THE STAKES: GUARANTEED ACCURATE PREDICTIONS
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 an SRS system. These predictions are guaranteed to be right, unless they turn out to be smoldering garbage.
TITLE FAVORITE: Bryant (2): 35%
MOST LIKELY FINAL: Hobart (1)-Bryant (2)
BLENDED WIN PROBABILITY OF MOST LIKELY FINAL: Bryant (2) (56%)-Hobart (1) (44%)
THREE FRIGHTENINGLY BRIEF AND INCOMPLETE THOUGHTS
- The NEC Tournament is liftoff for Conference Tournament Weekend, and there may not be a more balanced field among the seven leagues crowning a champion prior to the NCAA Tournament bracket release. All four teams — two of which have never had a May adventure — have decent shots at etching their name into the conference’s record book as the 2017 champion. Hobart may have won the league by a game with a massive goal differential in the Statesmen’s favor (much of Hobart’s dominance came against the league’s bottom feeders — the Statesmen are +8 against tournament participants), but from a macro level Hobart is on the same relative plane as the other combatants looking for hardware. The favorite — at least according to these models — has 7:4 odds against and the worst at 9:2, a fairly inelastic spread that could yield bonkers results with an automatic invitation up for grabs.
- These probabilities have home field advantage stripped out of the models, but Hobart gets a nice little bump with the tournament finding its home at The Boz. Everyone will need to hike up the Finger Lakes for this deal — what a terrible, beautiful excursion to one of the nicest places on the planet — and that should benefit the Statesmen in tangible and intangible ways. Most importantly to Hobart, though, is what home field may mean in the final should the Statesmen meet Bryant — a virtual 50-50 game with an (assumedly) raucous crowd. (I don’t care how many penalties it draws — if I don’t see fish flying onto the field or around the tailgating lot I’m going to be very disappointed. Live your best life!) With relative strength being predominantly square, any little bit of advantage can carry with it ultimate glory.
- In an odd bit of seeding, Hobart actually drew the stronger of the two underseeded teams. There isn’t a big difference between Sacred Heart and Robert Morris from a relative strength standpoint according to the two models, but the Pioneers stand as slightly more dangerous than Bobby Mo. This is potentially important for the league tournament semifinals in Geneva: (1) Bryant is expected to have a possession advantage in a game in which both teams’ strength are at the defensive end of the field (stylistically, though, these are disparate teams); and (2) Sacred Heart will pose an offensive threat to Hobart while each team is expected to have issues creating stops while fighting for any kind of possession margin. These things happen and isn’t the residue of “WE GOT SCREWED!” but Bryant — at least from a certain angle — got a more preferential draw than Hobart, even with the Statesmen getting hosting privileges for the weekend.
POLL: BEAT THE MACHINES AND WIN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
Which team will win the 2017 NEC Tournament?
This poll is closed
(3) Robert Morris
(4) Sacred Heart