Biggest Cinderella Ever?

The Frozen Four is in a few days (that’s the Final Four for college hockey) and there is an interesting team included among BU, Vermont, and Miami (OH). This school is called Bemidji State University. Here are some fun facts about BSU:

1. They are the Beavers.
2. They are a Division II team in all sports bu men’s and women’s hockey.
3. They were started in 1919.
4. There are 4,463 undergrads.

This is their fight song:

Go Bemidji Beavers,
Go you Green and White.
Go Bemidji Beavers,
Fight with all your might.

We are here to cheer you.
We are out to bring you fame.
So go Bemidji Beavers,
Fight and win this game.

B-E-M-I-D-J-I Bemidji, Bemidji, Go BEAVERS!!

Now the question, and the main point of the post, is: are the Bemidji State Beavers the most Cinderella-ist of any Cinderella? I mean have you ever heard of them? I haven’t. They’re not a big school, they were seeded as low as possible in their region, they beat big name schools to get where they are, and they are from some BFE town in Minnesota.

All signs point to biggest Cinderella ever, right? Well, if you take a look at the wikipedia page on the college hockey tournament for Division II, Bemidji State kicked ass and took names. They are a proven talent, if only in DII. So this begs the question again, are they the Biggest Cinderella ever? Are they bigger than George Mason in 2005-2006? Can a kick-ass DII team move up to DI, have similar success and be considered a major Cinderella, or do they just qualify as an up-and-coming team who needed to get their sea legs?

I’d like to hear some arguments for either side in the comment section.


33 Responses to “Biggest Cinderella Ever?”

  1. C Gally Says:

    Well, that was well timed.

    They are not George Mason. The sheer number of big time basketball programs versus hockey programs makes the Patriots run that much more impressive.

    Still, go Bemidgjibimi!

  2. The Northerner Says:

    Understandable, but with less teams overall, the odds of a no-name team coming out of the woodwork is lower i would expect, because the other teams are just so dominant that no good prospective player would go to any other school.

    Plus there are less hockey players in the world than basketball players and hockey rosters are bigger thus allowing more dominant players on the dominant teams.

  3. C Gally Says:

    I still disagree. What was George Mason that year, 100th best basketball team in the regular season? To make the Final Four is more incredible than being the 30th best, despite the DII distinction.

    Also, the talent in college hockey is more evenly distributed than college basketball overall. All the great hockey players are playing in super leagues or the NHL, much like baseball.

    NBA-talent players are playing in college basketball for a year, and they are not playing on George Mason.

    The Beavers are a team of guys that will not play in the NHL, and they are in the Final Four with 3 others teams of guys that will not play in the NHL.

    While I disagree with what you say, I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

  4. The Northerner Says:

    Calm down, Voltaire, no need for bloodshed…yet.

    I would argue that the talent BBall is more evenly distributed due to the abundance of basketball players that can then play at their respective school whether or not they went to school for that purpose. Hockey players went to school for hockey and therefore only a certain amount of schools will attract that talent.

    The level of talent in college versus semi-pro is moot since the talent will be essentially on a level field. Since very few bball players are recruited from HS, a lot spend a year or two at school just to play bball. This will more evenly distribute the talent in bball since everyone “wants to be the star”.

    And given the success of the Cleveland Cavaliers this season proves that in basketball, one guy can change the team versus hockey where one can help but can’t win it all (see: Sidney Crosby and the Penguins)

  5. C Gally Says:

    I’ll be honest, I am not following your logic at all.

    Basketball players don’t go to college to play basketball? I’m pretty sure all 300-some basketball teams give plenty of scholarships. I bet even Tucker came to Tech to play basketball.

    And yes, everyone wants to be the star, but they aren’t going to anything other than a top program. The OJ Mayo’s of the world are not going to George Mason.

  6. The Northerner Says:

    I wasn’t saying that no one goes to school for bball, just saying that there are good players that may not have wanted to go to school for bball but ended up on the team anyways. Rare, I know, but still. I mean, Bryan Randall was one of our better players, not saying much, but bball was an added bonus.

