Ah, Selection Sunday. It's always nice to make an appearance on the show. The lacrosse one is double fun because I get to find out if I'm any good at making predictions. This year, I think I did damn well. Got all 18 teams, 7 of the 8 seeds, the top four exactly right in order as well as #6 and #8, and the only real monkey wrench in the works was Denver's selection as a seeded team instead of the highest non-seed - that threw off some of the other non-seeded picks as well.
All that would be true if Harvard had actually beaten Penn. The real bracket is eerily similar to the Harvard-beats-Penn prediction I made; too bad Harvard lost and was still selected as an at-large, defying the Hofstra call. So that ends the streak I was on of perfect at-large selections. What it means is that a tweak that I made to my ranking system this season, worked really well for the top end of the list but did a poor job picking the last at-large; the old system would've never put Loyola or Penn anywhere near the top four seeds, but would've chosen Harvard without a second glance. Just another thing to keep in mind for next year.
As for UVA's draw (Hopkins), am I allowed to complain, at the same time, that we should be playing a worse team with a better resume? No? Contradictory? OK then. Hop is a team that (and I thought rightly so) was widely considered in but at the very low end of the bubble. They're light on big-time wins, with only Maryland and I guess Albany on their resume as notable victories. But they're obviously going to be a very tough out. And if we get past the Jays, Duke is obviously no picnic at all. Still, a home game is not something you can expect every year when you lose five games.
Speaking of draws, there's also the ACC/B1G Challenge draw to speak of, and like about 98% of UVA fans, I ain't happy. It's not that I have an aversion to ever playing Maryland again, though I think it's totally understandable if you do. It's that the ACC champs deserved a better draw than what's likely to be about the 10th-best Big Ten team. Under no other circumstances would that have ever happened, but you just know the lazy bastards in charge of this stuff penciled in this game before the ink was even dry on Maryland's "we're going Midwest" press release. So their reward for doing so is a home game against the ACC champs. And, go ahead and write this one down and hold me to it next year: Maryland will make a return trip to Charlottesville in 2015 for the Challenge.
Some called the game "RPI-destroying" which isn't quite accurate because even if Maryland settles into the Big Ten's second division, they'll still be around .500 on the whole and they'll have the Big Ten as their OOWP. It's more that we lose the chance to have the RPI bonus that a Wisconsin or a Michigan would've provided. ESPN and the ACC decided to screw the Hoos in favor of a cheap marketing stunt, and relegated us to a game of regional instead of national interest. I hope we blast them by 45 and the Louisville-Ohio State game is a 39-32 mockery of basketball.
There's a football depth chart, and it's almost entirely devoid of surprises. The big news is at quarterback, where we got confirmation of what we'd long suspected: Greyson Lambert is the official starter. There should be a benefit here, of going through the summer and the fall being able to prepare as the top dog instead of worrying about a competition. Otherwise I think the only really newsworthy item is the appearance of Miles Gooch above both Darius Jennings and Dominique Terrell at one of the WR positions. I don't think it signals the end of their useful careers at UVA, though; there's now a ton of size all over the place at WR but Jennings and Terrell are still faster than most of those guys and therefore have that to set them apart.