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2019 College Crosse Bracketology 4.0: The stakes are rising

We’re getting closer!

NCAA Men’s Final Four - National Championship - Texas Tech v Virginia Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

390 out of 503 games down with 113 to go. We’re done with more than 3/4s of the regular season, 77.5% to be exact. Despite college basketball season finishing up this past week, we’re less than a month away from lacrosse’s version of Selection Sunday.

In a little over three weeks, we’ll have May Mayhem in college lacrosse. And with every conference having their teams play a couple of conference games so far and some more people releasing their Bracketology projections, it’s once again time to keep dissecting what we might see when the 17-team field is announced in May.

This season has been fun, exciting, weird, crazy, unusual, different, you name it. The field is wide open and the title is up for anyone to take. There’ll be some quality teams that won’t get seeded.

If you need a refresher from last week, check out what the projected field looked like.

Automatic Qualifiers

There are only nine AQs, and you can thank the ACC for the odd number (Please find a sixth team ASAP). As I mentioned last week, we’re transitioning the automatic qualifier from highest RPI to team with the best conference record. If there’s a tie for first, we’ll take the winner of their head-to-head matchup. If they haven’t played, we’ll take the team with the higher RPI, according to LaxBytes.

2019 College Crosse Bracketology Automatic Qualifiers 4.0

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
Penn State Big Ten 9-1 1 7 1-0 2-1 2-0 0-0 4-0 25.88888889 9 NA Yale (9)
Penn Ivy League 6-3 3 1 0-2 1-1 2-0 0-0 3-0 22.83333333 4.666666667 NA Duke (5), Maryland (8)
Loyola Patriot League 9-2 4 9 1-1 0-0 1-1 2-0 5-0 23.22222222 9 Virginia (2) Duke (5), Towson (13)
Villanova Big East 7-4 11 6 0-2 1-1 1-0 0-0 5-1 25.85714286 11.75 Yale (9) Drexel (35)
Towson CAA 7-3 13 14 1-1 0-0 1-2 1-0 4-0 25.57142857 11.33333333 Loyola (4) Denver (14), Cornell (15)
Richmond SoCon 7-4 21 30 0-2 1-1 0-0 0-0 6-1 46.85714286 11.75 Notre Dame (7) Mount St. Mary's (32)
Mount St. Mary's NEC 7-5 32 40 0-0 0-0 0-2 0-1 7-2 51.28571429 25 Richmond (21) UMBC (56)
Vermont America East 6-4 38 51 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 6-4 51.33333333 36.5 Holy Cross (34) UMass Lowell (59)
Detroit Mercy MAAC 7-3 39 63 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-0 7-2 53.85714286 28.33333333 Marquette (29) Quinnipiac (55)
Data from LaxBytes from all games before 4/13

So with the switch to better conference record for who gets the AQ, we had a few changes:

  • Penn receives the Ivy League AQ over Yale (Penn also had the higher RPI)
  • Villanova receives the Big East AQ over Denver (Villanova also had the higher RPI)
  • Richmond receives the SoCon AQ over High Point (High Point had the higher RPI)
  • Mount St. Mary’s receives the NEC AQ over Hobart (Hobart had the higher RPI)
  • Detroit Mercy receives the MAAC AQ over Siena (Detroit Mercy also had the higher RPI)
  • Penn State and Towson keep their respective AQs due to higher RPIs

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 4.0

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 9-2 2 4 0-1 2-0 1-0 1-1 5-0 20.88888889 11.5 NA Loyola (4), High Point (19)
Duke ACC 9-3 5 2 2-0 1-1 2-0 0-2 4-0 23.44444444 13.66666667 Penn (3), Loyola (4) Syracuse (6), North Carolina (16), High Point (19)
Syracuse ACC 7-3 6 8 1-1 0-1 2-0 2-0 2-1 21.28571429 15.33333333 Duke (5) Notre Dame (7), Colgate (37)
Notre Dame ACC 6-4 7 3 0-2 2-1 1-0 0-0 3-1 23.33333333 9.5 Syracuse (6) Ohio State (10), Richmond (21)
Maryland Big Ten 9-2 8 15 1-1 0-1 1-0 1-0 6-0 27.55555556 4 Penn (3) NA
Yale Ivy League 7-2 9 17 1-1 0-0 1-1 0-0 5-0 28.71428571 7 Penn State (1) Villanova (11)
Ohio State Big Ten 7-2 10 20 0-1 1-0 0-0 0-1 6-0 28.85714286 9.5 Notre Dame (7) Rutgers (18)
Johns Hopkins Big Ten 6-4 12 5 0-2 0-1 0-1 2-0 4-0 26.83333333 6.25 NA Towson (13)
Denver Big East 6-4 14 12 0-1 0-1 1-1 2-0 3-1 27.83333333 11.75 Towson (13) Princeton (24)
Cornell Ivy League 7-4 15 11 0-2 0-2 1-0 0-0 6-0 41.42857143 4.75 Towson (13) NA
North Carolina ACC 7-4 16 21 1-1 0-1 0-2 0-0 6-0 42.42857143 9 Duke (5) NA
Georgetown Big East 8-4 17 26 0-1 0-0 0-2 0-0 8-1 42 15 NA Marquette (29)
Rutgers Big Ten 6-5 18 19 0-1 1-1 0-1 0-1 5-1 37.66666667 12.8 Ohio State (10) Army West Point (20), Lehigh (22)
High Point SoCon 9-2 19 43 2-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 7-2 39.33333333 49 Virginia (2), Duke (5) Jacksonville (40), St. John's (58)
Army West Point Patriot League 8-3 20 32 0-0 0-1 0-0 1-0 7-2 40.75 18 Rutgers (18) Lehigh (22), Boston University (26)
Data from LaxBytes from all games before 4/13

Biggest Risers and Fallers

Here were the teams that had the biggest increase and decrease for their RPI.

The two biggest RPI gainers were conference leaders in smaller conferences. Mount St. Mary’s and Vermont help improve their chances of potentially not playing in the Play-In game. Detroit Mercy cracks in at 39.

Near the top of the RPI charts, Duke and Loyola recorded big wins over the weekend. The Blue Devils took care of Notre Dame while Loyola defeated Lehigh and Georgetown last weekend.

Even in losses, Georgetown and UNC got a decent bump in their RPI. UMass was the biggest faller after an overtime loss to Hofstra. First the Mountain Hawks, now the Minutemen.

Bracketology Prediction 4.0

Before I unveil what I have, here’s everything you need to know for creating the bracket. The cliffnotes 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 media or coaches polls do not matter

For another week, here we go:

Last Two In: Ohio State, Johns Hopkins

First Four Out: Denver, Cornell, North Carolina, Rutgers

Big Ten play may have came at the right time for Hopkins, and perhaps the worst for Ohio State. The wins over Michigan and Rutgers are great and it could help them reach the Big Ten Tournament. But they still need to do more. The Buckeyes need to do something in the conference.

Just like last week, Hopkins has another Big Ten conference game, this time hosting Ohio State, Sunday at noon on ESPNU. It might be the biggest game with tournament implications this weekend.

Meanwhile in the ACC, Duke and Virginia have a big game in terms of potential NCAA Tournament seeding. UVA has the top seed in the ACC Tournament clinched, but they could easily get another top 10 win against the Blue Devils in Durham Saturday at noon on ESPNU.

In a rare big-time April nonconference game, Notre Dame hosts Cornell on Sunday afternoon. The Fighting Irish still aren’t solidly in the big dance yet, and Cornell is still looking on the outside. The loss to Syracuse on Tuesday where they didn’t look the best didn’t help. The Big Red are in the same position as they were a year ago and I think they have to win the Ivy League Tournament to potentially play deep in May.

There’s still a lot of time for all of this to change. Conference play is still going on. It’s definite RPI and SOS numbers will go up and down for the next handful of weeks, which will affect team resumes.

Brace yourselves. Winter may be here this weekend, but May is coming.