Don't Pick Winners, Look for the Rare Upsets
First round of the college hockey playoffs brings the more pro-like series rather than a one-and-done format. This gives less of a chance for upsets, but they still do happen. Take last place Miami knocking off St. Cloud State, the same set up as this year, in 2013-14.
Colorado College at Western Michigan is an example of the winter that just does not give up. CC had trouble due to weather and plane issues getting to Kalamazoo, MI and their series is now set up to take place Saturday - Monday (if needed). As much as I would not like to go against the Broncos, the Tigers of CC are finally making the strides in their game that prompted me to pick them 4th in the preseason. This is my best bet for a first round upset.
North Dakota at Denver seems like a good bet for an upset series and I do see this going three games, but in the end, Denver will prevail. With a lost series, North Dakota's season would be over.
Miami at St. Cloud State is a no brainer this weekend. SCSU is primed for a long run and this weekend will just be the start.
Omaha at UMD brings the second series between the two teams for the year. If the first is an indicator, UMD should have a good weekend. Since that late January sweep of Omaha by the Bulldogs, UMD have had just one sweep in five weekends. UMD has to use this weekend as a springboard for their future tournaments.