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The Stakes: 2017 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Tournament

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The Stakes — your lacrosse prediction machine — tells you exactly how the ACC Tournament is going to play out (maybe).

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports


Using the incredible power of lacrosse computers to analyze hundreds of college lacrosse games played in 2017, the machines that will eventually join together to overthrow the human race in a bloody and dispassionate uprising have determined the likelihood of how conference tournaments will shake out this spring. Two models were utilized — the Massey Ratings and a LaxPower-like SRS system. These predictions are guaranteed to be right, unless they turn out to be smoldering garbage.

TITLE FAVORITE: Duke (2): 36%

MOST LIKELY FINAL: Duke (2)-Syracuse (1)


2017 ACC Tournament Probabilities


  1. “LACROSSE COMPUTERS HATE SYRACUSE AND DESKO! #firelaxcomputers #firedesko” It probably feels like lacrosse computers have suffered major trauma to their internal computing guts with Syracuse tagged as having the third-best odds to win the ACC Tournament, but there is a method to the assessment (more than, you know, “THEY’RE UNDEFEATED IN THE LEAGUE, JERK!”). Skating by with one-goal victories isn’t an especially positive way to establish relative strength and Duke’s home field advantage — we’ll call it between a half-goal and a goal per game — is something that the Orange will need to overcome to collar hardware in this RPI-generating bonanza. 3:1 odds isn’t that bad — especially considering that Syracuse may play an actual road game in the final and is playing a semi-road game in the opening round — and the overall probabilities between Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Duke are tight, which should be expected for three tightly-bunched teams. Cool your jets, Syracuse fans: No need to go turbo lunatic on the internet machine just because your team is in the mix for the ACC title instead of guaranteed a banner.
  2. The projections, at least based on these models, does not show big expected goal differentials between the combatants. The Massey model likes Duke more than the SRS one, but even in that atmosphere there aren’t massive, “This is definitely death” spreads. This is a well-balanced tournament, one that requires maximum mozzarella stick inhalation to pass the time. The title inuring to any of the top three seeded teams wouldn’t be shocking. This balance, though, may create outsized impact to the NCAA Tournament — how much will the selection committee credit the champion, and will it understand that the top three teams have painfully similar odds to capture a trophy? (The inverse impact being — how much the selection committee will “punish” teams for not progressing or taking a victory lap?) This is the problem with blood: it splatters everywhere.
  3. Two important things to keep an eye on that will definitely influence the entire volition of the ACC Tournament: (1) How many pieces of Duke-logo’d apparel will John Danowski wear (over-under: 2.5); (2) Will John Desko gives us a t-shirt tucked into slacks? These are vital considerations. These two gentlemen of sporting honor and I-woke-up-like-this are treasures of humanity and should be both celebrated and closely monitored.



Which team will win the 2017 ACC Tournament?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    (1) Syracuse
    (75 votes)
  • 26%
    (2) Duke
    (56 votes)
  • 22%
    (3) Notre Dame
    (48 votes)
  • 16%
    (4) North Carolina
    (36 votes)
215 votes total Vote Now