UND, Union, Friars, Ferris survive and advance

CINCINNATI – Mark MacMillan was standing his ground in front of the goal when the puck caromed off his side and into the net. His deflection set up an NCAA tournament upset.

MacMillan's goal broke a tie with 1:44 to go, and North Dakota added a pair of open-net goals in the final minute Friday night, pulling away to a 5-2 victory over top-seeded Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament's Midwest Regional semifinals.

No. 3 North Dakota (24-13-3) will face second-seeded Ferris State for the regional title Saturday and a trip to the Frozen Four. Ferris State beat Colgate 1-0 in the other semifinal.

The seven-time national champions got an at-large berth when Wisconsin (24-11-2) beat Ohio State for the Big Ten title, eliminating the Buckeyes. North Dakota then knocked out its longtime rival with three late goals, the most important one coming quite by chance.

Brendan O'Donnell shot from the right wing, and the rising puck hit MacMillan and went past goaltender Joel Rumpel for a 3-2 lead.

"I was just trying to go to the net," MacMillan said. "It just went off my side and bounced into the net. Bit of a lucky one, but we'll take it."

The goal was reviewed to see whether the puck deflected off MacMillan's raised stick or whether he had interfered with Rumpel.

"The ref did come over and say the North Dakota player did not bump your goaltender," Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said. "It hit him and it went in."

Rocco Grimaldi scored a pair of empty-net goals in the final minute, giving him three goals in the game and ending the latest installment of a long-standing hockey rivalry.

It was the 164th game between the schools. They've met three times in the NCAA tournament, and North Dakota has won all three – 5-2 in the 1982 title game and 3-2 in overtime in a 2008 regional final.

Union 5, Vermont 2

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Max Novak and Matt Hatch each scored two goals to help top-seeded Union beat Vermont 5-2 on Friday in the opening game of the NCAA East Regional.

Mat Bodie also scored for Union, which came into the tournament as the nation's top-ranked team for the first time in program history after winning the ECAC tournament for the third straight season. Kevin Sullivan added three assists and Daniel Carr had two for the Dutchman (29-6-4).

Chris McCarthy had two goals for Vermont (20-15-3), which was making its first NCAA appearance since 2010.

Union is 13-0-1 in its past 14 games.

The Catamounts took eight penalties, and Union converted three times on special teams.

The Dutchmen got on the board 4:15 into the game with a short-handed goal. Hatch went almost end-to-end unimpeded, skating down the right half-wall before cutting into the slot and beating goalie Brody Hoffman to the glove side.

"That really got the bench going," Bodie said. "Special teams often dictate who wins, and I thought our special teams did it tonight."

Vermont tied in the period when McCarthy went behind the Union net, threw the puck in front and saw it ricochet back to him for an easy shot past Colin Stevens, who made 23 saves. Hoffman had 34 for Vermont.

Union took the lead back just more than a minute later with a power-play goal. Carr's slap shot rebounded to Sullivan, who found Novak to the left of the goalie. Novak backhanded it into the net from his knees.

Carr played give-and-go with Novak on the power play to give the Dutchman a 3-1 lead in the second. Novak's pass back to Carr hit the stick of Vermont's Yvan Pattyn and into the net.

"We were moving the puck well, but more importantly we were winning the battles down low, and that's a huge component to the power play," Novak said.

Bodie made it 4-1 on a 4-on-1 rush after taking a pass from Sullivan in front of the net.

Vermont cut the deficit to two goals on a backhander by McCarthy at 13:19 of the third. But Hatch got his second goal on an empty net to put the game away.

"Our kids played their hearts out, but just took too many penalties," said Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon, who coached Union from 1999 to 2003.

The Dutchmen, who lost to Quinnipiac in last year's regional championship game in Providence, will face the Friars, winners of Friday's second East Regional game, on Saturday for a berth in the Frozen Four.

"We're very honored to be going to that game," coach Rick Bennett said.

