NCAA Hockey Tournament 2012, West Region Preview: This Would Be The 'Region Of Death'

The Northeast region has talented players, the Midwest region has solid goaltending and the East region has an intriguing first-round series, but the West region features all three. With two conference tournament winners, a regular season champion playing nine miles from campus and a team that spent most of the season in the top five, it's safe to say this is the "region of death." Any of the four teams in the West Region could end up in Tampa and it wouldn't be shocking.

THE GAMES

No. 1 North Dakota Fighting Sioux (25-12-3) vs. No. 4 Western Michigan Broncos (21-13-6)
Saturday, March 24, 1:30 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN3.com, FS North

No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers (26-13-1) vs. No. 3 Boston University Terriers (23-14-1)
Saturday, March 24, 5 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN3.com, FS North+, NESN
More Coverage: The Daily Gopher, SB Nation Minnesota

The regional final is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 25.

All games at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

HOW THEY GOT HERE

North Dakota and Western Michigan won automatic bids as WCHA and CCHA tournament champions, respectively. Minnesota won the WCHA regular season title but lost to UND in the WCHA Final Five semifinals to receive an at-large bid. Boston University received an at-large bid after finishing second in Hockey East during the regular season and losing to Maine in the conference tournament.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

TEAM PREVIEWS

For more on the road to the Frozen Four in Tampa, stick with our 2012 NCAA hockey tournament StoryStream.

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