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NCAA Lacrosse Bracketology Central: A Detailed First Look

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As the college lacrosse season winds down, we take a look at which teams are in, which teams are out and which teams still have work to do in order to get an invite to the NCAA Tournament.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Let's take a look at the NCAA Tournament bracketology for a minute. Two good sources to keep tabs on for bracketology purposes are the guys over at CollegeCrosse.com and Corey McLaughlin at laxmagazine.com.

If things go as smoothly as possible over the next two weeks, I believe that the first 17 spots are solidified. The biggest question mark will be which program will take the last at-large bid. There are a lot of assumptions involved in the bracketology at this point still, so take this with a grain of salt, because as we all know there is nothing predictable in NCAA lacrosse.

Things to Know About the Selection Process

-       All ten conferences have automatic qualifiers this year.

-       18 teams will make the NCAAT.

-       There are two play-in games. The four conference champions with the lowest RPI rankings get placed into the play-in games.

-       Non-seeded teams (teams that do not get a #1-8 seed) are placed with geographic consideration. Additionally, the Committee tries its best to avoid first round, in-conference matchups.

-       An at-large bid cannot go to a team with a sub .500 record.

-       Navy and Denver are hosting. That means Navy will be slated in the #2 seed side of the bracket and Denver will be put into the #1 seed side of the bracket. That is assuming Navy makes it into the NCAAT.

Projected Conference Winners

ACC: Notre Dame; AmEast: Albany; Big East: Denver; Big Ten: Maryland; Colonial: Towson; Ivy: Princeton; MAAC: Marist; NEC: Saint Joseph's; Patriot: Navy; Southern: Richmond

Jim's Eight At-Large Bids

Syracuse, UNC, Duke, UVA, Yale, Ohio State, Cornell, Brown

Last Four In

Brown, Ohio State, Yale, Cornell

First Four Out

Georgetown, Marquette, Loyola, Johns Hopkins

Craziness

The Ivy League, Big Ten, AmEast, and Big East all have an opportunity to make things difficult. The Ivy League could simply destroy itself. Keep an eye on that Cornell vs. Princeton game this week. The other three conferences all have one lock, and if a non-lock team wins the AQ, then it would probably kick Brown out of the NCAAT. The Big Ten could screw itself as well, imagine Johns Hopkins winning the B10 Tourney, that could possibly knock out Ohio State.

Jim's Projected Bracket

bracket_prediction_copy.0.pdf

Bubble Teams

Team

SOS

RPI

Top 5 (RPI) Wins

Top 10

Top 20

Losses to Teams Outside Top 20

Brown

38

13

-

Cornell

Princeton

Bucknell, Penn

Georgetown

10

12

-

-

Marquette, Loyola

-

Loyola

8

19

-

-

Navy, Towson

Bucknell, Holy Cross

Hopkins

6

16

-

-

Navy

-

Colgate

25

18

-

-

Loyola

Fairfield, BU

Marquette

23

14

-

-

Ohio State

Bellarmine

Cornell

12

9

-

Yale, Albany

Colgate

Harvard

Ohio State

18

11

-

Denver

Hopkins, Towson

Detroit

Yale

30

8

Maryland

-

Brown

-

Virginia

3

7

-

Cornell

Georgetown, Hopkins, Loyola

-

Navy

26

17

-

-

Colgate, Towson

Bucknell

Princeton

21

15

-

Yale

Hopkins

Lehigh, Stony Brook

Conference Breakdown

ACC

Conference Leader: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Locks: Notre Dame, North Carolina Tar Heels, Syracuse Orange, Virginia Cavaliers, Duke Blue Devils

Bubble Teams: N/A

  • The ACC will get all five teams in. Keeping in mind that one of the five will get an AQ and the other four will take at-large bids, only four at-large bids remain after the ACC takes its winnings.

AmEast

Conference Leader: Albany Great Danes

Locks: Albany

Bubble Teams: None

  • The America East Conference leader is currently the Albany Great Danes. The Stony Brook Seawolves will not make the Tournament unless it wins the AQ. There is an outside chance that Stony Brook could take down Albany in the AmEast Tournament, if that happens Albany will take one of those last two at-large bids.