Providence 4, Quinnipiac 0

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Jon Gillies made 37 saves, and third-seeded Providence beat second-seeded Quinnipiac 4-0 on Friday night in an NCAA East Region semifinal.

Mark Jankowski, Anthony Florentino, Shane Luke and Trevor Mingoia scored for Providence (22-10-6). The Friars led 1-0 after the first and scored three second-period goals.

That was more than enough with Gillies in net.

"It's unbelievable when you have a goalie like Jon behind you," Jankowski said. "If we bend a little too much, we have Jon back there to help us out."

The Friars will play top-seeded Union on Saturday in the regional championship game. The Dutchmen beat Vermont 5-2 in the first semifinal.

The game will pit Providence coach Nate Leaman against the program he led from 2003 to 2011 and former assistant Rick Bennett, a former Friars star.

"I think once the puck is dropped, I don't think anyone on the ice is going to think about it," Leaman said. "It's one game to see who advances. That's our goal, and there's really nothing that's going to distract me or the team, I think, from that."

Providence is making its first tournament appearance since 2001. It last won an NCAA game during a three-game first-round series with Minnesota in 1991.

Michael Garteig made 22 saves for Quinnipiac, which finished the season 24-10-6, a year after making it to the national championship game.

"It was a different game out there than what we've been used to all year," Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. "There was a lot of obstruction and hooking and holding, and we've got to find a way to fight through it a little bit better."

Ferris State 1, Colgate 0

CINCINNATI – C.J. Motte got past his rough weekend with an NCAA tournament shutout.

The Ferris State junior goalie turned away 35 shots Friday, making Gerald Mayhew's power-play goal midway through the first period hold up for a 1-0 victory over Colgate in the NCAA tournament regional semifinals.

The second-seeded Bulldogs (29-10-3) advanced to the Midwest Regional final, where they will meet North Dakota, by pulling off their sixth shutout of the season, their fifth with Motte in goal.

The Bulldogs finished the season by giving up eight goals in two games at the WCHA Final Five championship last weekend. Coach Bob Daniels thought it had more to do with leaky defense in front of Motte than with the goalie himself.

Both were solid Friday, repeatedly turning away a Colgate (20-14-5) team that had more shots on goal but couldn't get one to go in.

"He's always good," defenseman Scott Czarnowczan said of his goalie. "He might have been better today."

Motte made two impressive stops during a power play in the third period. He also made a glove save on Spiro Goulakos' slap shot with 1:37 to go. Colgate's Tyson Spink was called for cross checking with 57.9 seconds left, allowing Ferris State to finish it off on a power play.

"We just didn't get a bounce tonight," Goulakos said.

Colgate freshman goaltender Charlie Finn was solid Friday, stopping 26 shots. Mayhew flipped the puck over his leg from in front of the goal for the only score.

Mayhew, a freshman forward, had a pair of goals at the Final Five championship last weekend, including the game winner during a 5-4 victory over Anchorage Alaska.

"He's played well as of late," Daniels said. "Gerald's got a very quick stick. You could see the chances coming more and more."

Once he scored, it was a matter of holding on.

"They played their game," Colgate coach Don Vaughan said. "They did a great job defending the lead when they got it."


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Brown, SMU snubbed by NCAA tournament

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas – Somewhat more than a thousand SMU followers, players, band members and cheerleaders and coach Larry Brown sat in Moody Coliseum in anticipation of the school's first NCAA appearance in additional than 20 years, solely to experience disappointment.

SMU's name by no means appeared on the NCAA bracket. As an alternative, the Mustangs have to be content with the No. 1 total seed in the faculty's first look within the NIT since 2000.

It turns out that the staff's solely three-sport dropping streak of the season got here on the incorrect time, because the Mustangs fell to Louisville and Memphis to finish the regular season after which misplaced to Houston within the first spherical of the American Athletic Convention tournament. Shedding to two of the league's worst teams in South Florida and Temple might not have helped, both. All of it was simply enough to keep the invitation from exhibiting up on the SMU campus, about 20 miles from where the Last 4 shall be performed in lower than a month at AT&T Stadium.

