn't as if there is not enough profit from the men's basketball tournament to look for ways to grow other tournament profiles. Maybe if a host committee has more room financially to experiment and finds a way to get 6000 or 7000 butts in seats in a 7000 seat building, they'll do it again and again.

        One of the issues is even found in the NCAAs mandate on ticket prices. They give both a floor and a ceiling. So even if you wanted to see if you could attract a big crowd with cheap tickets, the NCAA limits that possibility. More butts in seats means more parking and concession revenue. If they come this year and have a great time and feel like they were part of a fun and energetic crowd, they might come back next year. In addition to $$$ thought, the NCAA feeds on control. Sometimes they'd rather leave a dollar on the table and maintain 99.999999% of the control, than collect that dollar but only have control of 99.99% of the event.

        Ideally, I'd like to see two or three venues in each "region" (and no Allentown should never be considered one of the "western" regions) rotating the games. That may build local interest if people know exactly where the regional might be every other year. I'd also be willing to tweak the tournament to place the 2 seed banded teams as close to home as possible. I know that messes with bracket integrity but it doesn't completely obliterate it, and it would put two teams in each region as close to home as possible. Some don't like the idea of geographic considerations because it does increase the likelihood of second round repeats of what were probably recent conference tournaments. To combat that, I'd also eliminate the conference tournaments and extend the regular season a week or two. I think until the WCHA and B1G moved to all home ice those tournaments were growing quite stale and attendance was down in all of them in all but the old WCHA.

        At any rate, I hope the crowds are better than we expect in the four buildings, and I know the games will deliver more often than not. I'm watching them on TV and I'm glad that I'll be able to watch anyone of the games and most of all of them should I choose to.

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        • #49
          Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

          Originally posted by Slap Shot View Post
          Dumb question - what is the source that validates coaches on the whole prefer the current system?
          I can't think of anything to link, but I know that some years ago -- perhaps 4 or 5 -- the NCAA coaches voted on whether or not to go back to home ice for higher seeds and it was overwhelmingly voted on to keep the current format. IIRC, it was virtually all of the coaches of smaller programs who wanted to keep the current format, and even many of the coaches at bigger programs.

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          • #50
            Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

            I've broken this down before. Based on a quick sample, NCAA men's ice hockey has the highest percentage of teams making the tournament at 27%. It's actually quite a significant delta to the other sports I've sampled. The average acceptance rate in the NCAA tournaments of baseball, softball, hoops (M & W), soccer (M & W), field hockey, lacrosse (M & W), and women's hockey is 21%.

            The 16-team format is a total bust and it stinks. The 12-team format was tremendous. Go back to it. And it puts Men's hockey on par with the rest and gets them down to 20%.

            16 60 27% Hockey M
            8 40 20% Hockey W
            64 297 22% baseball
            64 296 22% softball
            68 351 19% Hoops M
            64 351 18% Hoops W
            48 205 23% Soccer M
            64 334 19% Soccer W
            18 78 23% Field Hockey
            16 73 22% Lacrosse M
            26 116 22% Lacrosse W

            Better atmosphere, more tickets sold, more concessions sold, better value for all-session ticket holders, reduced travel for student-athletes. And more.
            Last edited by Nick Papagiorgio; 03-26-2019, 11:42 AM.
            Originally posted by Greg Ambrose on 3/7/2010
            The fact that you BC fans revel in the superiority of your team in an admittedly weak league leads me to believe you will be more sorely disappointed when the end comes than we will.

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            • #51
              Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

              Last year of the 12 team format was tremendous in Worcester. Day one had Maine and Cornell in separate games. Day two the games were Maine-BU and Cornell-UNH. It was a great take. However, there has to be someone with a calculator at the NCAA determining that the current format is still bringing in more money than a 12 team two site format would. We all think they are about making money so I have to believe that. The atmosphere suffers but they are still bringing in more money. If they aren't, that tells me they are listening to what the coaches want.

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              • #52
                Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

                Conversely: it’s still very small compared to professional leagues.
                If you want to be a BADGER, just come along with me

                BRING BACK PAT RICHTER!!!


                At his graduation ceremony from the U of Minnesota, my cousin got a keychain. When asked what UW gave her for graduation, my sister said, "A degree from a University that matters."

                Canned music is a pathetic waste of your time.

