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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 3/27/2024, Last updated: 3/28/2024
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Week 24 Hockey Release

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• The Big Ten Conference crowned its tournament champion on March 23 as No. 1 seed Michigan State produced a 5-4 overtime win over No. 4 seed Michigan before a sold out crowd of 6,555 at Munn Ice Arena. The No. 4/4-ranked Spartans received the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament and are joined by No. 7/7 Minnesota, No. 9/9 Wisconsin and No. 10/10 Michigan, which received at-large berths. Michigan State is the No. 1 seed in the Maryland Heights Regional and the No. 4 seed overall in the 16-team field. The four teams matches a league record set in 2018, 2021 and 2023 and is tied for the most among conferences. The 76th NCAA Tournament begins this week at four regional sites. A look at the NCAA games involving Big Ten teams, in order by start times:Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET) | Sioux Falls (S.D.) Regional | Denny Sanford PREMIER CenterNo. 3 seed Omaha (23-12-4) vs. No. 2 seed Minnesota (22-10-5)Minnesota is making its NCAA-leading 41st appearance in the NCAA Tournament, with its 61 wins being the most by any school. The Gophers are led by All-Big Ten First Team selection Jimmy Snuggerud, who has netted a team-best 21 goals. Minnesota owns a 5-3 record all-time against Omaha, winning the only NCAA meeting between the schools, 7-2, at the 2021 NCAA West Regional in Loveland, Colo.Friday (5 p.m. ET) | Maryland Heights (Mo.) Regional | Centene Community Ice CenterNo. 4 seed Western Michigan (21-15-1) vs. No. 1 seed Michigan State (24-9-3)Michigan State captured the Big Ten Double on Saturday, becoming just the third team to win the conference regular season title and tournament championship in the same season. Freshman defenseman Artyom Levshunov was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Big Ten Rookie of the Year and chosen to the All-Big Ten First Team. MSU leads WMU, 65-35-9, in the all-time series as the schools meet for the first time in the NCAA postseason.Friday (5:30 p.m. ET) | Providence (R.I.) Regional | Amica Mutual PavilionNo. 3 seed Quinnipiac (26-9-2) vs. No. 2 seed Wisconsin (26-11-2)Wisconsin is tied for the third-most wins (26) in the country under first-year Head Coach Mike Hastings. The Badgers made the one-year jump in the Big Ten standings from seventh place to runner-up this season. Goaltender Kyle McClellan is a finalist for the Hobey Baker and Mike Richter awards. He leads the NCAA in shutouts (7) and save percentage (.931) while ranking second in goals-against average (1.92). Wisconsin is 2-0 all-time against Quinnipiac as the teams clash for the first in the NCAAs.Friday (8:30 p.m. ET) | Maryland Heights (Mo.) Regional | Centene Community Ice CenterNo. 3 seed Michigan (21-14-3) vs. No. 2 seed North Dakota (26-11-2)Michigan is making its NCAA-best 41st appearance in the NCAA Tournament and owns the third-highest winning percentage (.640) all-time. Sophomore forward Gavin Brindley was named Big Ten Player of the Year and captured the conference scoring title. Teammate Rutger McGroarty earned All-Big Ten First Team honors and leads the squad with 52 points in 33 games. Michigan holds a 46-41-4 edge over North Dakota in the all-time series while North Dakota owns a 3-2 advantage in the NCAAs. The teams last met at the 2016 Midwest Regional Final in Cincinnati, Ohio.