Moments after the broadcast was over, Brown took the microphone and addressed his workforce and people fans in attendance.

"I feel bad for our team and you followers," Brown said. "I feel like we allow you to all down."

That acquired an instantaneous response from the group, shouting: "No."

Brown, clearly disillusioned and admitting that he didn't know what to say, selected to deal with how his team can respond.

"When issues do not go precisely how you deliberate, you can both pack it in or you'll find a strategy to do higher," Brown said. "We have to use this as a technique to get better."

SMU finished the season 23-9 and had an RPI of fifty three coming into Sunday's games. It was a memorable season for the Mustangs, regardless of dropping three consecutive games to finish the regular season.

In chatting with the media afterward, Brown lamented among the shut calls SMU had over the course of the season.

"We might have overwhelmed Louisville at residence. We jumped on them, then obtained in foul hassle and acted foolish," Brown mentioned. "We did not play our greatest sport at Memphis, but we did not get blown out by both staff. I checked out our schedule; we did not get blown out by anyone.

Ben Moore

A late-season swoon price SMU a trip to the NCAA tournament, however the Mustangs did earn the highest general seed in the NIT.

"We almost beat Virginia. We had possession down one. But when we didn't beat Houston, I form of thought this could presumably occur. Folks have stated we lost our last three games. We lost two of our last three against top-20 teams, and one in every of them may be one of the best group in America. I hoped possibly they would look at it that manner but I believe they looked at [it] like we lost our last three games."

SMU defeated four ranked teams for the first time since 1955-56, which additionally was the varsity's solely Final 4 look. The Mustangs received 23 games for the first time since 1987-88 and earned 12 conference victories for the first time since 1992-ninety three.

SMU made Dallas a real house-court benefit, going 15-1 at residence, together with 9-1 in the newly renovated Moody Coliseum. Three of the team's wins over ranked opponents occurred in that building.

Brown spoke to his group briefly after the NCAA choice process was over.

"I mentioned I don't want anyone crying or complaining as a result of that takes away from the groups that bought in," Brown said.

Brown mentioned that when he saw that Louisville obtained a No. 4 seed, he "figured that they [the selection committee] didn't have a number of respect for our conference."

Brown harassed to his group to finish the season with a strong effort within the postseason and said he felt like the Mustangs didn't finish in addition to they may have, which could have cost them a chance to get to the NCAA event.

"I believe we'll be better for this," Brown stated. "I definitely hope I am and I am pretty confident the individuals in that locker room will study from it and grow from it, and hopefully it would assist our program get to the point where we would like it to be."


Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News protecting the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and excessive faculties.

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Embiid (back) could be out until mid-NCAAs

Kansas Jayhawks freshman big man Joel Embiid is out for the Big 12 event and will likely miss the primary weekend of the NCAA tournament.

The 7-foot Cameroon native went to Los Angeles for a second opinion on his ailing back on Monday. Jayhawks coach Invoice Self told ESPN.com earlier in the day he was assured that Embiid would play within the NCAA tourney, and thought there was a chance he may play within the Large 12 event.

However, after Embiid met with a spinal specialist, the preliminary stress fracture prognosis was confirmed and he was ruled out of the Huge 12 tourney and is unlikely to play the first weekend of the NCAA event.

Joel Embiid, Comeron Ridley

A specialist confirmed Joel Embiid's preliminary stress fracture prognosis. He was dominated out of the Massive 12 tourney and is unlikely to play the first weekend of the NCAA match.

"Based mostly on that, this weekend (in the Huge 12 Championship) is out," Self mentioned in an announcement. "Subsequent weekend, we feel like is a longshot, however the medical doctors are hopeful that if Joel works exhausting in rehab and progresses that it's potential that he may play in the later rounds of the NCAA Tournament if our team is fortunate sufficient to advance."

