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2019 College Crosse Bracketology 5.0: I plead the FIF

We can start to smell it.

NCAA Basketball Tournament Selection Committee Meets In Manhattan Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

431 out of 503 games down with only 72 regular season games to go. We’ve completed 85.7% of the regular season, and the postseason tournaments begin next weekend with the ACC Tournament.

In a little over two 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 is the “FIF” edition of this year’s Bracketology posts. And I hope you get the reference. If not, educate yourselves (*VIDEO NSFW*).

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). The team with the best conference record in their respective conference takes the automatic qualifier. If there’s a tie for first, we’ll take the winner of their head-to-head matchup, which is typically the conference’s first tiebreaker. If they haven’t played or if there’s another scenario, we’ll take the team with the higher RPI, according to LaxBytes.

2019 College Crosse Bracketology Automatic Qualifiers 5.0

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 10-1 1 11 1-1 2-0 2-0 0-0 5-0 26.6 5 NA Yale (5)
Penn Ivy League 7-3 2 4 1-2 0-1 2-0 0-0 4-0 23.85714286 4 NA Duke (3), Maryland (8)
Loyola Patriot League 9-3 9 10 0-1 1-0 1-1 1-1 6-0 24.55555556 11.66666667 Virginia (6) Towson (12), Boston University (20)
Villanova Big East 7-5 11 6 1-2 0-1 1-0 0-1 5-1 27.71428571 11.4 Yale (5) Georgetown (16), Drexel (30)
Air Force SoCon 8-4 19 28 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-0 8-2 45.625 24.5 NA High Point (23), Utah (55)
Delaware CAA 10-2 28 61 0-0 0-0 0-2 0-0 10-0 51.4 12 NA NA
Marist MAAC 7-5 37 46 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-3 7-2 59 25.4 NA Detroit Mercy (40)
Mount St. Mary's NEC 8-5 39 45 0-0 0-0 0-2 0-1 8-2 53.125 25.2 Richmond (24), Robert Morris (38) UMBC (57)
Vermont America East 7-4 44 57 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 7-3 53.57142857 34.5 Holy Cross (32) UMass Lowell (58)
Data from LaxBytes from all games before 4/19

This week, we had two changes to the AQ’s:

  • Delaware takes the CAA autobid over Towson (undefeated 3-0 conference record)
  • Marist takes the MAAC autobid over Detroit Mercy (5-1 conference record)
  • Air Force takes the SoCon autobid over Richmond (head-to-head win, for now)

Going to delve into the SoCon situation a little more. Air Force, High Point, and Richmond each have 2-1 conference records. Air Force defeated Richmond last weekend. But the Falcons fell to High Point a few weeks ago, while High Point’s lone conference loss was to Jacksonville. But since Air Force has the highest RPI out of the three SoCon teams, they will get the AQ in this exercise.

At-Large Candidates

Eight more teams will be picked to join the nine qualifiers. It’s getting more likely that some blue-blood programs will be on the bubble this year.

