The Bulldogs missed the 2010 NCAA tournament after spending most of the season in the top 15 in the national polls.
Ferris was the first team left out of the NCAA tournament as 16 teams received bids. The Bulldogs were a virtual lock for a tournament bid as they entered the CCHA semifinals ranked No. 8 in the nation. Even after a 5-4 overtime loss to then No. 12-ranked Northern Michigan, Ferris was still in contention.
The Michigan Wolverines, who came out of nowhere to sweep second-seeded Michigan State to earn a trip to the Joe, continued their dominance in a 5-2 manhandling of Miami in the semifinals. The seventh-seeded Wolverines went on to claim the Mason Cup with a 2-1 victory over Northern Michigan in the CCHA Championship game.
Michigan literally stole a tournament bid from the Bulldogs as the Wolverines were ranked 17th nationally and on the outside looking in before the semifinal round. Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Alabama-Huntsville, unranked entering their conference championships, claimed upset victories to earn bids as well.
I understand that teams who win their conference tournaments should play in the NCAA tournament, but does a team really deserve it with five more losses than wins? Alabama-Huntsville finished 12-17-3 in the regular season, but it beat out the other three teams in its conference tournament and is in.
The second and third best teams in the CCHA during the regular season, Michigan State and Ferris State, were left out in the cold, while the fourth, fifth and seventh teams in the standings received bids. Alaska won fewer games than Ferris and was swept in the second round of the CCHA tournament, yet still made the tournament over the Bulldogs.
Ferris also finished higher than Alaska in RPI, in the national poll, and in the CCHA standings. The only reason the Nanooks could have possibly gotten in over the Bulldogs is that Alaska won both meetings during the season, albeit by one and two goals.
The NCAA selection committee has a tough job to determine which teams deserve to play in the tournament, but their evaluation process needs some evaluation. The committee must think the regular season is irrelevant if a lower-ranked team receives a bid over a higher-ranked team based on two close losses on the road.
Despite missing the national tournament, the Bulldogs still had one of their best seasons ever with a 21-13-6 overall record. The team’s 21 wins is tied for the fourth most in school history. The CCHA semifinal appearance at Joe Louis Arena marked only the second time since 1994 that Ferris has advanced that far in the conference tournament. n