BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 30: Members of the Virginia Cavaliers hold up the trophy after defeating the Maryland Terrapins 9-7 at M&T Bank Stadium on May 30, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
You've probably spent the last 12 hours or so trying to reconcile why Princeton and Denver made the NCAA Tournament field and Cornell, Fairfield, and Penn State didn't. That's cool, babycakes, but why not spend some time thinking about the 16 teams that actually made the field? I mean, that's kind of the point of the postseason, right? Well, that and eating hotdogs in a parking lot while throwing washers into a homemade wooden box.
What's great and terrible about the first round of the NCAA Tournament is that it's wall-to-wall coverage with ESPN and ESPNU assaulting you with Paul Rabil Warrior commercials that are apparently geared toward selling you bass fuzz. (An odd business inventory, if you ask me honestly.) It's great because you get to crush your brain with some of the best lacrosse all year; it's terrible because you have things to do -- pretending to pay attention to your child, grocery shopping where you pretend that you're actually going to buy health food, trips to the gym where you pretend to put in a hard workout and instead chat up the personal trainer on the newest innovations in dirt-tasting protein bars.
Luckily, I'm here to help you with this tension.
The "Fun Factor" is a little tool that I invented from my very own brain that helps determine the teams and games that are the most fun to watch. It's really scientific stuff. It takes into consideration the competitiveness of a team and also factors in a team's ability to can the bean and play lots of possessions. You know, all the stuff that makes lacrosse an aphrodisiac.
Here's the breakout of the 16 teams playing in the NCAA Tournament and their correlating "Fun Factors." As it turns out, seven out of the top-10 teams in the metric are included in the field (two of the remaining three teams -- Robert Morris and Hartford -- were ineligble for postseason inclusion on an at-large basis) and 11 out of the top-15 found their way in.
|RANK||TEAM||FUN FACTOR||OPPONENT||RANK||TEAM||FUN FACTOR||OPPONENT|
|4.||Princeton||5.1769||Virginia||15.||Stony Brook||4.0540||Johns Hopkins|
|5.||Denver||5.1471||North Carolina||17.||North Carolina||3.9873||Denver|
|7.||Loyola||4.8664||Canisius||19.||Johns Hopkins||3.9109||Stony Brook|
With respect to the games themselves, it looks like Colgate-Massachusetts (whether it be played on Saturday or Sunday) is the best of the bunch and it isn't even close. That tends to happen when you throw Will Manny and Peter Baum on the same field and have them duel at dawn with lacrosse sticks. Of the two days of play, however, there isn't much of a difference in the totality of fun: Sunday shows a little better than Saturday in average ranking (4.25 against 4.75), but Saturday holds the edge in value (4.5126 against 4.3729). My advice is to skip all of your chores and general responsibilities and just plop it on the couch for 18 hours of lacrosse.
|AWAY||HOME||TIME (E.T.)||FUN FACTOR||RANK|
|MAY 12 GAMES|
|MAY 13 GAMES|
|Stony Brook||Johns Hopkins||3:00||3.9825||7|