Everybody loves to fill out a bracket for the tournament. You do the office pool, the pool with old buddies, whatever. Warren Buffet promises a bazillion dollars to anyone with a perfect bracket. It’s a blast. Of course, nobody really has any clue what they’re doing, even the experts, and that’s part of what makes it fun. Every pool has that person who just picked the mascot they like or flipped a coin every time. If you’re going to just be arbitrary, why not try something that’s rarely been tried before? Here’s how the bracket looks if you pick games based on the school’s lacrosse teams. This is completely scientific and legit, and I know because I did some solid googling and spent a good 40 minutes on the MCLA website, so my conclusions are infallible. Enjoy.
Actually, not that weird. Although the best matchup in the first round is easily the 1/16 of UVA taking on UMBC.
1 UVA / 16 UMBC - UVA has been struggling of late and may not actually be as good as we all thought in the first few weeks. Having said that, they’re better than UMBC all the time, and move on.
8 Creighton / 9 Kansas St - These two teams actually both have MCLA programs….and played each other! K-State won! Wildcats advance. This is easy!
5 Kentucky / 12 Davidson - As far as I can tell both these teams never really update their websites and I can see nothing in the way of results other than Davidson getting crushed by College of Charleston, so Kentucky moves on. This is not easy.
4 Arizona / 13 Buffalo - Arizona is currently 2-5 and has lost four straight. Can’t be that negative energy into the tournament. Buffalo is 2-3 and lost three straight. Jeez guys. Buffalo advances because they’ve been cold for less time (metaphorically. Buffalo is always cold)
6 Miami / 11 Loyola-Chicago - Miami is terrible. I’m talking losing a game 17-3 terrible, but also managing to lose a game 1-0 to Florida State terrible (maybe that’s a forfeit?). Loyola-Chicago on the other hand, as far as I can tell, has no lacrosse of any kind, so…IT’S ALL ABOUT THE U.
3 Tennessee / 11 Wright State - Tennessee is 3-3 with division play just getting started and have some nice wins. Wright State plays as much lacrosse as Loyola Chicago. Go Vols.
7 Nevada / 10 Texas - Nevada beat Arizona, so that’s something. But so did Texas. Texas has more wins and also should have a division one program by now, so they move on.
2 Cincy / 15 Georgia State - Cincinnati has an active women’s team, but nothing about men at all. Georgia State’s club info for the last two years hasn’t been updated. Advantage Cincy for having at least one gender play lacrosse.
The rest of the south is fairly sane. Buffalo would beat Kentucky, however UVA rolls over K-State and then Buffalo. Texas beats up on Tennessee, setting up a showdown with UVA. UVA also destroys the Longhorns and is in the Final Four.
1 Xavier / 16 Texas Southern - According to the Xavier club team web page, they show a lot of promise for the coming 2015-16 season. That’s positive. Texas Southern also has nothing. Xavier survives?
8 Missouri / 9 Florida St - FSU is 5-3 and has beaten some bigtime teams. Mizzou is also 5-3, and this is the first time we have active successful MCLA teams playing each other. FSU wins because they played BYU within 3 and Texas within 1.
5 Ohio State / 12 South Dakota State - The Buckeyes haven't been great lately, and have even dropped to the bottom or out of some Top 20 polls after being ranked as high as the top five. But they’re not "can't beat a non-existent team" struggling. Buckeyes.
4 Gonzaga / 13 UNC Greensboro - Gonzaga got blown out by College of Idaho, and then again by University of Idaho a week later. It’s rough to get destroyed by different Idaho’s. Greensboro, however, has no data available, so they can’t move on. Good luck against Ohio State, Zags! I hear they’re a bit better than either Idaho.
6 Houston / 11 San Diego State - Houston is 0-9, gets routinely blown out, and has no coach right now. San Diego State has a nice win over USC and has been in some tight ones, but is 2-4. Still, they advance.
3 Michigan / 14 Montana - Michigan. Some of these are easier than others, alright?
7 Texas A&M / 10 Providence - Providence got some “also considered” love in Top 20s early this year. A&M is 8-3 with close losses to Florida, BYU, and Florida State, all very strong team. But they can’t beat a legit D1 program. Finally, a tournament the Friars can advance in.
2 UNC / 15 Lipscomb - I didn’t even google anything for this. UNC.
The West was the first place we saw a one seed go down to a 16. Get that lax program in gear, Xavier. Xavier’s success would be short lived as they drop to Florida State, primarily because Xavier advanced despite having no team. And Florida State success would be short equally short lived as they get crushed by the Buckeyes. Some poor seeding led to a Sweet 16 matchup between Michigan and UNC, although UNC would get a scare from Providence in the second round. The Tar Heels narrowly prevail over Providence and then Michigan. UNC would squeak by in a nail biter over Ohio State, as has been their style this year, to advance to the Final Four.
1 Villanova / 16 LIU Brooklyn - Nova. Even if you want to say Radford because they have a team and LIU doesn't, we're splitting hairs Sometimes this isn’t as fun as I’d hoped.
8 Virginia Tech / 9 Alabama - Another hot MCLA battle! VA Tech has quality wins against NC State and Arizona State, and lost to Colorado by a goal. Bama, however is undefeated at 6-0, and presumably receiving coaching consultations from Nick Saban. Roll Tide.
5 WVU / 12 Murray State - West Virginia is 2-2, and blew out Marshall in a scrimmage, but lost big to Oklahoma. Murray State plays baseball. The fighting Steve Slaton’s advance.
4 Wichita State / 13 Marshall - Marshall’s only game was that blowout loss to WVU. Wichita State has no team, so I guess Marshall gets the rematch!
6 Florida / 11 St Bonnie - Florida wins. They are 8-3 and play one of the best MCLA schedules out there. The lacrosse culture at the school is legit, their women’s program is a national powerhouse, we have to hope men’s D1 isn’t far behind. They are good enough to pull the upset over a newbie D1 program. Welcome to MARCH. Go Gators.
3 Texas Tech / 14 SF Austin - Texas Tech is at 6-5 with close losses against quality opponents, tough to do in the brutal Texas MCLA scene. SF Austin is 0-4 and lost one game by 21 goals. Red Raiders goin on.
7 Arkansas / 10 Butler - Anyone else old enough to remember when Butler had a division one team? I am. Arkansas is 4-5 and anyone who is decent blows them out. Butler’s club team, however, is 0-8. How the mighty have fallen. Arkansas wins.
2 Purdue / 15 CSU Fullerton - Purdue is not good, and sure Fullerton is decent. But we’re eliminating Fullerton entirely because it’s a baseball school. That’s just science and analysis.
The East would prove to be too easy for Villanova. West Virginia got to destroy Marshall all over again, but then took a beating of their own at the hands of the Wildcats. Florida would fight valiantly but not hard enough to beat underrated Cinderella Texas Tech. Florida and Tech both played South Carolina, and Tech played them closer. The Red Raiders would blow by Arkansas next, and would be feeling good about themselves in the Elite Eight. Villanova, however, is too tall a task for Texas Tech, and Villanova heads to the Final Four.
1 Kansas / 16 Penn - The Quakers are giant killers! Kansas actually has a 2-0 MCLA team so this isn’t even a total joke. Now we’re having fun. A 16 seed advances as Penn dominates.
8 Seton Hall / 9 NC State - Seton Hall PREP is a pretty decent high school program. Nothin happenin at Seton Hall that I can tell though. NC State’s only win is against North Florida, but at least they have a win and a team. Wolfpack moving on.
5 Clemson / 12 New Mexico - Clemson is 9-1, with only a one goal loss to Georgia on their record, and has won 6 straight. New Mexico has no schedule for the last three years, and presumably no team, but if they did they’d lose to Clemson.
4 Auburn / 13 Charleston - Charleston has wins over North Florida and Davidson, but gets beat bad by quality competition. Auburn is 4-2-1 win some nice SEC wins, they move on, Charles Barkley is happy.
6 TCU / 11 Syracuse - Sorry TCU. The Horned Frogs are 1-7, albeit against a tough schedule, but they have no chance. The Cuse is taking this one, although their ride through this bracket is actually a lot shorter than you might think...
3 Michigan State / 14 Bucknell - Will Sands is taking this Bucknell team places folks, and it starts with this hypothetical upset of Michigan State in Lacrosseketball. Michigan State used to have a D1 program, and their MCLA squad is dynamite, but not dynamite enough to upset the Bison. Bucknell moving on.
7 Rhode Island / 10 Oklahoma - Oklahoma is at 6-3 with wins over Arizona, ASU, and TCU. Rhode Island is 2-2 and (obviously) got blown out by UConn. Oklahoma moves on.
2 Duke / 15 Iona - I bet Iona could field a decent D1 program given where they could recruit from. Anyway, Duke destroys them, in basketball and/or lacrosse.
The Midwest is an absolute bloodbath for our lacrosse bracket. Penn, Cuse, Bucknell, and Duke all bracketed together. Cuse easily wins the play in game over ASU, but has to fight tooth and nail to get by Bucknell in round one. Their reward for a win there is Duke, and it’s too tall a task. Penn would dominate NC State, followed by Auburn. Duke heads to an Elite Eight rematch with Penn, and the Quakers pull the upset yet again. Penn, a 16 seed, is in the Final Four.
THE FINAL FOUR
UVA vs UNC - UNC doesn’t have the 2016 (lacrosse) magic. A nice run through Michigan and a battle with Ohio State got them to the Final Four. Now tournament tested, the young players from UVA have matured and gained experience, and they’re in a nice rhythm after beating up Texas and Buffalo. UNC defense picks a bad time to revert to early season struggles, and the Cavaliers win 15-8 and are playing for the title.
Villanova vs Penn - Penn is the first 16 seed to ever win a game, and they take that all the way to the Final Four….but no further. Even riding the high of upsetting Duke, the Quakers aren’t able to avenge the loss to Villanova. The Wildcats win 9-6, and head to the championship.
UVA vs Villanova - UVA and Nova had the easier rodes for sure. They didn’t play another actual division one opponent until UNC and Penn, respectively, in the semifinal. But now, it’s a showdown that I’d pay to see today in either sport. UVA is feeling good after beating UNC, but Villanova is still feeling like they don’t have the respect they deserve. Villanova plays angry and with purpose, and takes the title, 11-9.
And that is, definitely and obviously without any possible argument, what would happen if the NCAA basketball bracket were lacrosse teams.