Four teams which finished first in their conference over the long haul -- in the regular-season play -- have qualified for the Frozen Four in Tampa next month, April 5, 7.

Advancing were the Gophers from the WCHA, Boston College from Hockey East, Ferris State from the CCHA and Union from the ECAC.

The Gophers are the lowest seed in the semifinals, which will be played April 5 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. They are seed eighth but that is a little misleading.

The NCAA tournament seedings are based on comparisons, head-to-head competition, RPI (strength of schedule), record against other teams under consideration, and record against common opponents.

The PairWise ratings mimic how the NCAA does that and ranks teams, so Boston College finished at the top of those ratings, Union was third, Ferris State sixth and the Gophers eighth.

But rest assured, if the Gophers upset BC, they will be the favorites in the title game. Why you ask? Because they would have back-to-back wins against North Dakota, one of four top seeds at the regionals, and over BC, another of the top seeds.

The Gophers are making their 33rd NCAA trip. Twenty times they have advanced to the Frozen Four and won five national titles.

Union is making its first trip to the Frozen Four, so is Ferris State.

BC also has a lengthy NCAA history with four national titles, the most recent in 2008 and 2010.