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Notre Dame Hockey: Irish are looking good for NCAA Tournament berth

Michigan sucks

COLLEGE HOCKEY: FEB 05 Penn State at Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, IN - FEBRUARY 05: Notre Dame forward Graham Slaggert (18) looks in towards the goal during a mens college hockey game between the Penn State Nitty Lions and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on February 05, 2022 at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, IN.
Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish haven’t been a dominating hockey team this season — especially in the Big 10. Still... Notre Dame is one of the better teams in the country, and we’ve seen in the past that good teams can turn into great teams during the postseason.

But to do that kind of a change, a team has to actually make the NCAA Tournament. As we look ahead to the final weekend of the regular season for the Irish, their place in the Pairwise rankings is in pretty good shape at #11.

Which brings us to this weekend.

Notre Dame plays host to a two game series against the Michigan Wolverines on Friday and Saturday. Michigan is not only the #1 team in the country, but is also the Big 10 leader.

The Irish have an opportunity this weekend to not only knock Michigan off of their pedestals nationally and inside the conference, but also to finish 3rd in the conference and able to host a series in South Bend.

The 2022 Big Ten Tournament begins March 4-6 with best-of-three series at campus sites. The top seed will earn a first-round bye and the No. 2-4 seeds will host the first-round series. The No. 1 seed and the other highest remaining seed will host single-game semifinals on March 12 and the highest remaining seed will host the championship contest on March 19.

And by the way... Notre Dame is 2-0 against Michigan this season after sweeping a series inside Yost (racist) Arena back in November.

So the Irish look to be in great shape for an NCAA Tournament berth (conference auto qualifiers and filled in with the best of the top 16). Even bigger for Notre Dame is that their position in the tournament could increase greatly after this weekend and a fun run in the Big 10 Tournament.