MCLA Bracketology Division 1: Week 1


So here we are, unveiling our first shot at the MCLA Division 1 tournament field for 2013, with acknowledgement that it’s way too early and there are still many, many games to be played.  In case you didn’t read our intro, you can check it out here and read about the methodology.  In this post, we’re just showing you a bracket and explaining the seeding and who is left out.

The Bracket – Week of March 25th


Who Made It, Who Didn’t

Quick glance, and some MCLA traditionalists will likely cringe.  Last year’s national runner up, Cal Poly?  Not invited.  Early MCLA royalty, Minnesota-Duluth?  Left watching Weather Channel reports about storms named after Disney characters.  And is that really … Grand Canyon? A team that was in Division 2 last season?

Well, yes.  Grand Canyon made it in.  The last team off the bubble to be precise.  And this allows us to show off our spanking new methodology, to be cheered and exalted or ripped to pieces by you, the MCLA Fan.  Using our methodology for Division 1, Grand Canyon does in fact end up in a tight grouping of teams fighting to get off the bubble.  Here is the ranking with our power rating for bubble teams:

13 Connecticut 14.000
14 Texas 13.333
15 Minn-Duluth 9.667
16 Grand Canyon 9.333
17 Davenport 8.000
18 Cal Poly 7.333
19 Virginia Tech 7.000
20 Northeastern 6.667

The number on the left is the overall ranking in our system, and the number on the right is the number our formula spits out.  Texas is in, with the LSA AQ.  For the first time this season, the UMLC will not have an AQ after losing Marquette, and Minnesota-Duluth is left in a precarious position one spot above Grand Canyon.  And this leads to our first quandary in bracketologizing: when do we trust the numbers and when do we use qualitative “feelings” to guide our way?  In this edition, I chose Grand Canyon because of two Top 25 wins (Davenport and Arizona) to Minnesota-Duluth’s one Top 25 win (Cal Poly).  I didn’t even put Connecticut in the argument since their position is based off two games alone.

Right or wrong for my At-Large teams getting in off the bubble, we’ve gotta realize it’s still early and this grouping may shake out, but for now it is tight.  And this type of decision will likely get made to determine a team to get in, and a team to be left out.

For 2013, there are nine AQ conferences in D1, and 7 at-large berths, here is a breakdown for this edition of bracketology, and for now realize that I’m arbitrarily choosing the highest rated team as conference champ (or in event of an already played head to head matchup like ASU/Chapman, the winner of that game):

  • Colorado State (RMLC)
  • Chapman (SLC)
  • Michigan State (CCLA)
  • Texas (LSA)
  • Boston College (PCLL)
  • Oregon (PNCLL)
  • Stanford (WCLL)
  • I didn’t project a winner for the SELC or GRLC which both seem to be a toss-up.  It’s important to note that neither league is close to receiving an at-large outside of Virginia Tech in the SELC, and I had them out in this projection by a few spots.

The At-larges in order:

  • BYU (earns the 2 seed as an at-large fresh off their reign of terror in California)
  • Colorado
  • ASU
  • UCSB
  • Sonoma St.
  • Cal
  • Grand Canyon

Matchups – No Repeats!

You’ll notice that I took extra care to prevent repeat matchups in the first round, a stated goal that I believe the Committees must pursue.  Guess what: it wasn’t difficult!  And all teams are still seeded quite appropriately.  In the event of needing to move teams to avoid repeat matchups, my method would be to move teams in bottom half seeds (9-16) up or down one or two spots to create fresh matchups.  The top 8 seeds presumably should be rewarded for earning top half position and be kept as close to their seeding “right” as possible.

Outside of creating no repeat matchups, I think this would be an awesome first round to watch.  BC/Sonoma; Chapman/Cal; Oregon/UCSB are all super-intriguing matchups for the first round, and even Grand Canyon/Colorado could provide an upset alert situation.  Beyond the SELC/GRLC champs, I don’t see any easy outs for 2013.  It’s just getting heated up!

First Shot

So that’s it.  What do you think?  Hate it?  Love it?  Feedback on how I set it up?  Lay it on me!

Read the Bracketology for Division 2 Week 1 here.

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Patton was head coach at Willamette University for five seasons, where he was named the 2008 PNCLL Div 2 Coach of the Year. In addition to following the MCLA avidly, he is now an official for high school lacrosse in Oregon.


    • Great question, and honestly the three team grouping of Colorado/CSU/BYU looks to be extremely difficult to place in this year’s bracket.  That said, I gave the nod to CSU for now with no losses overall.  If CSU runs the table all the way to the RMLC title game and loses to BYU, I can see giving the 1 seed to BYU if BYU has no other losses between now and then.  However, historically the seeding has been somewhat rewarded along the lines of “body of work” as opposed to most recent game.

      Theoretically, BYU beating CSU in the RMLC title game would make it very difficult to seed the two, but as long as you kept them on separate sides of the bracket I don’t think it would be too hard to argue either side in that scenario.

    • So Chapman gets the theoretical AQ in my projections based on head-to-head win; but ASU’s resume overall with Top 25 wins and position in computer and human polls puts them ahead by a bit of a significant margin right now.

      With the win ASU has posted over UCSB, expect their position to be solidified as a very high seed.  The AQ from the SLC will be merely a formality, as UCSB and Chapman are in off the bubble quite easily as of this writing.

      • even though ASU beat BYU by 5, their strength of schedule is worse than chapman’s. Say chapman beats UCSB by a margin that is similar to ASU and chapman beats ASU again in the SLC championship game. 
        Would you still rank Chapman below ASU?