Friday, May 2, 2014

midweek lacrosse bracketology

After seeing how late the games finished last night - and then not doing anything - I decided not to wait for tonight's Ivy semis to be done before today's bracketology.  Here it is, minus the effect of the Ivies' results tonight:

Syracuse and Duke are very, very firmly ensconced at the top; the only drama will be about which is #1 and which is #2.  The next race is for #3.  Penn and Cornell are heavy contenders (the system just adores Penn, probably a bit irrationally**) and so the winner is going to be in great shape there.

3 through 7 is a dogfight, in fact.  Notre Dame's game against Army, if they win it, will be a nice little secret weapon.  Maryland has Navy, which will hurt their RPI either way.  UVA plays no one at all, and will keep their almost-nation's-best SOS intact.

It's also important to remember: these at-larges are set just about in stone.  The only way they change is if Drexel does not win the CAA; in that case the Harvard-Yale winner will possibly or definitely snag the last at-large.  Possibly if it's Harvard, definitely if it's Yale.

**A little dissertation on Penn: part of the reason they're so very very loved by the system is because they've beaten hardly any sucky teams.  And of their three losses, two are elite-level teams and one is still pretty good.  St. Joseph's is giving them a boost, and their lineup of wins is almost fully comprised of middling-good teams; the only teams they've played that have losing records are Villanova (still not horrible, RPI-wise) and Dartmouth.  Dartmouth drags their RPI down so much that they'd be in a near dead heat with Duke without that game.  This is why RPI takes so much heat.  I try to account for the fact that Penn's best wins are Denver, Yale, and Harvard, and move them down accordingly.  I might not be doing it enough.

The other conference tournaments - the ones that aren't Ivy League - have wrapped up their semifinals, and their matchups are thus:

A-East: Albany vs. Binghamton.  Albany won't get a bid if they lose, so there's no concern about bid thievery.  Fairfield would move up to the main bracket and Binghamton would probably host a play-in.

A-Sun: High Point vs. Richmond.  Regardless of what happens, the winner will be the 18th of 18 teams and packed off on a trip accordingly.

Big East: Denver vs. Rutgers.  The question of whether Denver gets a bid if they lose is one of the top items for debate; I say yes, they do.  That means that bubble teams are rooting desperately for them.  It'd be hard to see Rutgers making this happen, though.

CAA: Drexel vs. Hofstra.  Hofstra is at higher risk than Denver of missing out - they're closer to the bubble and playing a tougher team.  If the Dutchmen do win, Drexel is probably bridesmaided yet again.  The Dragons are rooting for Harvard tonight so that it'll be easier to stay in bidland if they were to lose.

ECAC: Fairfield vs. Air Force.  Fairfield would host a play-in (or else not have to be in the play-ins at all); Air Force would have to hit the road.  Neither has any effect on the at-large landscape.

MAAC: Siena vs. Marist.  Siena would be pulling for Air Force in the ECAC so they can host the play-in; if Fairfield wins, Siena is hitting the road.  Binghamton would have priority over Siena, if there's an A-East upset.

NEC: Hobart vs. Bryant.  Curse you, Hobart, for wrecking the top story of the year.  Bryant has a very clear path to play-in hosting duties now.

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