Today's NCAA Lacrosse Bracket If I Was Admiral NCAA Tournament Bracket Guy

Winslow Townson

The NCAA lays down selection criteria for forming the NCAA Tournament bracket. I'm going to ignore that stuff and create my own bracket.

The regular season is winding down, you guys, and that means that NCAA Tournament projection season is in full swing. A few guys out there do a pretty good job at projecting the field:

You should read those things. They'll help the melon stuck in your skull figure things out.

I, however, am not one of those guys that are good at projecting what the Selection Committee is going to do in a few weeks. The reason is simple: I kind of despise the primary criteria that the NCAA allows that group to use to formulate a bracket. Due to this blind rage, I often fail miserably at trying to guess what is going to happen, mostly because anger isn't a great co-pilot to logic (or illogic, as we're talking about the RPI). So, instead of trying to project what the field is going to look like at the beginning of May, I'm going in a different direction: What the field might look like in a perfect universe. (Please note: A perfect universe entails me making all the rules and everyone simply accepting the consequences without rebuttal.)

Here's how this is going to work:

  • Projected conference champions are included in the field based on their current adjusted efficiency margin ranking. So, while Loyola is likely nose-to-nose with Denver in the ECAC, the nod goes to the Pioneers right now because they're ranked second in the metric.
  • The eight at-large teams are selected on series of metrics, including adjusted efficiency margin (because this tells us how well teams have actually performed in their games relative to competition played), Pythagorean win expectation (because the best teams should win the most games), significant wins (top 20) and losses (bottom 20) based on the opponent's current adjusted efficiency margin ranking, trength of schedule (based on opponent efficiency margin and Pythagorean win expectation), head-to-head results are, of course, considered, and finally a determination around which school boasts the best local chicken wing joint. No one metric is more important than the other, but there is a light ordering to the process.
  • Remember: This is not how the NCAA does things. It's merely how I might do things. This post really has no value. Sorry.

Ready? No? Too bad. Let's go!

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS

This may change in a few weeks, but as of right now these teams will have a fancy banner in their trophy case based on winning their super handsome league:

IMAGINARY CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
LEAGUE TEAM ADJ. EFF. MARGIN RANK. PYTH. WIN EXP. RANK SIG. WINS SIG. LOSSES OPP. EFF. MARGIN RANK OPP. PYTH. WIN EXP. RANK
Ivy Cornell 15.55 (1) 82.72% (1) Yale (14); Pennsylvania (13) N/A -0.34 (36) 52.79% (26)
ECAC Denver 13.19 (2) 75.01% (6) Duke (10); Lehigh (9); Pennsylvania (13); Bellarmine (19); Loyola (5) N/A 2.65 (8) 59.29% (5)
Big East Notre Dame 10.17 (6) 76.62% (5) Duke (10); Penn State (15); North Carolina (3); Denver (2) N/A 2.65 (7) 56.96%
Patriot Lehigh 8.38 (9) 70.35% (8) Penn State (15); Army (18); Bucknell (11) N/A 0.56 (27) 52.04% (28)
America East Albany 7.01 (12) 65.07% (19) Syracuse (7); Johns Hopkins (17) N/A -0.97 (41) 50.71% (34)
THUNDERDOME! Penn State 6.36 (15) 67.96% (13) Denver (2); Bucknell (11) N/A 1.50 (21) 54.05% (22)
MAAC Marist 1.81 (29) 54.68% (29) N/A Delaware (40) -4.87 (61) 39.18% (60)
NEC Bryant -3.17 (41) 41.18% (42) N/A Vermont (54) 0.38 (29) 49.74% (35)

These are ordered based on where the "conference champion" currently sits in the adjusted efficiency margin rankings (e.g., Cornell is currently ranked higher than Denver, so the Ivy League comes before the ECAC). This is potentially telling with respect to how I'd organize a bracket. Or not. Intrigue!

