Updated: Well I went .500 on my picks, no surprise to me. Either I need to work on my D2 game or these were just really good, back and forth games. Let’s see the full recap of my Semifinal predictions.
With all the Final Four participants resting their weary heads after two days of games, we are taking a deep breath and predicting who we think will make it to the Championship round on Saturday.
The four top seeds in D1 all made it through the Quarterfinals. Take away Michigan, insert new #1 seed Cal Poly and you have the exact match-ups from last year. Cal Poly looks to take the spot of the Maize and Blue in an attempt to grind out their first National Championship.
In D2, it was three of four but the fourth is the defending champion. This is a complete replica of last year’s Final Four. Davenport beat then #1 seed GVSU 16-15 and St. Thomas beat Dayton 12-11. Both of these should be awesome match-ups with two familiar foes battling it out.
I am very excited for all four of these games. Make sure to head over to MCLA.us so you can keep up with all the action as it unfold on Thursday!
On to the glorious predictions! Here is the bracket for D1, courtesy of our good friends over at MCLA.us.
#1 Cal Poly vs. #4 Arizona State
Cal Poly may have the #1 seed, but I feel like Arizona State has the upper-hand going into this one – they are more experienced in the post season, they have one of the top goalies in the nation (IMHO), and have been coming on very strong as of late. On the other side of things though, Cal Poly has been grinding out the wins, one after the other. They also have a deadly line of attackmen leading their team.
I think this game will come down to Cal Poly’s offense vs. Arizona State’s defense. Not to downplay the other side of the field, but Cal Poly’s offense averages 13 (12.6) goals a game, while Arizona State’s defense only allows 6 (5.9) goals a game. If Arizona State’s defense can hold the Mustangs to nine goals or less, the Sun Devils will win, but if Cal Poly can score 10 goals or more, then they will win.
I was money in D1, definitely knew that if Cal Poly’s offense could show up against Arizona State’s defense they would be able to take this one and that they did. Scoring 10 goals, the Mustangs were able to take down the Sun Devils 10-4. Cal Poly may have squeaked through the first two teams but those were also very talented teams. UMD came ready to play and almost took down the #1 seed and MSU was looking to be the new powerhouse from Michigan in the MCLA.
#2 Colorado State vs. #3 Brigham Young
Wait, is this 2012 or 2011? This is the exact situation that happened last year. BYU and CSU face-off in the RMLC Title game, CSU wins (much more handily this year). The two squads head to Nationals and battle their way to the Final Four where they meet again. Last year BYU was able to come out with the 14-11 victory in a back and forth game that came down to the 4th quarter.
This year, while being a similar situation like I mentioned before, I think Colorado State is dead set on reaching the Championship game for the first time since 2006 (?). Just as the game above, I think this will come down to one side of the field – BYU’s offense vs. Colorado State’s defense.
The Cougars average a jaw-dropping 16 goals a game… are you kidding me?! The Rams defense is just as impressive with an average of 5 (5.3) goals allowed each game, for all you math-challenged people out there that is just 90 goals allowed in 17 games this season. Colorado State was able to shut down the Cougars powerful offense in the RMLC Title game and held Ted Ferrin to just one goal. If CSU can hold the Cougars to 10 or less, the Rams win. If BYU scores 11 or more though, they will take this match-up and return to defend their title.
Colorado State came to play and it didn’t seem like Brigham Young could get anything past the Rams’ formidable defense. CSU not only held the Cougars to under 10 goals, they held the Cougars to just five in the game. While I’m 13/14 in the picks (struggling with picking the spread), the Rams have me worried that my choice of Cal Poly in the ‘Ship might be unwise. We shall see.
Here is the bracket for D2, also courtesy of our good friends over at MCLA.us.
#1 St. Thomas vs. #4 Dayton
In our first rematch from the 2011 tournament, St. Thomas and Dayton square off in a game that St. Thomas won 12-11 last year. Dayton has been cruising through the tournament so far and this game will be a really good test for them. While St. Thomas is hungry to avenge their title loss from last year, Dayton is just as hungry to make it to the Championship for the first time since… ever?
This should be another intense, down to the last whistle game and just to stir up the pot, I’m picking Dayton with the upset.
D2 was a disappointment for me, while I was playing devil’s advocate for this game, I still got it wrong. St. Thomas jumped out to an early lead and I was worried that I blew this pick. Dayton found some footing though and were able to battle back into it, forcing the game to come down to the very last seconds.
Unfortunately for Dayton though, it was too little too late. Had they come out a little stronger and not let the Tommies put up a 6-3 lead in the first quarter, I feel like they could’ve pulled off the upset. Tommies came to play though and are headed to their 4th consecutive MCLA D2 Championship game.
#2 Grand Valley State vs. #6 Davenport
Rematch numero dos pits the defending champ against the #2 seed in the tournament. I feel like this is another toss-up with how much these two teams have played in past. Davenport showed that they can grind out the tough win with their quarterfinal match-up against Westminster and GVSU has been just destroying opponents this year with a stifling defense and powerful offense.
At the end of the day though, I think Davenport’s SOS will really help prepare them for this game and they will come out with the win. Davenport by one, maybe two.
Davenport by two, huh? Or Grand Valley State by four and a Sportscenter Top 10 highlight. Whoops! This was actually a really great game, that went back and forth the entire match, I believe GVSU only held a one goal lead after three quarters. GVSU was able to get some breathing room in the fourth though and pulled this one out 15-11.
Think you have better picks? You just might, when we can’t decide we use methods similar to the above picture.
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 [email protected] and we will publish the best ones.