Eds. Note: I missed this yesterday from Mike. Front page'd because my eyeballs are starting to cross and fingers starting to bleed.
I say Big East and you think "Syracuse, duh." This year, however, the correct answer has been Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish won the Big East conference and, as is customary in sports, are awarded the top seed in a conference tournament. Plus, they get the baller suites in stunningly gorgeous Villanova, Pennsylvania. (I've never been there, nor have I known anyone to ever go there, so I can only assume it's stunningly gorgeous.)
As always, these Log 5 ratings are based on my own efficiency ratings like HoyaSuxa used in beating you over the head with Big East tempo-free team profiles of each of the participants. Also, RyanMcD29 has some great, pretty -- far prettier than Villanova, Pennsylvania, I'm assuming -- infographics on the tournament for your viewing pleasure right here. My efficiency models are a combination of regressed and un-regressed shooting rates. Onward and upward.
You can click the image to enlarge.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish feature great goaltending and are arguably the best defensive team in the nation -- I say arguably because I'd make mention of Johns Hopkins and Ohio State as well -- and the top dog in the Big East Conference Tournament fight. They draw St. John's in the semis which is a huge advantage. The Johnnies are pretty clearly the worst of the four and Notre Dame/s 80.4% to win. The 2-3 match up is a bit more even with a 58% chance of the Irish meeting the hospitable Villanova Wildcats in the finals. If that occurred, Notre Dame would be 62-38 favorites. Against perennial power Syracuse, Notre Dame would 69.4% favorites. Add this all up and Notre Dame's odds of winning the tournament sit at 52.4%.
St. John's: Maybe the Red Storm could have a nice little getaway with the Towson Tigers to discuss what it's like to be in a tournament with three clearly superior teams. I'm sorry, that's kind of mean. Still, the Johnnies have a one-in-five chance to beat the top seed. Unfortunately, they're underdogs to both Villanova and Syracuse (28.7% to 'Nova and 35.7% to 'Cuse) and their odds of winning the tourney title sit at just 6.2%.
Syracuse: Not a lot to say for the Orange who haven't been Orange-like much this year. I mean, they have been wearing some prison-orange uniforms but haven't been playing like the Syracuse squads we've come to expect. That said, they're still a solid team (currently 24th in my system). That said, Villanova is also a good team and has home field advantage. On a neutral field Syracuse would be favored but at 'Nova, they are the underdogs with a 42% chance to win. Should they win, they are underdogs to Notre Dame (30.6% chance of a victory) and overall their tournament title odds sit at just 15.6%. One-in-six tries they take home the title? You can feel every lacrosse writer pulling for that. IMAGINE THE NARRATIVES THAT COULD BE PAINTED!
Villanova: The host squad are actually the third-best team by my ratings in the Big East. Their home field does make them second-best, however. They're 58% to make the finals but are 37.8% to beat Notre Dame should both squads make it that far. If the Johnnies upset their way into the finals, 'Nova should be dancing in the streets as they're expected to beat them 71.3% of the time. That's not likely to happen, though and Villanova -- despite being such kind hearted hosts in the stunningly beautiful (I'm sure it's lovely) Villanova, Pennsylvania -- only has a 25.7% chance to keep the trophy but send everyone else back home.