The NCAA Hockey Tournament should be a HUGE deal for the teams that get in. Many of these players, and their coaches, have dedicated their lives for this moment - a chance to play with the best in the country, and prove they are the better team. But no team is complete without a crazy fan base behind them.

So of course, for a big game, you would want a big venue to host, right? Well, not according to the NCAA, who this year, booked the first round of the NCAA Hockey Tournament in a venue that is smaller than EVERY home rink for every Michigan NCAA school in the tournament.

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The quarterfinal location for Michigan State, Michigan, and Western Michigan was set by the NCAA in Maryland Heights, Missouri. In addition to the three Michigan schools, they'll also bring in the dominant team, and fan base of North Dakota.

Every one of these teams have HUGE fan bases that love to travel, especially during the playoffs, and support their teams. But there's one problem... the arena in Missouri only holds about 2,500 people.

Duel In The D - Michigan State v Michigan
Getty Images

READ MORE: A Quarter of the 2024 NCAA Hockey Tournament Teams are From Michigan

For context, Western Michigan, easily the smallest team with the smallest arena in this quarterfinal, plays at Lawson Ice Arena, which still holds 3,600 people. The biggest, North Dakota, plays at Ralph Engelstad Arena, which holds more than 11,000 people.

And yet, they thought an ice rink in Missouri that only holds 2,500 people would be enough to support these four dominant hockey schools?

It's really embarrassing for the NCAA, AND goes against their own rule book. It clearly states that, "Cities can only bid for NCAA Hockey regionals if they have a building with a capacity of at least 5,000."

It turns out, the NCAA has an excuse answer for that. Apparently, Maryland Heights was awarded the regional games because, "there MIGHT have been a factor in lack of bids." But even then, the NCAA couldn't confirm that.

Meanwhile, the regional location where Michigan Tech is playing, against Boston College, is at Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence, Rhode Island... which holds 14,000 people. For context, Michigan Tech's home ice, MacInnes Student Ice Arena, only holds 4,466 people. FAR smaller than where they'll play their first playoff game, but STILL bigger than where their other three state schools will play.

So sadly, it will be near-impossible to get in to see three of the four Michigan schools in person, BUT, maybe the NCAA can learn from this experience... and never do this again. The state of Michigan deserves better.

Michigan State Hockey Over The Years

Every Sweater Number in Detroit Red Wings History Worn Just Once (Or Not At All)

For whatever reason, these numbers have either been worn just once or never at all in the nearly 100-year history of Detroit Red Wings hockey, according to Hockey Reference.

(Hockey Reference suggests that No. 6 was only worn by Cummy Burton, which is incorrect as Larry Aurie wore the number first and the number is pseudo-retired. Such inaccuracies are difficult to narrow down, so where they can be corrected they will be.)

Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison

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