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Wisconsin men’s hockey: UW earns 1-seed, will play Bemidji State in first round

The Big Ten regular season champs start their march to a national title against the Beavers.

UW Athletics Communications

It was Selection Sunday for NCAA men’s hockey teams and the Big Ten regular season champion Wisconsin Badgers found out that they earned a 1-seed and will play against the Bemidji State Beavers in the East Region in Bridgeport, Conn.

The Badgers finished the season with a 20-9-1 record and lost to fellow No. 1 seed Minnesota in the finals of the Big Ten Tournament. The Beavers ended their season 15-9-3 and lost in the WCHA semifinals to Lake Superior State.

The Big Ten got four teams, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Notre Dame, into the tournament this year.

The Beavers were able to beat Minnesota State a couple of times, so you know they can hang with top teams. Wisconsin got the fourth and final No. 1 seed after getting into the tournament via at-large bid.

The other No. 1 seeds went to North Dakota in Fargo, N.D., Boston College in Albany, N.Y., and Minnesota in Loveland, Colorado. On the other side of Wisconsin’s bracket is Lake Superior State and UMass.

Wisconsin hasn’t been in the NCAA Tournament since 2014 and this is head coach Tony Granato’s first time too. The Badgers have never lost to the Beavers in seven all-time meetings. UW and Bemidji State were both members of the WCHA from 2010-2013. The last time the Badgers and Beavers met in the NCAA Tournament was 2006 and Wisconsin won 4-0. You’ll remember that UW went on to win the national title that season.

The Badgers and Beavers will play drop the puck on ESPN2 at noon CT on Friday at Webster Bank Arena and the winner advances to Saturday’s regional final at 3 p.m. CT.