After running the numbers last week, there was minimal movement in the overall breakdown of what our D1 Bracketology system would spit out for seeding. I decided to wait and let more games get played and see how it shook out. This week, some more important games have been played and there are some noticeable changes in our MCLA Bracketology for D1. As a reminder, if you need a refresher on our Bracketology’s secret sauce methodology, it’s not-so-secret and available to view here.
Let’s start with the bracket for this week:
Who Made it, Who Didn’t
If you read my first MCLA D1 Bracketology, you’ll notice that almost all the faces are the same for the overall field. But there is one new At-Large team: Davenport, replacing the other D2 up-convert Grand Canyon. Davenport has had an outstanding couple of weeks of lacrosse, beating Top 25 teams Simon Fraser and Virginia Tech, the latter on the road. Throw in a victory over a confounding team in Clemson, and Davenport has surged up both the human and computer rankings. They’ve moved up so far so fast, that they actually debut at the 10 seed for this bracketology. Based on the teams they have beaten I think that is completely fair, and serves as reward for scheduling hard and winning those games. Oh, by the way, Davenport’s only losses are an OT loss to Grand Canyon and a six goal loss to Arizona State, both on the road. Do you really want to see this team in Greenville on the first Monday of the tournament?
All the conference AQ’s are projected out to be the same, except for the WCLL where Sonoma State soundly defeated Stanford since our last Bracketology. As a reminder to the impassioned fans of ASU, I have Chapman as the SLC AQ simply because they have beaten ASU this season (the only team to do so). Despite Chapman being the AQ (based solely on head-to-head so far), I have both teams seeded appropriately based on body of work, and Arizona State has, at least in my opinion, clearly earned the 3 seed. True, BYU gets a little shorted because of their losses to Colorado and Colorado State, two teams that ASU will not play before Greenville, but with Zach Handy facing off I give ASU the edge in many theoretical head-to-head matchups right now.
Here are the At-Large teams ranked in order of selection into the field, with first team listed the strongest of the At-Large field, and last team listed the last team “off the bubble.”
- Arizona State
- UC Santa Barbara
Stanford saw a noticeable drop from the first Bracketology, with brutal home losses to BYU and Sonoma knocking them down a few pegs. They are the last team in off the bubble, but for now the margin between them and the next group of teams is big enough that the Cardinal shouldn’t be too worried.
Here is the list of the “First Teams Out” listed in order of next most likely to be selected for an At-Large, and so on:
- Simon Fraser
- Grand Canyon
- Oregon State
The first team out right now is Simon Fraser, who, thanks to a big road win over Michigan State, leapfrogged Grand Canyon in my Bracketology ranking. Grand Canyon still has nothing to be ashamed of, holding strong in both human and computer polls. Right now they lack a true signature win to get them into the field, but a matchup with Arizona State looms (TONIGHT!) and a win there could catapult them back off the bubble.
Connecticut finally gave us some more data to assess them, and after beating Northeastern I thought their lofty Laxpower ranking (#1 for over a month) might be more correct than I first believed. But the Huskies returned to earth somewhat, losing to a Boston College team that looks to be the clear frontrunner in the PCLL from here on out.
Georgia, and the rest of the SELC teams continue to confuse both humans and computers alike. The greatest variance of any conference in the rankings is in the SELC, where scores don’t seem to follow any discernable pattern. If you show me a person who says they know who will win the SELC, I will show you a dirty liar. For now, Georgia is the one-eyed-man in the kingdom of the pretty good lacrosse and is the top of the heap down south thanks to a convincing win over Auburn. But we won’t know the SELC representative in Greenville until after the conference’s championship game. Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Florida State could all be in play in addition to Georgia.
As for the GRLC in D1, I thought Wisconsin was the odds on favorite based on the computer rankings, but Illinois just beat them on the road. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Illinois, Wisconsin, or Indiana in South Carolina. We’ll just have to see how the GRLC tournament shakes out.
If your team isn’t listed in that group of bubble teams, it isn’t looking good for getting into the At-Large discussion.
Once again, I took care to avoid repeat matchups. In this addition, I only needed to make one small change: swapping Stanford and Texas on the 12 and 13 lines to avoid the BYU/Stanford repeat game. What results is a good slate of first round games. Davenport/Santa Barbara? You know that’s a one-goal game. Boston College/Cal? West Coast vs. East Coast, couldn’t wait to see it. Michigan State/Sonoma State? Killer matchup. And even Arizona State/Oregon would matchup Payson Clark with Ben Smood, two of the best at their position in the country.
So once again, that’s it. Let me know what you think and I’ll do my best to respond in the Comments section or in the LAS forums.