NCAA Frozen Four: They Should Call it The Michigan Regional



  • Michigan, Michigan State, Michigan Tech and Western Michigan all received bids to the 16-team NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament, a.k.a. Frozen Four.
  • First round play starts Thursday with all four Michigan squads in action Friday.
  • The Frozen Four concludes April 11 with the semifinals and April 13 with the finals in St. Paul, Minnesota. Quinnipiac is the defending champions.

March Madness is over for Michigan (Oakland, thanks for the memories), but the state is well represented in the Frozen Four and almost guaranteed a team in the semifinals.

The Frozen Four is the term given to the NCAA Men’s ice hockey tournament, but there are really 16 teams in the Ice Dance and the Frozen Four is just the college hockey version of the Final Four. There are four Michigan schools competing on Friday.

Michigan Sportsbooks are all over the Frozen Four. Top seed Boston College is the favorite to win it all (+250) at DraftKings Sportsbook, followed by Boston University, Denver and Michigan State. Caesars has Michigan State +750 with the Wolverines +1200. Both sportsbooks have puck lines on each first round game posted.

Here’s a breakdown of the first round games involving Michigan schools:

Michigan Tech vs. Boston College 

DraftKings line: Boston College -2.5

They don’t seed every team in the Frozen Four, just the top four seeds and Boston College is No. 1 which means that, well, the Huskies would be the last team in.

The Huskies earned the CCHA automatic bid and are in the tournament for the third straight year. They haven’t won a game in the tournament since 1981. Tech goalie Blake Pietila has 24 career shutouts and a 2.28 goals against average. BC is the Hockey East champs. This would be a big upset if Michigan Tech can pull it off.

4 Michigan State vs. Western Michigan 

DraftKings line: Michigan State -1.5

State won the Big 10 regular season and tournament title and is 24-9-3 this season. It’s their first season with over 20 wins since 2007-2008. Spartans freshman defenseman Artyom Leyshunov is the conference Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year after putting up 34 points. State goalie Trey Augustine ranks fourth nationally in saves.

Western Michigan is in the Ice Dance for the third straight time. The two schools haven’t met since 2021 and are meeting in the Frozen Four for the first time. Western Michigan has 16 seniors and Luke Grainger, Dylan Wendt and Sam Colangelo each have over 40 points this season.

The Broncos only have one win in the Tournament back in 2022. Michigan State has three NCAA titles.

North Dakota at Michigan 

DraftKings line: North Dakota -1.5

The winner of this one gets the winner of Michigan State/Western Michigan.

This is the Wolverines record 41st time in the NCAA Tournament. They are tied for the most national championships (9) with Denver. North Dakota has eight national titles. The two programs have met 91 times before, but this is the first meeting since 2016.

Michigan got to the Big 10 Tournament final and lost 5-4 in OT to Michigan State. They are 1-4 against State this year, and you know they’d love one more shot. Michigan is led by Big 10 Player of the Year Gavin Brindley who has 24 goals and 27 assists.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.