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March Madness isn't limited to hoops, as 16 hockey teams hit the ice beginning Thursday with hopes of reaching Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul for the NCAA Frozen Four on April 11 and 13. Accurately forecasting a one-and-done hockey tournament is challenging because one bounce of the puck can torpedo a bracket.

Providence Regional

No. 1 seed Boston College over No. 4 Michigan Tech

No. 3 Quinnipiac over No. 2 Wisconsin

Boston College over Quinnipiac

Comment: Boston College features three of the top five scorers in college hockey in Will Smith (23 goals, 44 assists, 67 points), Cutter Gauthier (35-24-69) and Gabe Perreault (18-39-57). That firepower should wear down Michigan Tech and standout goalie Blake Pietila (2.28 goals-against average). … Reigning national champion Quinnipiac went 11-3 down the stretch and looks poised to eliminate Wisconsin, which hasn't played since March 10.

Springfield Regional

No. 1 Denver over No. 4 Massachusetts

No. 3 Cornell over No. 2 Maine

Denver over Cornell

Comment: UMass is the host in Springfield, but that shouldn't bother Denver, which is 8-6 against teams in the NCAA tournament field, including a win at Boston College. … Maine is making its first NCAA appearance since 2012. Cornell boasts goalie Ian Shane, who has a nation's-best 1.70 GAA. … In the final Denver, leading the nation at 4.85 goals per game, avenges last year's first-round loss to Cornell.

Maryland Heights Regional

No. 4 Western Michigan over No. 1 Michigan State

No. 2 North Dakota over No. 3 Michigan

North Dakota over Western Michigan

Comment: This "Region of Death" features teams with a combined 20 NCAA championships. A veteran Western Michigan team knocks off Michigan State, marking the 17th year in the past 18 NCAA tournaments that at least one No. 4 seed has beaten a No. 1. … North Dakota and Michigan each has 11 NHL draft picks on its roster. UND wins a barn burner. … In the final, UND improves to 3-0 vs. the Broncos this season.

Sioux Falls Regional

No. 1 Boston University over No. 4 RIT

No. 2 Gophers over No. 3 Nebraska Omaha

Gophers over Boston University

Comment: BU freshman Macklin Celebrini is tied for second nationally in scoring (31-28-59), while sophomore Lane Hutson (13-33-46) supplies punch from the blue line. The Terriers should handle RIT in the opener. … The Gophers last played Omaha in the 2021 NCAA first round and won 7-2, but expect a tighter game from a Mavericks team that reached the NCHC final. … In the final, Minnesota pulls a mild upset and beats BU for a second year in a row, earning a St. Paul homecoming.

The Frozen Four

Boston College over North Dakota

Denver over Gophers

Denver over Boston College

Comment: A Minnesota team has won the NCAA title each time Xcel Energy Center has been host — the Gophers in 2002, and Minnesota Duluth in 2011 and '18. It's tough to pick against that trend, but here goes. Boston College's scoring depth — six players with 32 or more points — proves too much for North Dakota. … Led by superstar freshman defenseman Zeev Buium, the Pioneers get past the Gophers. … In the championship, Denver outlasts Boston College for its second national title in the past three years.