Embiid received Big 12 Defensive Participant of the 12 months honors and is considered the main candidate to be selected No. 1 within the June NBA Draft – if he elects to go away college after this season. He averaged 11.2 factors, eight.1 rebounds and a pair of.6 blocks per game this season.

In response to Kansas, the injury will not require surgery and Embiid will return to the court in just a few weeks. Embiid sat out the ultimate two common-season video games.

"We're all very disappointed for Joel," Self stated. "He is worked so onerous and improved a lot. He is been one of the most improved gamers in the country in such a short amount of time. Crucial factor is for Joel to get healthy. We had been hopeful, Joel was hopeful, the medical doctors have been hopeful that his physique would reply more quickly to rehab and that has not been the case."

"Everyone is 100 percent confident that Joel will heal and be again to normal soon, but crucial factor is that he will get properly," Self said. "We're certainly not going to place him out there until the medical doctors, his family and Joel are ready for him to go. I know how bad he needs it, and that he'll work his butt off to put him in a position where if our group is successful and lucky enough to advance, he might return in later rounds."


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Madness? Buffett offering $1B for perfect bracket


Pretty sure simply no one's ever picked a perfect bracket in the history of 03 Madness. The odds of doing this are supposedly 1 within 9. 2 quintillion, as if that number is even interpretable. Even Lloyd Christmas is not optimistic at this prospect. So with that in mind, this is a fairly brilliant PR tactic in order to earn some chatter.

Business Insider was the first to statement Warren Buffett – one of the wealthiest men in America – offers teamed up with Cleveland cro?t owner Dan Gilbert — another one of the richest males in America – to honor a Dr. Evil-approved $1 billion this year, should anyone post an NCAA tournament group that goes flawless in their prediction for the best event in united states sports. The two men are doing it through their companies: Berkshire Hathaway and Quicken financial loans.

the particular bummer? Those billion bone fragments will be spread out over 40 years at $25 million the pop, unless the champion (and just a reminder, you've got a better chance at leapfrogging Andrew Wiggins in this year's draft than you do selecting every one of these games correctly) may opt to take $500 mil and call it a day. Either way, can you imagine the taxes? hmm. I know.

"It is our mission to create incredible experiences for our clients. this particular contest, with the possibility of creating a billionaire, definitely fits that will bill, " Jay Farner, President and Chief advertising Officer of Quicken financial loans said in a statement. this individual added: "We've seen a lot of contests offering a million dollars with regard to putting together a good bracket, which usually got us thinking, what is the perfect bracket worth? all of us decided a billion bucks seems right for such an amazing feat. "

Quicken will also donate $1 million to inner-city Detroit and Cleveland non-profit organizations.


There are other prizes in the hopper. According to Quicken Loans' fb post, "Twenty (20) 1st Prizes of $100, 500 each to the owners of the top twenty scoring mounting brackets. Winners determined after finish of tournament. " the particular catch? That $100, 500 will be awarded in the form of "buying, refinancing or remodeling a home. " Hey, it's good, but there are conditions.


The Wall Street Journal was able to obtain Buffett for a quick quotation about all this hubbub.

Buffett said he fills out NCAA tournament brackets and, like most casual basketball fans, is not always proud of his recommendations. "I was not notably effective on the basketball court, plus I'm not notably effective in selecting winners, inch said Buffett, who origins for Creighton's basketball group, which is also based in Omaha, Neb.

If this March Madness does produce a major miracle, and a compitent happens to be one game from a 10-figure payday, Buffett states he would accompany him to the national championship on April seven. "He and I will probably be tugging for different teams, " Buffett said. "I'm not eager to write a check for $1 billion. inch

You're eligible to win this particular folkloric picks plunder if you're 21 or older plus live in the United States. As is the case with every NCAA tourney swimming pool, you gotta get your recommendations in by noon on the Wednesday of the tournament. And don't make Warren hassle you and be sending reminder texts in 11: 30. Nobody loves that person.