Another fabulous Selection Sunday show! ESPN always does a great job producing the show and the commentary provides for lively banter on Lax Twitter. Shout out to the Selection Committee as well. It must be a thankless job as I'm sure that whatever combination of 18 the committee came up with, a modest-sized Internet mob would've sprouted out somewhere demanding answers.
(Ed. Note: Still though, #FreeRutgers!!!!)
Nevertheless, I think it's pretty indisputable that the committee got it mostly right. You can argue about who should've gotten the last spot, but in reality maybe 2 teams have legit reasons to be disappointed. An overwhelming majority of teams eligible for an at-large probably didn't have any reasonable chance at getting one. The committee got it right for the most part.
Regardless, Hot Takes were flying about all over Twitter and the live Crossecast during the broadcast was so much fun. So thanks for all the banter material! Looking ahead, we got a special treat from @HoyaSuxa coming up early tomorrow so keep an eye out for that one!
Here's mine! I have Hartford and Towson winning the play-in games.
Because I'm like that, Yo! pic.twitter.com/oJJ8hPpfXz— blank (@Eri_Barrister) May 9, 2016
Every Monday I'll put up a post with the results from the weekend. We want to hear your picks as well! So add them in the comments section or just use that space to mock my picks! Either is cool!
(Ed. Note: Additionally, here's a link to the women's bracket as well. I went mostly #HaveNotsLacrosse2016 in my women's bracket.)
Where's Rutgers At?
Hahaha ... I couldn't leave without a couple words on the Scarlett Knights!
Was Rutgers close to getting in?
Answer: ABSOLUTELY!!! I thought Rutgers had a legit chance on Sunday. I picked Harvard as my last team in, but I certainly recognized that RU had a competitive resume in the at-large discussion. The two wins over Hopkins were huge, they had a top 20 RPI, and Rutgers was the second best team in the second best conference in D1. No doubt, Rutgers was in the discussion and it probably came down to them, Harvard, or Navy.
Should they have made it?
Answer: Maybe! But probably not! I think it's pretty obvious I was rooting for the Scarlett Knights throughout the year. However, even I recognized that that a 30th ranked SOS was going to hurt them. Furthermore, while RU had a two big wins over #11 RPI JHU, they didn't have any other top 20 wins outside of those two. Some of that was due to bad luck, as #25 RPI PSU and #29 RPI Army fell outside of the top 20 towards the end of the season.
Nevertheless, while it pains the Jersey in me to admit it, the Midshipmen had a slightly better resume and probably deserved to get in over the Scarlett Knights. (Ed. Note: That doesn't mean I like it though!!) Navy had wins over #12 RPI Air Force and #7 Loyola. A top 10 win means something to the committee, also, I could see how Loyola beating Hopkins earlier in the year added a couple points to Navy's case.
Moreover, I'm certain Air Force winning the SoCon AQ and getting a high RPI gave Navy a much needed boost as well. While both RU and Navy have a win over Army, Navy's win over #23 RPI Bucknell is slightly better than Rutgers' win over #25 PSU. It may be splitting hairs but, that's what the committee has to do at the end of the day. Their job isn't to find who merits a bid, it is to find out who merits a bid more.
Additionally, I believe when it came right down to it, Navy's #11 SOS was probably what tipped the scales in their favor. Furthermore, I think one of the biggest knocks against Rutgers was their loss to #37 RPI Princeton. It's unfair to pin not getting in the dance on one loss, after such a good season, especially when Navy has a loss to #36 RPI Boston U. However, the fact remains, BU was over .500 this year, had big wins over Navy and Harvard, were 8-2 at one point in the season, and as high as the mid-teens in many polls throughout the first 2/3rds of the season.
There's no argument that the Terriers didn't play well down the stretch (BU ended the season on a 5-game losing streak). however, even with the less than ideal finish, they still made the Patriot League tournament. While they might have had a similar RPI, Princeton was 5-8 this year, only beat Dartmouth and Cornell in the Ivy, and its biggest win was over Rutgers. I think RU's loss to the Tigers had an impact on the final decision. It might not have been huge, but I believe it played a part.
Is not making the tournament a good thing?
Answer: Obviously not in the immediate aftermath, but it will be in the long run! Losing sucks. Missing out on something you think you earned is difficult to move past. I am sure the lads and the BOSSES are hurting right now. Obviously no words from some Philadelphia blogger is going to take away the pain over not getting in this year.
Nevertheless, this is a great opportunity for Rutgers as well. This was an historic season for the Scarlett Knights. Their fast offense, contentious defense, and swift transition game was a joy to watch all season. Rutgers probably gained more fans on campus and around the Nation this year than they did the last handful of years combined. Moreover, the uproar from them not making the tournament was immediate and almost universal. Maybe it was for only one day, but in one fell swoop Rutgers was able to unite "The Selection Committee is rigged" truthers, Hopkins haters, casual fans, and under dog lovers all under one banner; in unison they all screamed "Justice for Rutgers!!"
You know what that sounds like to me? That sounds like a team that's going to have a larger following and an even bigger chip on their shoulder next year!
Now, as I always say THERE ARE NO MORAL VICTORIES IN LACROSSE OR IN LIFE. However, I believe in the long run, all the Rutgers related pre-Selection Sunday banter, them getting snubbed, and the ensuing discussion over whether or not they should've gotten a bid might actually end up being a boon for the program. More people than ever probably know about Rutgers and how well they played this year, which should help recruiting. Furthermore, being snubbed should be wonderful motivation/bulletin board material this off-season. Moreover, I expect the Scarlett Knights to be in many preseason top 20 polls as they return a ton of talent next year, so they'll start off next year in a better position than in any recent season.
I certainly don't mean to ignore how hurt everyone in the program must be right now. Would it have been cooler to get in this year? Obviously! However, I expect Rutgers to use what happened on Selection Sunday as motivation for an even better 2017. As Queen Beyonce always says, when life gives you lemons, you gotta make some lemonade!