Friday, May 3, 2013

upset-riddled lacrosse bracketology

Friday was a bloodbath in the world of lacrosse conference tournaments.  The result is below:

How was the bracket upended?  Let us count the ways:

-- Towson knocked off Penn State for the CAA championship, thus bid-thieving Bucknell out of a spot.

-- Princeton and Yale upset Cornell and Penn, respectively, in the Ivy tournament.  OK, Yale over Penn wasn't actually a major upset, but it did knock the Quakers out of the bracket, where they'd been most of the year.  Neither Cornell nor PSU will find themselves spurned on Selection Sunday, but it's still a mess.

-- The MAAC three and four seeds will face off for the title, instead of the two teams that actually ran the show in the regular season.

Albany plays for the A-East title tomorrow (Saturday, that is) and they will probably lose just to spite me.

The top four seeds are pretty fuzzy.  Their identities are clear; their order is not.  I'll say with pretty strong confidence that it'll be some order of Cuse, ND, Denver, and UNC.  Why do I have them in the order that I do?  Denver doesn't have a lot of glaring resume flaws; Syracuse beat Notre Dame twice and can't under any circumstances be underneath them any more.  Denver-Cuse-ND is a triangle of doom, but Denver seems to have the most solid ground to stand on, and if they beat OSU for the ECAC title they'll cement their 1 seed.

Ohio State is now a very likely five seed; Cornell and PSU are still seeded as well, and Maryland edges Loyola for hosting duties there.  Maryland can move up in that pecking order by beating Colgate.  I'm also fairly confident that those eight teams will be the eight seeded ones.  Loyola has no more opportunity for advancement, and the Terps would drop only by losing to Colgate.

Regardless of what happens in the MAAC and NEC, Towson is ahead of either conference champ, but so far down the pecking order that I don't think there's much chance of them escaping the effective #14 seed.  Albany is a little lower than they look, but they're OK for a travel exemption of sorts and got matched up with Cornell.  I suspect they'll follow Cornell wherever they go.

I'm going out of town this weekend and may be back in time to post a bracket before the selection show.  In case I don't, here are some predictions for the record:

-- If the MAAC champ is Siena, they'll be the effective #15 seed while the NEC champ is the effective #16.  If it's Detroit, and by the way go Titans, they'll be the effective #16 and the NEC champ the effective #15.

-- The winner of Princeton-Yale gets the autobid, we know that; the loser will stay home.  Princeton would just slide right into Yale's spot with little fuss.

-- If UMBC upsets Albany, they are basically equalish to Siena, so those two (assuming Siena also wins) will get placed in the effective 14 and 15 spots, depending on travel, and Towson will get bumped upwards to the effective #13 seed.

-- Yes, I do think Maryland will beat Colgate, so in that case the seeded teams' identities won't change.  If Maryland does lose, Duke is a more likely replacement than Loyola.

-- What if Villanova knocks off Syracuse?  Consider them about Lehigh's level, and watch Loyola, Duke, and Maryland all sweat bullets.  Colgate could then knock Maryland out of the tourney, or if Maryland wins, it's down to Duke or Loyola losing their spot.

No comments: