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The Stakes: 2017 Big Ten Men’s Lacrosse Tournament

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

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

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: Maryland (1): 41%

MOST LIKELY FINAL: Maryland (1)-Ohio State (2)

BLENDED WIN PROBABILITY OF MOST LIKELY FINAL: Maryland (1) (64%)-Ohio State (2) (36%)

THREE FRIGHTENINGLY BRIEF AND INCOMPLETE THOUGHTS

  1. Johns Hopkins fans had an impressive internet meltdown after Maryland beheaded the Jays at Maryland Stadium, earning the right to slice vegetables on the World’s Largest Rivalry Cutting Board for the next 12 months. The freak out checked all the boxes on the lunatic lacrosse fan bingo card — “We’re done!” “The coaches didn’t prepare the team!” “Out-talented all over the field!” “IT’S TIME FOR PETRO TO GO!” “PROGRAM HISTORY [BLERGH BLING BLOOP] SHOULD NEVER LOSE LIKE THIS!!!!” [BLEEP PLOP POOP] 7,000 CHAMPIONSHIPS TRADITION PROGRAM STANDARDS I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW THIS TEAM CAN’T BEAT MARYLAND AND THEN RUN FOR CONGRESS AND FIX THE ECONOMY!!!!1”. You know, standard-issue winds from hard-charging internet sports blowhards. Which is why Johns Hopkins’ performance this weekend as an underdog in Columbus is so much fun to anticipate: Anything other than two victories — regardless of margin — is probably going to rebirth the crazy brain worms that nest within the skulls of many Hopkins partisans on the internet. This is fun, not in a schadenfreude way, but in an experimental how-far-will-Hopkins-fans-go-to-self-assess-their-actual-lives-in-the-context-of-lacrosse-results-they-can’t-control way. Hopkins is far from dead — this is a competitive team, relative to the rest of the nation and the Big Ten in particular — but the furor of anger that would derive from a non-championship in Ohio would hilariously overshadow whatever true purpose the Blue Jays have in 2017.
  2. Maryland is in the mix for a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament if the Terps fail to capture total victory this weekend, but are likely affixed to the top of the bracket without much argument if everything falls in Maryland’s favor on Thursday and Saturday. Those are real stakes with tangible consequence, and entering the playdown with strong odds to take Delany’s top prize helps push the Terrapins forward as the presumptive NCAA Tournament highest seed. Maryland is a cut above the other combatants in one of the NCAA’s top two leagues, and fulfilling the Terps’ prophecy this extended weekend — national titlist contender with enough pop to move through a mine-strewn field — would create additional comfort that Maryland is there, with the wind behind its back, to maybe erase a 40-year drought that has unfairly defined the Maryland program.
  3. How important was last weekend’s results in the Big Ten? I reran this simulation with Ohio State as the one-seed, Maryland as the three, and Hopkins as the two. The results — it’s about the same. No team gets a massive bump or deflated probability — the Terps would still stare at about a 40% win probability, the Buckeyes would have about 4:1 odds, and Penn State and Hopkins would still be in about the same universe. In a restricted four-team bracket with Maryland as the favorite and the three hopeful Bruti at about the same relative strength, seeding was not a major concern in the expected volition of this tournament.

POLL: BEAT THE MACHINES AND WIN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

Poll

Which team will win the 2017 Big Ten Tournament?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    (1) Maryland
    (51 votes)
  • 23%
    (2) Ohio State
    (22 votes)
  • 8%
    (3) Johns Hopkins
    (8 votes)
  • 13%
    (4) Penn State
    (13 votes)
94 votes total Vote Now