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                • #53
                  Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

                  I do, however, like 16 teams making the tournament. We'll see how these regionals go but the evidence suggests it's not going to get better. The one thing we tend to all forget is that attendance is down everywhere in the regular season. That is the biggest problem of all.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

                    Originally posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post
                    I can't think of anything to link, but I know that some years ago -- perhaps 4 or 5 -- the NCAA coaches voted on whether or not to go back to home ice for higher seeds and it was overwhelmingly voted on to keep the current format. IIRC, it was virtually all of the coaches of smaller programs who wanted to keep the current format, and even many of the coaches at bigger programs.
                    I don't know of a link either, but the vote took place at the Coaches Convention in the immediate aftermath of the formation of B1G Hockey. Individual votes weren't made public, but the vote totals were. It was overwhelming; IIRC only six schools voted for change. Based on public comments, the obvious story line was that literally every other school in D-1 Hockey ganged up to "vote against the B1G." There may have been a couple of exceptions that cancelled each other out. But again, the big picture was clear.

                    One would think that enough time has passed for all of the anger to have mellowed, and that the coaches would now be ready to problem solve. And it's perfectly appropriate for USCHO Posters to maintain an ongoing "Hot Stove League" conversation on this. Actual change? I'm not holding my breath. But if we keep talking, maybe that helps keep the issue on the agenda.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Slap Shot View Post
                      Dumb question - what is the source that validates coaches on the whole prefer the current system?
                      Here you go, Slap:
                      The way college hockey conducts its national tournament has been highly discussed and debated the past few years.

                      But the sport’s coaches have made it clear that they don’t want any major changes to it.

                      At last week’s national meetings in Florida, college hockey coaches voted 52-6-1 against going to home sites in the first round in the regionals, instead hoping to keep it at neutral sites.
                      Link: https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/sp...loud-and-clear
                      Last edited by SiouxFanatic; 03-26-2019, 12:22 PM.

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                      • #56
                        Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

                        The bottom 4 (13-16) seeds have had some success in the one and done neutral site games. I doubt they would have similar success in a best of 3 at the higher seeded team.
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                        • #57
                          Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

                          Originally posted by pgb-ohio View Post
                          I don't know of a link either, but the vote took place at the Coaches Convention in the immediate aftermath of the formation of B1G Hockey. Individual votes weren't made public, but the vote totals were. It was overwhelming; IIRC only six schools voted for change. Based on public comments, the obvious story line was that literally every other school in D-1 Hockey ganged up to "vote against the B1G." There may have been a couple of exceptions that cancelled each other out. But again, the big picture was clear.

                          One would think that enough time has passed for all of the anger to have mellowed, and that the coaches would now be ready to problem solve. And it's perfectly appropriate for USCHO Posters to maintain an ongoing "Hot Stove League" conversation on this. Actual change? I'm not holding my breath. But if we keep talking, maybe that helps keep the issue on the agenda.
                          If that is sort of what happened, was the fear that big programs would benefit most? Because if you look at how the big programs have struggled in recent years and the parity across the country, those votes might look different now. Probably something they should vote on every year.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

                            Originally posted by ExileOnDaytonStreet View Post
                            Did a quick look at the last two years, and average for the 24 regional games is 5957.

                            Throw out the 2017 Cincinnati regional and only one game gets below 4000.
                            I appreciate that you took the time to dig out the official numbers. But as you know, there are various ways to count attendance.

                            It's not unreasonable to have multiple numbers, and to publicly report only the most favorable one. After all, businesses routinely have one set of books for shareholders, and another for the IRS.

                            Of course the number that really matters to the NCAA is cash in the till. Which may or may not explain the reported attendance.

                            Reported attendance generally reflects PR considerations. In normal cases, the reported number has some basis in reality, perhaps with a little padding. But there have been cases in the sports world where unused, complimentary tickets are counted in the announced total -- resulting in a number that strains credibility. There's also no doubt in my mind that some reported attendance totals are just outright lies.

                            Don't know exactly how this applies to the hockey regionals; I'm not claiming inside knowledge. But I will say that when it comes to the Toledo Regional, I absolutely, positively believe WeAreNDHockey's account.

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                            • #59
                              Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

                              If Ohio State was to host they could handle a financial loss better than most schools. They have more money than the Pope but usually spend it on the wrong things.

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                              • #60
                                Re: Annual thread in which the absurdity of the current regional system is discussed

                                Originally posted by joecct View Post
                                The bottom 4 (13-16) seeds have had some success in the one and done neutral site games. I doubt they would have similar success in a best of 3 at the higher seeded team.
                                I'm sympathetic to this. My favorite campus sites plan is single elimination all the way through.

                                Originally posted by J.D. View Post
                                If that is sort of what happened, was the fear that big programs would benefit most? Because if you look at how the big programs have struggled in recent years and the parity across the country, those votes might look different now. Probably something they should vote on every year.
                                Can't really sign up for annual votes, but I agree with your parity point. I would hope that there's been some shift in sentiment as a result of the parity.

                                For the most part, formal votes should be held when's some chance for change, or when you want to test the strength of specific proposals. The unwanted duty of having to vote every year -- no matter what -- will just cause voters to dig in their heals. IMHO.

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