When: Friday, March 25 & Sunday, March 27
Where: DCU Center, Worcester, Mass.
Matchups: Western Michigan vs. Northeastern, March 25, noon, ESPNU; Minnesota vs. Massachusetts, March 25, 6 p.m., ESPNU; championship, March 27, 4 p.m./6:30 p.m., ESPN2

How they got here: At-large bid

Overall season record: 25-11-1

Top players: F Drew Worrad (9-35-44), F Ethen Frank (26-12-38), D Ronnie Attard (13-23-36), G Brandon Bussi (25-11-1, 2.60 GAA, .910 SV%)

Why they will advance to the Frozen Four: The Broncos’ top-end players would be top-end anywhere, and WMU won five straight before running into a hot goalie in the NCHC playoff final.

Why they won’t advance to the Frozen Four: For having a No. 1 regional seed, Western didn’t get a very kind draw. Minnesota is dangerous, UMass is the defending national champion and Northeastern certainly wouldn’t mind continuing its season in a couple of weeks right up the road.

Ben Meyers has had a stellar season for Minnesota and also played on the United States Olympic team (photo: Minnesota Athletics).

How they got here: At-large bid

Overall season record: 24-12-0

Top players: F Ben Meyers (16-21-37), F Blake McLaughlin (12-20-32), G Justen Close (12-4-0, 1.89 GAA, .928 SV%)

Why they will advance to the Frozen Four: Big Ten tournament final aside, the Gophers have been one of the hottest teams in the country for the second half of the season and they possess a lot of experience from last year’s team that just missed the Frozen Four.

Why they will not advance to the Frozen Four: The majority of the games in the second half were against conference opponents and the Gophers went 2-4 in the fall against nonconference opponents that also made the tournament. It’s possible the Gophers found a formula that worked against Big Ten opponents.

Matt Murray earned the vast majority of starts between the pipes this season for UMass (photo: Rich Gagnon).

How they got here: Won Hockey East tournament championship

Overall season record: 22-12-2

Top players: F Bobby Trivigno (20-28-48), D Scott Morrow (13-20-33), G Matt Murray (21-11-2, 2.27 GAA, .919 SV%)

Why they will advance to the Frozen Four: Never count out the defending national champions, especially with Hockey East player of the year and Hobey Baker nominee Trivigno on the ice.

Why they will not advance to the Frozen Four: The Minutemen were 0-4 against top teams from out of conference, losing twice each to Minnesota State and Michigan. Could be a struggle to get past Minnesota in tourney opener.

Sam Colangelo has been a reliable, steady player this season for Northeastern (photo: Rich Gagnon).

How they got here: At-large bid

Overall season record: 25-12-1

Top players: F Aiden McDonough (24-14-38), F Sam Colangelo (12-14-26), F Gunnarwolfe Fontaine (8-17-25), G Devon Levi (21-9-1, 1.52 GAA, .952 SV%)

Why they will advance to the Frozen Four: The Huskies are always tough to beat when Hobey nominee Devon Levi is on his game and Aiden McDonough is in a scoring groove.

Why they will not advance to the Frozen Four: Home ice (or close-to-home ice) is no guarantee of success. The last time the regionals were held in Worcester (2018), Michigan beat two Hockey East teams to advance to the Frozen Four.

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