AT-LARGE POOL

There are eight at-large positions up for grabs. Some of these are clearly locks, but some are still questionable. To keep this relatively manageable, I'm putting just 11 teams in the at-large pool for now, because, once again, I'm in charge and the rules are whatever I want them to be. That means that three teams are stuck doing wind sprints in May while everyone else has a super fun imaginary time. Here's how these 11 teams stack up:

TRUNCATED AT-LARGE POOL
LEAGUE TEAM ADJ. EFF. MARGIN RANK. PYTH. WIN EXP. RANK SIG. WINS SIG. LOSSES OPP. EFF. MARGIN RANK OPP. PYTH. WIN EXP. RANK
ACC North Carolina 13.04 (3) 78.52% (2) Princeton (8); Maryland (4); Johns Hopkins (17); Hofstra (16) N/A 3.91 (2) 62.26% (2)
ACC Maryland 11.64 (4) 77.30% (3) Loyola (5); Duke (10) N/A 2.13 (12) 57.27% (11)
ECAC Loyola 11.54 (5) 76.83% (4) Bellarmine (19) N/A 1.80 (18) 55.50% (17)
Big East Syracuse 9.07 (7) 71.01% (7) Army (18); St. John's (20); Johns Hopkins (17); Princeton (8); Cornell (1) N/A 1.83 (17) 55.82% (15)
Ivy Princeton 8.49 (8) 68.44% (11) Hofstra (16); Johns Hopkins (17); Yale (14) N/A 1.94 (15) 58.48% (7)
ACC Duke 8.12 (10) 67.27% (15) Loyola (5); North Carolina (3) N/A 2.60 (11) 56.58% (13)
Patriot Bucknell 7.25 (11) 68.69% (10) Cornell (1); Albany (12); Army (18) Mount St. Mary's (51) 1.95 (14) 54.72% (20)
Ivy Pennsylvania 6.70 (13) 68.91% (9) Duke (10); Lehigh (9); Princeton (8) N/A 5.34 (1) 62.69% (1)
Ivy Yale 6.40 (14) 67.19% (16) Albany (12); Pennsylvania (13) N/A 3.33 (6) 57.80% (9)
THUNDERDOME! Hofstra 6.23 (16) 67.79% (14) Notre Dame (6) N/A 1.65 (19) 55.03% (19)
Independent Johns Hopkins 6.21 (17) 66.81% (17) Maryland (4) N/A 1.85 (16) 55.33% (18)

Based on this, Hofstra and Johns Hopkins are out for a couple of reasons, but mostly because they don't have as many quality wins as the two Ivy League teams ahead of them (but their quality wins are arguably better) and also because they've played weaker schedules. The relative quality of Pennsylvania, Yale, Hofstra, and Johns Hopkins is fairly even, but the other metrics balance toward the Quakers and Elis rather than the Pride and Blue Jays.

As for the Yale-Pennsylvania issue to determine the last team in this bracket-that-doesn't-exist-because-it-doesn't-use-anything-the-NCAA-requires, Yale holds the head-to-head but the Quakers have played a harder schedule and have more quality wins. Good for you, Pennsylvania: You made the cut in something that doesn't matter!

BRACKET

This is the hardest part of this exercise in total uselessness. Here's how I guess I'd go about this (again, I'm not taking into account the flight rule because I haven't taken into account any other damn rule):

(1) Notre Dame
(U) Bryant
(8) Duke
(U) Lehigh

(4) Maryland
(U) Albany
(5) Cornell
(U) Princeton

(3) North Carolina
(U) Bucknell
(6) Syracuse
(U) Penn State

(2) Denver
(U) Marist
(7) Loyola
(U) Pennsylvania

This is where you probably explode. Go for it. Remember, though: This is all imaginary.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join College Crosse

You must be a member of College Crosse to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at College Crosse. You should read them.

Join College Crosse

You must be a member of College Crosse to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at College Crosse. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker