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2019 College Crosse Bracketology 2.0: Entering Conference Play

It’s still tough to decide the eight seeded teams.

NCAA Men’s Final Four - Previews Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

308 out of 503 games down with 195 to go. We’re done with 61.2% of the regular season. Crazy isn’t it?

In a little over six weeks, we’ll have May Mayhem in college lacrosse. And despite having the Big Ten and CAA begin conference play this weekend, why not get ahead of ourselves and start looking ahead to what we might see in the NCAA Tournament?

This season has been fun, exciting, weird, crazy, unusual, different, you name it. There’s not really a true dominant team in the country, and it shows in the college lacrosse polls with the variety of #1 teams in the nation. Out of the 27 voters in the Media Poll this week, the top five teams got at least one #1 vote.

So if that’s the case, could some high quality teams be unseeded?

If you need a refresher from last week, scroll down to the bottom of the weekend preview.

Automatic Qualifiers

There are only nine AQs, and you can thank the ACC for the odd number (Please find a sixth team ASAP). Since we still have two conferences yet to start conference play (and another that has had one total conference game), we’ll take the top team in each conference based on the highest RPI, according to LaxBytes. When we get deeper into conference play for all the conferences, we’ll transition the AQ to the team with the highest conference record.

2019 College Crosse Bracketology Automatic Qualifiers 2.0

Team Conference Record RPI SOS vs. 1-5 vs. 6-10 vs. 11-15 vs. 16-20 vs. 21+ Avg. RPI Ws Avg. RPI Ls Significant Ws Significant Ls
Team Conference Record RPI SOS vs. 1-5 vs. 6-10 vs. 11-15 vs. 16-20 vs. 21+ Avg. RPI Ws Avg. RPI Ls Significant Ws Significant Ls
Yale Ivy League 6-1 1 4 0-0 1-0 1-1 1-0 3-0 20.5 13 NA Villanova (13)
Ohio State Big Ten 7-0 2 19 1-0 0-0 0-0 1-0 5-0 27 NA NA NA
Loyola Patriot League 6-2 10 13 1-1 0-0 1-1 1-0 3-0 25.16666667 7.5 Virginia (3) Towson (11)
Towson CAA 5-3 11 7 0-1 1-0 1-2 0-0 3-0 26.8 10 Loyola (10) Cornell (12), Denver (14)
Villanova Big East 5-4 13 5 1-0 0-3 0-0 0-0 4-1 32 12.75 Yale (1) Drexel (28)
Hobart NEC 8-1 18 39 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 8-0 47.625 12 NA NA
Air Force SoCon 6-3 22 33 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-0 6-1 49.83333333 22 NA Utah (51)
Siena MAAC 5-2 27 49 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 5-1 56.4 27 NA Fairfield (36)
Vermont America East 5-3 33 46 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 5-2 55.8 24 NA NA
Data from LaxBytes from all games before 3/29

This week, we expanded some of the data values to make it as close as how the NCAA Selection Committee operates. Instead of record against RPI teams 11-20, we split it with record against the teams ranked 11-15 and 16-20 separately. I also calculated the average RPI of a team’s wins and losses.

From last week, Villanova moved ahead of Denver and is taking the Big East’s AQ. Air Force took over the SoCon AQ thanks to High Point’s upset loss to Jacksonville. There’s a big gap between Ohio State and Towson. The top nine teams in the RPI hail from either the Ivy League, Big Ten, or ACC.

At-Large Candidates

Eight more teams will be picked to join the nine qualifiers. It looks like we could have a weak bubble this year with some three and four loss teams fighting for a potential tournament spot.

2019 College Crosse Bracketology At-Large Candidates 2.0

Team Conference Record RPI SOS vs. 1-5 vs. 6-10 vs. 11-15 vs. 16-20 vs. 21+ Avg. RPI Ws Avg. RPI Ls Significant Ws Significant Ls
Team Conference Record RPI SOS vs. 1-5 vs. 6-10 vs. 11-15 vs. 16-20 vs. 21+ Avg. RPI Ws Avg. RPI Ls Significant Ws Significant Ls
Virginia ACC 6-2 3 6 1-0 1-1 1-0 1-0 2-1 20.16666667 17.5 NA Loyola (10), High Point (25)
Duke ACC 8-2 4 12 0-0 2-1 2-0 0-0 4-1 27.625 16 NA Syracuse (7), High Point (25)
Notre Dame ACC 4-3 5 1 0-2 1-0 1-0 0-0 2-1 25.75 11.66666667 NA Richmond (30)
Maryland Big Ten 8-1 6 17 0-1 1-0 1-0 0-0 6-0 26.25 5 NA NA
Syracuse ACC 5-2 7 9 1-1 0-0 1-0 2-0 1-1 19 13.5 Duke (4) Colgate (24)
Penn State Big Ten 7-1 8 20 0-1 1-0 2-0 0-0 4-0 32.71428571 1 NA NA
Penn Ivy League 4-3 9 2 0-1 0-2 2-0 0-0 2-0 26.75 6 NA NA
Cornell Ivy League 5-3 12 8 0-1 0-2 1-0 2-0 2-0 29.6 6 Towson (11) NA
Denver Big East 5-3 14 3 0-2 0-0 1-0 0-0 4-1 30.2 12.66666667 Towson (11) Princeton (29)
Johns Hopkins Big Ten 4-4 15 8 0-1 0-2 0-1 0-0 4-0 36.75 7.75 NA NA
Army West Point Patriot League 7-2 16 28 0-0 0-1 0-0 2-1 5-0 38.14285714 13 NA Lehigh (19)
UMass CAA 6-3 17 24 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-1 6-0 50.33333333 6.333333333 NA NA
Lehigh Patriot League 6-3 19 27 0-1 0-0 0-1 2-0 4-1 35.83333333 16.33333333 Army West Point (16) Hofstra (34)
Rutgers Big Ten 5-4 20 18 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-2 5-0 41 13 NA NA
Georgetown Big East 7-2 21 41 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 7-1 44.57142857 21.5 NA Marquette (32)
High Point SoCon 7-2 25 53 2-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 5-2 39.57142857 44.5 Virginia (3), Duke (4) Jacksonville (39), St. John's (50)
North Carolina ACC 6-3 26 35 0-0 0-1 0-2 0-0 6-0 46.33333333 11.66666667 NA NA
Richmond SoCon 6-3 30 49 1-1 0-1 0-0 0-0 5-1 48.66666667 19.66666667 Notre Dame (5) Mount St. Mary's (49)
Data from LaxBytes from all games before 3/29

Seven of the top 10 RPI teams are in single digits. More than half of them are in the ACC, while the Ivy League has two teams.

Which Conferences Could Have Multiple Bids?

It’s probably an obvious answer. The ACC, Big Ten, and Ivy League if everything goes to plan. Here’s each conference’s minimum and maximum number of bids.

  • ACC: Minimum 3, Maximum 4
  • America East: 1-bid league
  • Big East: Minimum 1, Maximum 3
  • Big Ten: Minimum 3, Maximum 4
  • CAA: Minimum 1, Maximum 2
  • Ivy League: Minimum 2, Maximum 3
  • MAAC: 1-bid league
  • NEC: 1-bid league
  • Patriot League: Minimum 1, Maximum 2
  • SoCon: Minimum 1, Maximum 2

Bracketology Prediction 2.0

Before I unveil what I have, here’s the rundown for creating the bracket. The cliff-notes from the NCAA are below:

  • Eligibility and availability of student-athletes for NCAA championships
  • Won-lost record
  • Strength of schedule index [based on team’s 10 highest rated contests; (2 games against the same opponent will count as two contests)]
  • Results of the RPI
  • Record against ranked teams 1-5; 6-10; 11-15; 16-20; 21+
  • Average RPI wins (average RPI of all wins)
  • Average RPI loss (average RPI of all losses)
  • Head-to-head competition
  • Results versus common opponents
  • Significant wins and losses (wins against teams ranked higher in the RPI and losses against teams ranked lower in the RPI)
  • Location of contests
  • Any polls do not matter

So once again, here we go:

Last Four In: Syracuse, Penn State, Penn, Cornell
First Four Out: Denver, Johns Hopkins, Army West Point, Lehigh

There are 10 teams that are definitely deserving of being seeded in the tournament. However, there’s only eight spots.

Cornell is the last team in because others below them simply aren’t that good. With the loss to Princeton on Tuesday, Denver is now the first team out. That could be pivotal if the Big Red and Pioneers are fighting for an at-large spot in May and Cornell beats Princeton. But besides Denver, have Johns Hopkins, Army West Point, Lehigh, or UMass proved they’re bubble worthy? High Point may have taken themselves out of the picture with their loss to Jacksonville.

But there’s still plenty of time for change. Conference play hasn’t even begun for two conferences, three if you want to throw in the Big East with four of their teams kicking off conference play this weekend. It’s certain RPI and SOS numbers will go up and down for the next handful of weeks, which will affect team resumes.

Isn’t this fun?