    I just think that winning in bball is easier than in hockey because, honestly, I don’t think basketball is a tough sport to play as long as you’re tall. Therefore, I feel like there are more “better” bball players than hockey players and therefore more teams can be “good” and increase the chances of going farther in the tourney based solely on being hot. Hockey teams have to have a better “team” rather than single players and a select number of teams basically have a stranglehold on recruiting. Case in point, North Dakota brings prospects to center ice and regularly signs them on the spot once they see where they can play. You think Virginia Tech can do the same thing by bringing a kid to the Roanoke Ice Center? But yet we have a decent bball team as does everyone else in the ACC, Big East, etc. All with legitimate shots to get hot and go far in the tourney if they make it.

  7. A. Young Says:

    Bemijidddii State is not the biggest Cinderella simply because it’s a school in Minnesota. No matter how small the school is, schools in that region and the northeast are good at hockey. They put together an impressive streak but it isn’t surprising.
    Hehe, Beavers.

  8. The Northerner Says:

    One can argue that Mason isn’t a big Cinderella because they come from the same region as Georgetown, UNC, Duke, Villanova, and Maryland.

    There are tons of schools in Minnesota and all of them focus on hockey, so I would say that since they could get the players that would take them to the Frozen Four despite the heavy recruiting and competition in that area, that it is even more impressive.

  9. C Gally Says:

    “But yet we have a decent bball team as does everyone else in the ACC, Big East, etc. All with legitimate shots to get hot and go far in the tourney if they make it.”

    George Mason is in the freaking Colonial Athletic Association. Virginia Tech out recruits the hell out of them, and we still don’t even make the tournament every year. Hell, we barely have winning records it seems.

    There are 80 teams every year that recruit better players than George Mason did, and yet they wound up as one of the last 4 standing. Its just a numbers thing for me.

    And finally, the final dagger: you forgot to mention there are only 16 teams in the tournament. Bemigidimi only had to win 2 games to get in the Frozen Four.

  10. The Northerner Says:

    “There are 80 teams every year that recruit better players than George Mason did, and yet they wound up as one of the last 4 standing. Its just a numbers thing for me.”

    Just shows that they can get “good” players since they are so abundant.

    And only having 16 teams means that the 16 teams are very good and they should be there as opposed to 65 teams potentially having a shot at winning the games. The first two games of the tournaments are generally against mismatched teams and that’s why they make such a big deal out of the sweet 16 and not the “totally cool 32” winning in the later rounds is the more impressive thing.

    Hell, every year there are major upsets in the tourney, but they don’t go far. Getting into the tournament for hockey when you aren’t a power team is an even bigger “upset”.

    In the more “obscure” sports other than football and basketball, like hockey, lacrosse, softball and baseball, they always have the same teams playing each other for the championship. To break into that fortress is a huge accomplishment for a well known school nonetheless a no-name school.

  11. C Gally Says:

    Yeah, I’m kind of over this. I still think its easier to win 2 games than 4, but that’s just me.

    I also think it’s more difficult to be the final four of 300 teams than final four of 30 teams.

  12. The Northerner Says:

    Well there are only two games that are in the “tournament” per se, but there are qualifying games that can be compared to the early rounds of the tournament.

    I’m just saying that with 300 teams, the odds are that sometime, one of them will have a good run like Mason. The odds are lower with fewer teams. Especially when the fewer teams have a monopoly on the recruiting.

  13. The Northerner Says:

    And you’re “over it” bacause it’s you and me arguing with a random drive-by comment by A.Young. If there was a discussion involving other people it wouldn’t seem like your typical Friday night as much.

  14. C Gally Says:

    Adam’s too busy trying to rationalize why he agreed to go in on our extra innings package this year.

  15. The Northerner Says:

    I can’t get that package. I got a free week of it once and I did nothing that week and was cranky and pissed off because the Sox weren’t doing well. I couldn’t handle a whole season of that.

  16. C Gally Says:

    “I did nothing that week and was cranky and pissed off…”

    This is different from every other week because…?

  17. The Northerner Says:

    Ba-Zing… didn’t see that one coming. I had thought you grew up and matured since college, but I guess I was wrong. You have just ruined my faith in mankind.

