NCAA Lacrosse Tournmanet Bracket Projection Aggregation

Rob Carr

Where do people have your favorite or least favorite team relative the NCAA Tournament field?

ESPNU will announce the NCAA Tournament field on Sunday at 9:00 P.M., but until then, we're all adrift in the ocean, seeing images of beautiful brackets that may or may not exist. Tournament projectionists have filed their early-week dispatches -- much can change over the next few days -- and this is what everyone has at the moment (click the names and you'll go directly to the pieces):

BRACKET PROJECTION AGGREGATION: APRIL 30, 2013
FOY STEVENS COUGHLIN "burnspbesq"
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
America East Albany Albany Albany Albany
Big East Notre Dame Syracuse Villanova Notre Dame
THUNDERDOME! Penn State Penn State Penn State Penn State
ECAC Denver Denver Loyola Denver
Ivy Cornell Cornell Cornell Cornell
MAAC Marist Marist Marist Marist
NEC Bryant Bryant Bryant Bryant
Patriot* Lehigh Lehigh Lehigh Lehigh
AT-LARGE SELECTIONS
Bucknell In In In In
Denver AQ AQ In AQ
Drexel Out Out Out Out
Duke In In In In
Loyola In In AQ In
Maryland In In In In
North Carolina In In In In
Notre Dame AQ In In AQ
Ohio State In In In In
Pennsylvania Out In Out In
Princeton Out Out Out Out
Syracuse In AQ In In
Villanova Out Out AQ Out
Yale In Out Out Out

*: Lehigh has earned the Patriot League's automatic invitation.

The table illustrates all teams that were included in at least one bracket last week and updated for any new additions this week. Not much has changed from the previous week -- Albany, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Penn State, Denver, Loyola, Cornell, Marist, Bryant, Lehigh (they're in, yo!), Bucknell, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, and Ohio State are projected as "in" the field in all surveyed projections. Pennsylvania and Yale are jockeying for the last position in the field while Drexel and Princeton are not getting a lot of love at the moment and need some things to fall in their favor. (My gut tells me that Coughlin would have Yale in the field if he didn't have Villanova winning the Big East Tournament as the Elis are the first team in his "next four out.") Of course, all of this turns into a flammable object if conference tournaments go sideways.

So that's where bracket projectors are shaking out. What about the guy -- me -- that doesn't particularly like the primary selection criteria that the NCAA mandates the Selection Committee utilize? This is how things shake out when you look at resumes based on efficiency values.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS

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 38.42 (1) 79.98% (1) Virginia (20); Yale (15); Pennsylvania (6); Princeton (10) N/A 0.73 (25) 53.97% (21)
ECAC Loyola 12.14 (3) 78.00% (2) Ohio State (19); Johns Hopkins (16) N/A 0.82 (24) 53.87% (22)
Patriot Lehigh 11.45 (5) 76.87% (3) Penn State (11); Army (17); Bucknell (12) (2x) N/A 0.86 (23) 51.99% (25)
Big East Notre Dame 8.89 (7) 73.68% (6) Duke (13); Penn State (11); North Carolina (2); Denver (4); Ohio State (19) N/A 2.68 (9) 57.21% (10)
THUNDERDOME! Penn State 8.05 (11) 71.35% (9) Denver (4); Bucknell (12) N/A 1.47 (20) 55.06% (17)
America East Albany 6.35 (14) 63.94% (17) Syracuse (9); Johns Hopkins (16) N/A -1.00 (41) 48.98% (35)
NEC Robert Morris 4.00 (21) 59.77% (23) N/A Dartmouth (40); Bryant (41); Sacred Heart (53) -3.15 (55) 40.87% (56)
MAAC Marist 0.14 (33) 50.35% (33) N/A Delaware (43); Manhattan (56) -5.19 (61) 36.92% (60)

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). (Please note: Robert Morris is weird. It's really hard to explain, but here's the short of the long: Bryant is probably the best team in the NEC. Let's leave it at that and move on.)

AT-LARGE POOL

To keep this relatively manageable, I'm including all teams ranked in the top 20 in adjusted efficiency margin that aren't indicated above as an imaginary conference champion and eligible for NCAA Tournament consideration. The at-large pool probably isn't this deep, but the depth of the table does provide a little context to the overall picture and illustrates what teams could be in the at-large conversation after the regular season and various conference tournaments are completed.

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 12.54 (2) 76.74% (4) Princeton (10); Maryland (8); Johns Hopkins (16); Virginia (20) (2x); Duke (13) N/A 2.40 (12) 58.41% (6)
ECAC Denver 11.45 (4) 72.68% (7) Duke (13); Lehigh (5); Pennsylvania (6); Ohio State (19); Loyola (3) N/A 1.85 (17) 56.19% (14)
Ivy Pennsylvania 9.16 (6) 74.98% (5) Duke (13); Lehigh (5); Princeton (10) N/A 3.92 (1) 59.61% (2)
ACC Maryland 8.89 (8) 72.06% (8) Loyola (3); Duke (13); Virginia (20); Yale (15) N/A 2.61 (10) 58.16% (7)
Big East Syracuse 8.81 (9) 70.85% (10) Army (17); Virginia (20); St. John's (18); Johns Hopkins (16); Princeton (10); Cornell (1); Notre Dame (7) N/A 1.35 (22) 54.95% (18)
Ivy Princeton 8.18 (10) 67.95% (12) Johns Hopkins (16); Yale (15) Dartmouth (40) 2.77 (8) 58.60% (5)
Patriot Bucknell 7.48 (12) 69.01% (11) Cornell (1); Albany (14); Army (17) (2x) Mount St. Mary's (50) 2.79 (7) 56.21% (13)
ACC Duke 6.73 (13) 64.14% (16) Loyola (3); North Carolina (2); Virginia (20) N/A 2.49 (11) 56.22% (12)
Ivy Yale 6.19 (15) 66.39% (13) Albany (14); Pennsylvania (6) N/A 3.10 (5) 57.77% (8)
Independent Johns Hopkins 5.75 (16) 65.48% (14) Virginia (20); Maryland (8) N/A 2.13 (14) 55.42% (15)
Patriot Army 5.51 (17) 64.91% (15) N/A N/A -1.77 (50) 45.38% (50)
Big East St. John's 5.44 (18) 61.17% (20) Yale (15); Notre Dame (7) Georgetown (45) 0.11 (31) 51.72% (27)
ECAC Ohio State 5.12 (19) 63.16% (18) Penn State (11); Virginia (20) N/A 1.49 (19) 53.59% (24)

Based on this information, I'd probably take these four schools -- in no particular order -- as at-large invitees without blinking an eye: North Carolina, Maryland, Denver, and Syracuse. The other three that I'd take as at-large selections without wanting to bore the mailman into agreeing with me (in no particular order): Pennsylvania, Bucknell, and Duke. Then it gets messy -- Yale, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and Ohio State all having relatively similar profiles, but I think I'd give the Elis the nod: No bad losses; arguably the strongest strength of schedule compared to this subset; comparable "best" win to Johns Hopkins' victory over Maryland; lost to Princeton but didn't have a brain fart against Dartmouth like the Tigers and the Bulldog's expected winning rate is comparable to Princeton's. The only difference here between the aggregated projections above is that this would have Ohio State out without a lot of compassion (rightly or wrongly) and Yale and Pennsylvania in the field. Life is weird.

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