Updated: The first round is through and the Quarterfinals are happening right away today. As I write this there are already two MCLA D2 match-ups in action. Check out how we fared through the first round and who we predict to make it to the Semifinals.
Now that Connor has filled us in on his thoughts for NCAA D1, D2, & D3, I figured I’d get to the MOST IMPORTANT bracket of all of them! Just kidding, but seriously, it’s MCLA time.
Anyway, if you haven’t yet heard, MCLA.us and Fox College Sports will be broadcasting 26 of the 3o games from the tournament. This is very exciting news and will only do good things to help gain more exposure for this great league.
And now on to the glorious predictions! Here is the bracket for D1, courtesy of our good friends over at MCLA.us.
#1 Cal Poly vs. #16 Minnesota-Duluth
No upset here, Cal Poly by a handful. No offense to UMD, but you can’t argue with Cal Poly’s SOS and the fact that they are 14-0 since losing to UCSB by ONE waaay back in February. While UMD may be looking for a little revenge after their March loss to the Mustangs, I don’t think they will be finding any this year. Cal Poly definitely won, but not by a handful. UMD came to play and made this game one of the best first round match-ups. Hats off to the Dogs.
#8 Colorado vs. #9 Michigan State
Colorado has had such an up and down season that, thanks to Club Ball was shown to MCLA Fan’ers everywhere. Where on the other hand, Michigan State has been quietly working its way through the season, coming on very strong in the CCLA tournament, defeating the #10 seed Pitt 14-5.
That said, I think this is Colorado’s to win or lose. If they show up like they did against BYU, see you later Sparty. If they don’t come out punching though, I could definitely see a Michigan State team sneaking past them to the second round. Called it.
#5 SUNY-Buffalo vs. #12 Cal
Despite the 5/12 seedings, I think this could turn into a great match-up and a possible upset in the Golden Bears’ favor. This game has all the makings of an upset in my opinion.
Two of Cal’s four losses were to Cal Poly and both of those games were 2-3 goal games. Overall, they definitely have had the tougher strength of schedule. If they can travel well to the tournament, they are in a very good position to beat SUNY-Buffalo. Cal in a back and forth battle. Ya, blew that pick, SUNY came to play and made sure to get their money’s worth of the Tournament.
#4 Arizona State vs. #13 Texas
Another match-up that could go either way. Despite the rankings, Texas actually beat Arizona State back in February 4-3 when the two teams met in New Orleans. Since then though, ASU has only lost to CSU, CU, BYU, and Chapman – all top 10 teams. Texas’ four losses come to SFU, Oregon, Arizona, and Sonoma State, respectively. I’ll take the Sun Devils by a few in the rematch. Sun Devils weren’t about to be upset twice, took the dub.
#3 Brigham Young vs. #14 Virginia Tech
By now, it should be pretty apparent that I have a soft spot for the Cougars. While their 7-goal loss to CSU worries me a little, I will still take BYU by several goals. Their SOS has prepared them far more than the Hokies’ and I guarantee Coach Schneck has those boys in prime condition to make another run at the title.
Virginia Tech has had a great season and I don’t want to take anything away from that, but of all the first-round match-ups, I don’t see an upset happening here. Ya ya ya, BYU is good, they are always a Tournament team. Big feeling.
#6 Chapman vs. #11 Oregon
This is always a fantastic match-up and as the 3-2 series (Chapman) shows, is very back and forth. Both teams have been building up to this and while it will be fun to watch this game, it will be unfortunate for the losing team, because both squads are poised to make a run at the title right now. To all of my Duck friends’ chagrin, I’m going to take Chapman by one, possibly in overtime. Or by four in regulation. Looks like Chapman wasn’t interested in losing to this West coast rival.
#7 UCSB vs. #10 Pitt
I love the fact that all these teams from hot beds are starting to creep up the polls in the MCLA – it is great to see some of the talent sticking to the MCLA teams. At the end of the day though, this will be another case of a tested team showing its depth against a team who really hasn’t seen a whole lot of competition week in and week out. Think I’m wrong? Laxpower is showing UCSB at #7 on the SOS and Pitt way down at #35. Gauchos by four. Perfect pick right there. ‘Sup.
#2 Colorado State vs. #15 Illinois
As Tyrese once said, “we hungry!“, I’m pretty sure he was referring to the Rams this season. After Colorado State lost to Cal Poly in OT, they beat SMU 20-2 and UCSB 11-3. After they lost to BYU by two, they fought their way back with four wins and a dominating victory in the RMLC Title game over BYU (14-7). Hungry, hungry hippos!
I think they will be in Greensville until May 19th. Unfortunately for Illinois, they have to play the Rams right out of the gate.
Here is the bracket for D2, also courtesy of our good friends over at MCLA.us.
#1 St. Thomas vs. #16 Western Oregon
Gotta go with St. Thomas here. They’re the number 1 seed for a reason and should roll. St. Thomas did just fine and will take on NDSU today.
#8 Briarcliffe vs. #9 North Dakota State
The #8 vs #9 should be the closest game of the first round, at least if my math is right, and this will be a battle. Briarcliffe is battle-tested, so we’ll give them the nod here, but they can’t look past NDSU. That would spell a one-seed upset. NDSU was able to pull of the huge upset over Briarcliffe (see North Dakota > New York).
#5 St. John’s vs. #12 Elon
Elon did well in the SELC this year and impressed many, including Scott MacPherson, but I can’t see them bumping off St. John’s in this game. In a game that was closer than we expected, St. John’s was able to pull out the victory.
#4 Dayton vs. #13 Sam Houston State
Again, it’s hard not to pick the higher seed in this game. Dayton just runs like a program that wants to win and be there in the end, and we’re not going to argue with that. Would love to see a good tight game here however. Dayton won, as expected. Onto the next one.
#3 Westminster vs. #14 St. Mary’s
Westminster plays a great regular season schedule, and this preps them excellently for the playoffs. I like Westminster big. Westminny coming in hot. I’m feeling what Westminster is doing right now.
#6 Davenport vs. #11 Concordia
Concordia has some talent and they know how to win, but Davenport is no slouch in those departments either. Could be closer than the #11 vs #6 match up suggests, but I like Davenport. Davenport took a 7-goal win over Concordia, no surprise.
#7 SCAD vs. #10 Grand Canyon
This is probably my upset alert game of the first round, if only because I find these two teams extremely hard to compare. They share no common opponents and have both looked VERY good at times. This is a toss up game for (fill me in if you know more!) and I’ll take Grand Canyon in the upset win. Whoop whoop, who called it. Upset city, population SCAD.
#2 Grand Valley State vs. #15 Wash-St. Louis
Got to go with GVSU. A #2 can’t lose to a #15 in 2012, can they? No surprise here. GVSU won.
We know, the D2 breakdown is a bit disappointing. Our methods for picking MCLA D2 usually resemble something like the image below.
Here’s our challenge to you, we know there are PLENTY of very knowledgeable MCLA D2 Brain Bugs (Starship Troopers anyone?) and we want to hear what you think. You can try ESP, but we would prefer email. Submit your predictions below or to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish the best ones.