    But to answer your question, it was different because the Red Sox generally don’t suck and they win a good portion of their games, including the World Series, unlike the Butt Pirates.

  18. C Gally Says:

    Glad to see neither of us has changed. Powerhour Thursday?

  19. The Northerner Says:

    Only if you change “I Will Survive” to the Cake version.

  20. C Gally Says:

    We both know that’s not going to happen.

  21. A. Young Says:

    Sometimes, decisions you make in life can’t be rationalized. For instance arguing over who’s the bigger cinderella could be considered irrational because it’s a pointless argument that means nothing. Purchasing the MLB package to watch the Suckos, just another irrational decision that can’t be explained.

  22. The Northerner Says:

    So wait. Let me get this right. You guys bought Extra Innings to only watch the Pirates? There were no other teams involved in this decision?

  23. C Gally Says:

    Well, the teams they will be playing.

    When we look back, we want to be able to say that we at least took part in the first winning season in 16 years. And since there maybe be another 16 until the next one, we want to enjoy it.

  24. The Northerner Says:

    Wow, and I thought the time you picked up that hooker that turned out to be a transvestite, but slept with him/her anyway was a bad idea. This is much worse.

  25. C Gally Says:

    Almost as good as the “Butt Pirate” joke, but not quite.

  26. The Northerner Says:

    Almost, if only I were joking. You were real drunk that night, I’m not surprised if you “forgot” about it.

  27. C Gally Says:

    A better follow-up

  28. The Northerner Says:

    I’m tired.

  29. furrer4heisman Says:

    I follow college hockey as closely as I do college basketball. Bemidji’s run is bigger than Mason’s run.

    Bemidji plays in the CHA, which is disbanding at the end of this season, leaving the future of Beavers hockey in the air. Also, the Beavers are the first team from outside a power conference (Hockey East, ECAC, CCHA, WCHA) to ever make the frozen four.

    Before this run, the biggest upset in college hockey history was Holy Cross’ win over Minnesota in the first round of the 2006 Tournament.

    What you also have to look at is HOW Bemidji did it. The Beavers destroyed No. 1 seed Notre Dame 5-1 in the first round and put a 4-1 smack down on Cornell to advance to DC.

    I would love nothing more than to be in DC this weekend to see these games. I went to the Frozen Four in Denver last year and had a great time. If any of you guys live in NOVA, go see the Frozen Four.

    I’ve been to Frozen and Final Fours and the Frozen Four is better. Hockey fans are more dedicated, its a more intimate atmosphere and you get real fans at the games. At the Final Four, half the tickets go to corporate suits who don’t care about the game. Not so at the Frozen Four. It’s a fantastic experience.

  30. furrer4heisman Says:

    Also, you can’t make the argument George Mason wasn the “100th best team” in the NCAA that year. It got an at-large bid.

  31. furrer4heisman Says:

    “Also, the talent in college hockey is more evenly distributed than college basketball overall.”

    Do you watch college hockey? Because from that quote, the answer is a definite “no”.

    And then there’s this:

    “The Beavers are a team of guys that will not play in the NHL, and they are in the Final Four with 3 others teams of guys that will not play in the NHL.”

    Again. Very, very wrong.

    I’ll go back to the Holy Cross-Minnesota game. The Gophs were loaded with guys who went on to either be drafted or go on to play in the NHL. I won’t name them because since their names don’t rhyme with “Fosby” you’ve never heard of them.

    The NCAA is full of guys who will play in the NHL. Studies have been done to show that although you have a better chance of being drafted if you play major junior, those who are drafted from NCAA teams make it to the NHL at a higher rate.

    A very good number of players in the NHL played college hockey. None of the players from Bemidji will make it to the NHL, but Miami, BU and Vermont have players who definitely will.

  32. The Northerner Says:

    BOOM, roasted.

    Your ass just got owned.

  33. C Gally Says:

    Wow, that escalated fast. I mean, that really got out of hand. I think Brick killed a guy.

    No, I do not watch ANY college hockey. I was asked for an opinion which I gave, and quickly drew tired of defending it.

    Also, feel free to name names. I guarantee I follow more hockey than 99.9% of the nation.

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