Big East

Conference Leader: Denver Pioneers

Locks: Denver

Bubble Teams: Marquette Golden Eagles, Georgetown Hoyas

  • Marquette's big problem is that it lost the head-to-head with Georgetown. I think the Hoyas are the big question in terms of bubble teams. For me, that eighth at-large comes down to Brown and Georgetown, but I think Brown has the edge after beating Cornell.

Big Ten

Conference Leader: Maryland Terrapins

Locks: Maryland

Bubble Teams: Ohio State Buckeyes

  • There is a chance that OSU can take the B10 crown, remember, the Buckeyes have beaten Denver this year.
  • Hopkins still has to play Maryland this week before the Big Ten Tourney, so there is definitely a chance this team could win that game, get a win or two in the Big Ten Tournament and play its way into the NCAAT. The Jays are 6-6. A loss to Maryland would put them at 6-7 so it would need to win two games in the Big Ten Tourney to get back to .500 and be eligible for the tournament.

Colonial

Conference Leader: Towson Tigers (has the RPI and head-to-head edge over Fairfield)

Locks: None

Bubble Teams: None

  • The only other team challenging Towson is the Fairfield Stags, but I don't see that happening. Towson was a bubble team until it managed just two goals against Hofstra.

IVY

Conference Leader: Princeton Tigers

Locks: There will be at least two Ivy teams in the NCAAT, we just don't know which ones yet. I believe that the Ivy should end up with three, maybe even four teams into the national tournament.

Bubble Teams: Brown Bears, Penn Quakers, Cornell Big Red, Princeton, Yale Bulldogs

  • Last week this was such a different picture. Right now the Ivy is a mess. Brown, Yale, Cornell, and Penn could all end up 3-3 in conference. With Princeton taking the regular season title, there are three seeds left in the Ivy Tournament.
  • Cornell will not miss the IvyT. Even if the Big Red lose to Princeton and Brown and Yale both win, Cornell will have the head-to-head win over Penn.
  • If Brown beats Dartmouth the Bears will move to 4-2 in the Ivy Conference and will guarantee themselves a spot in the Conference Tournament. If Brown loses to Dartmouth and Cornell loses to Princeton, then Penn, Cornell, and Brown will all be 1-1 versus each other. The next tie-breaker is record versus the highest seed, Princeton. Brown has beaten Princeton and in this scenario Cornell would have lost to Princeton, so Brown would get in. If Brown loses to Dartmouth, Cornell beats Princeton then Brown would be left out because they lost the head-to-head versus Penn. If Brown doesn't make it in, then I would think Georgetown makes it into the NCAAT over them.
  • Penn has a game against UVA this weekend, so it could add a big boost to its tournament resume. The Quakers can potentially make it in if Brown loses to Dartmouth. However, if Cornell and Brown both lose, then Penn would be left out. Realistically, Penn has to win the AQ to have a shot to make the NCAAT, assuming they lose to UVA.
  • Yale will make the IvyT no matter what.

MAAC

Conference Leader: Marist Red Foxes

Locks: None

Bubble Teams: None

  • It is win the AQ or go home in the MAAC.

Northeast

Conference Leader: Saint Joseph's Hawks

Locks: None

Bubble Teams: None

  • The Northeast is weak. It will come down to Hobart vs. Saint Joseph's in the NEC Championship game.

Patriot

Conference Leader: Navy Midshipmen (has the RPI and head-to-head edge over Colgate Raiders)

Locks: None

Bubble Teams: Navy, Loyola, Army, Colgate

  • Honestly, I don't know who wins the AQ in this league. If things work out right, there is a chance the league gets an at-large bid, but it's a long shot

Southern

Conference Leader: Richmond Spiders (has the RPI edge over the Mercer Bears; the two teams have not played head-to-head yet)

Locks: None

Bubble Teams: None

  • Richmond should probably win the conference and be sent to the slaughter in the NCAAT.