Since it is that time of year again, all of the "fire Hakstol" nonsense is put on hold, well at least until UND makes an exit from the NCAA tournament, if they even do this season.
This UND team is a team that has shown signs on how they can compete with the best teams in the country. On the contrary, they also have shown signs on why there is also a great chance that they could be golfing very early this spring.
Lets take a look at their first round match-up against a tough Wisconsin. The Badgers are coming off of an entertaining overtime victory in the Big Ten title game Saturday night against Ohio State. Finishing second in the Big Ten regular season standings, the Badgers have found themselves in the top 10 of the rankings essentially all season long. However, they are playing a UND team that has almost been unbeatable since their Friday night loss to St. Lawrence all the way back in November.
That being said, this UND team has also shown sides of very poor play. Good examples of this is their 6-3 loss to UNO at the Ralph in February and most recently this past Friday against Miami. The only difference between the two games is UND would put forward a good 60 minutes against Miami, but would miss on great scoring chances that one team just can't miss on.
If that team from the Miami game shows up this Friday against the Badgers, our tournament life is very likely to be limited and the "fire Hakstol" jazz will be back in full force once again. However, if the team from Saturday night, which beat Western Michigan 5-0, shows up, look out NCAA.
So what are the chances I am giving UND to win their eighth national title this year? I'd say probably about a 35% chance at the most. I can hear all of the hate coming in right now, but watching this team play all season, I learned that their play can be very bipolar. Depending on what team shows up this Friday, sorry for stating the obvious here like Pierre, but it will determine how long they can stay in this tournament. Beat the Badgers, and I think this team makes the Frozen Four.