Sunday, May 5, 2013

final lacrosse bracketology

Whew.  Made it.  Here is the final prediction for the upcoming lacrosse selection show, which is less than an hour away:

I'm not really sold on Syracuse as the #1 seed.  I'd be more sold on Notre Dame - if ND hadn't lost twice to Cuse.  I'd be more sold on Denver - if they didn't have the fifth-best RPI and the fourth-best average RPI of their wins.  Syracuse is tied for third (and is closer to first than to Denver, which is next) and second, respectively, and basically has to be above ND, I think.  So it is what it is.

OSU vaults into third with a win over Denver in the ECAC final.  They've both beaten and lost to Denver, so head-to-head doesn't make a difference, especially since the loss was at home.  They're just better in most categories now.  Denver works fine at fourth and UNC is a solid fifth.

Duke misses out on a seed and a home game because their RPI is comparatively atrocious.  We send them to Cornell so that Maryland can host Loyola.  I'd like to send Albany to Cornell instead, but Cornell is too low-seeded and I don't think the committee will be quite that flexible.  Same goes for Lehigh and Penn State.  Yale is a reasonableish travel distance from State College.  Travel and seeding would make Cornell and Yale an ideal matchup except for that pesky can't-play-a-team-from-your-conference rule.

It may be that the committee thinks too highly of RPI, and that Bucknell might be a more deserving team of the final at-large spot in the eyes of some.  But this is the way things are, and based on the criteria the committee uses, there's a very bright line between the ins and the outs here.  I'm pretty confident in picking Loyola over Bucknell and the rest of the bubble.  If Hopkins gets in you'll know the TV-rating fix is in.

Bryant is pretty clearly better than Detroit, which ran the MAAC table to win that tourney as the 4 seed (YES) but travel dictates keeping Detroit in the Midwest.  It's likely Detroit will follow ND wherever they end up, be that as the 1 seed, 2, or 3.

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