2019 College Crosse Bracketology At-Large Candidates 5.0

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
Duke ACC 10-3 3 1 1-1 3-0 2-0 0-1 4-1 23.5 15 Penn (2) Syracuse (4), North Carolina (18), High Point (23)
Syracuse ACC 8-3 4 9 1-0 0-2 2-0 2-0 3-1 20.375 19 Duke (5) Notre Dame (10), Colgate (41)
Yale Ivy League 8-2 5 22 1-1 0-0 1-1 1-0 5-0 27.125 6.5 Penn State (1) Villanova (11)
Virginia ACC 10-3 6 7 1-1 1-1 1-0 1-0 6-1 26.7 11.66666667 Syracuse (4) Loyola (9), High Point (23)
Ohio State Big Ten 8-2 7 24 0-1 1-0 1-0 1-0 5-1 27.25 11.5 NA Rutgers (22)
Maryland Big Ten 10-2 8 18 1-1 0-1 1-0 1-0 7-0 27.1 5.5 Penn (2) Notre Dame (10)
Notre Dame ACC 6-5 10 2 1-1 1-2 1-1 0-0 3-1 24.16666667 10.8 Syracuse (4), Maryland (8) Cornell (14), Richmond (24)
Towson CAA 7-4 12 15 0-1 1-0 1-2 1-0 4-1 29.14285714 13.25 Loyola (9) Cornell (14), Denver (15), UMass (21)
Johns Hopkins Big Ten 6-5 13 5 0-1 0-3 0-1 1-0 5-0 29 7.6 NA NA
Cornell Ivy League 8-4 14 3 0-4 1-0 1-0 0-0 6-0 36.75 3 Notre Dame (10), Towson (12) NA
Denver Big East 7-4 15 23 0-1 0-1 1-1 3-0 3-1 32.28571429 12.25 Towson (12) Princeton (25)
Georgetown Big East 9-4 16 29 0-0 0-1 1-2 0-0 8-1 39.11111111 18 Villanova (11) Marquette (36)
Army West Point Patriot League 9-3 17 30 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-1 9-1 38.88888889 17 NA Boston University (20), Lehigh (27)
North Carolina ACC 7-5 18 14 1-1 0-2 0-2 0-0 6-0 40 9.2 Duke (3) NA
Boston University Patriot League 9-4 20 27 0-0 1-1 0-0 1-0 7-3 43 27.25 Loyola (9), Army West Point (17) Lehigh (27), Harvard (34), Colgate (41)
UMass CAA 8-4 21 31 0-1 0-1 1-0 0-1 7-1 41.625 16 Towson (12) Hofstra (35)
Rutgers Big Ten 6-6 22 12 0-1 1-2 0-1 0-1 5-1 39.16666667 13 Ohio State (7) Lehigh (27)
High Point SoCon 10-2 23 52 1-0 1-0 0-0 1-0 7-2 40.7 49.5 Duke (3), Virginia (6), Air Force (19) Jacksonville (43), St. John's (56)
Richmond SoCon 7-5 24 32 0-1 1-2 0-0 0-1 6-1 47.85714286 15 Notre Dame (10) Mount St. Mary's (39)
Princeton Ivy League 6-6 25 21 0-2 0-1 1-1 0-0 5-2 46.83333333 12.33333333 Denver (15) Brown (26)
Data from LaxBytes from all games before 4/19

Questions Surrounding Notre Dame and Towson

I brought up the following on the weekend recap edition of the College Crossecast.

Notre Dame is currently 6-5 in a huge ACC finale against North Carolina this weekend. A loss brings them down to 6-6 and would have to play Duke in the ACC Opening Round game. A loss there makes them ineligible for the NCAA Tournament due to a 6-7 record.

That could open the door for Towson if the Tigers don’t win the CAA Tournament. The Tigers’ resume took a little hit with the loss to UMass over the weekend. On paper, I’d still say they’re the best team in the conference, but you should be aware that anything can happen in the CAA (aka THUNDERDOME). Heck, even Johns Hopkins or Denver can sneak in if they don’t win their conference titles.

Bracketology Prediction 5.0

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: Notre Dame, Cornell

First Four Out: Towson, Johns Hopkins, Denver, Georgetown

Notre Dame has a 6-5 record. That doesn’t look NCAA material. However, they’re playing the same game Penn did last year (you could say the Irish originated it themselves). They have a top two SOS and they still have a top 10 RPI. They have to win this upcoming weekend against North Carolina to feel better about their spot in the NCAA Tournament, but I would still see themselves on the road.

Cornell was looking on the outside of the bubble entering last weekend thanks to the loss to Syracuse, but may have put themselves back onto safer ground thanks to their win over the aforementioned Fighting Irish and Towson’s loss to UMass.

As of now, Towson is the team that’s prime for an at-large spot if something happens to Notre Dame or Cornell (or even Ohio State in that case) in the short-term. Johns Hopkins needs a win over Penn State or Maryland (probably both to be honest). Denver and Georgetown have to win the Big East if they want to get in.

The competition is intensifying, and so is the race to Memorial Day Weekend.