Thursday, May 5, 2011

midweek lacrosse bracketology

I said I'd do a midweek update here if it was necessitated by Shit Going Down, and verily it hath.  Hofstra's loss in the CAA tourney yesterday didn't boot them from the NCAA's because they're very solidly in, but it was the worst news possible for the Loyolas, Yales, and Harvards of the world, who now must win their conference tourneys as the at-large door has been slammed on them.  The new bracket:

With Hofstra now an at-large, Loyola is booted and UMass becomes the projected CAA champ.  A lot of the matchups don't change.  I switched Cornell and Hopkins because the metrics said to, but Stony Brook follows Cornell in the bracket and a Penn-Hopkins matchup makes much sense now in the travel department.

Unfortunately not much else does.  The committee likes to make travel nice and easy for the first round, and they'll have a hard time with that with two western teams hosting.  They try to limit the number of teams requiring flights to get to their game to two, and I dunno if that'll be possible.  People seem to think Bucknell-Cornell is a near-lock because of travel, but where does that leave Stony Brook?  Someone's got to take the long bus ride to Durham.  I give it to Bucknell because they should get a lower-seeded opponent.

UNC and Hofstra are now squarely in the crosshairs.  Hofstra did the committee a favor by losing, frankly, because they avoid having to choose between a huge mess of basically identical teams.  The at-large picture is very clear now.  But they now have to sweat out the Ivy and ECAC tourneys, which begin tomorrow.  If Denver or Cornell get tripped up and someone else claims an autobid, those two teams are as solid as it gets, and the first to go will be Hofstra and the next, UNC.  Denver opens against Ohio State and then plays either Loyola or Fairfield; Cornell drew Yale and then either Penn or Harvard.  The MAAC tourney also begins tomorrow but there's just the one autobid at stake and nobody's even close to an at-large.

UNC can do itself a huge favor by beating Notre Dame tomorrow, of course.  They could leapfrog Penn that way, even if Penn beats Harvard.

Meanwhile, the CAA final is UMass vs. Delaware on Saturday; UMass was selected for this bracket because of higher RPI, but a Delaware win could clear up the travel picture a little.  Stony Brook faces Hartford in the A.East final too.  Thanks to Hofstra's loss, Stony Brook's margin for error disappeared and they'll need to win, as they likely can't get an at-large (especially with a loss to a schmo team like Hartford.)

1 comment:

Adam said...

Gary Williams retires! One of the best in big game preparation and game management is finally getting out of our hair. Maybe Bennett can take advantage of this lime London did in football recruiting.