Throughout our Closing Third broadcast final Sunday, we talked about how Closing 4 “rematch” video games — these involving groups within the nationwide finals or semifinals who met throughout the common season — fairly often didn’t end in the identical staff profitable.
However we wished to amass some information for this sort of assertion.
We determined to return during the last dozen or so Closing Fours, all the way in which again to 2010. That is in direction of the top of the Northwestern period and proper when the game began spreading its tendrils nationwide, making the extent of competitors much more intense.
Why didn’t we go additional again? We surmised that, due to the dominance of the Northwestern and Maryland groups within the Nineties and 2000s, there can be a number of season sweeps of Closing 4 groups as a result of the Terrapins and Wildcats misplaced so few video games.
So, general, within the 33 Division I semifinal and remaining matches, 21 of them have been rematches.
Let’s begin with final yr. When Boston Faculty beat Syracuse in final yr’s championship recreation, that was really the fourth time that the 2 sides met throughout the 2021 season. The BC win leveled the season sequence at 2-2, however everybody in Chestnut Hill overlooks that small element and concentrates on the championship banner on the college’s subject home.
Now, on three events, the Closing 4 recreation was the third time the groups performed throughout a specific season. Solely as soon as, for Maryland vs. Northwestern in 2019, was the third assembly a rubber match, by which the groups break up the earlier two video games.
On the opposite two events, the third match wound up being the nationwide championship recreation, and these video games have been performed in two consecutive years. In 2014, Maryland beat Syracuse within the remaining after beating the Orange within the ACC Event and in league play. The yr earlier than, Maryland beat North Carolina within the league and within the convention event, however misplaced within the nationwide championship remaining. The sport runs counter to the Jim Davis First Regulation of Discipline Hockey, holding that it’s troublesome to beat a staff a 3rd time in a season for those who win the primary two video games.
The remainder of the Closing 4 encounters in our small information pattern (17 video games) noticed one thing exceptional. Of these 17, the staff that gained the common season recreation gained the nationwide semifinal or remaining recreation 13 instances (or 76 p.c). Restrict the information to simply the ultimate, and the staff that gained the common season recreation gained the championship three out of 4 instances (75 p.c) between 2010 and 2021.
Of notice, nonetheless, are the final two years. Of the six nationwide semifinal and finals video games within the 2019 and 2021 Division I postseason tournaments, 4 of the wins avenged earlier defeats within the common season or in convention event play.
Three of the wins have been by Boston Faculty.
I suppose we will name the Eagles the Queens of Revenge.