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2019 College Crosse Bracketology 6.0 (and a Friday preview): Conference tournament time is near (or now)

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There are important games this weekend that also mean a lot for the NCAA Tournament.

Mark Seliger Photography/Holy Cross Athletics

470 out of 503 games down with only 33 regular season games to go. We’ve completed 93.4% of the regular season, and the postseason tournaments have begun with the ACC Championship.

In a little over a week, 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). 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 we can’t follow the conference’s tiebreaker scenario, we’ll take the team with the higher RPI, according to LaxBytes.

2019 College Crosse Bracketology Automatic Qualifiers 6.0

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 11-1 1 11 2-1 1-0 3-0 0-0 5-0 23.54545455 5 NA Yale (5)
Penn Ivy League 8-3 4 5 1-3 0-0 2-0 0-0 5-0 31 2 NA NA
Loyola Patriot League 10-3 6 12 0-1 1-0 1-1 2-1 6-0 25.4 11 Virginia (7) Towson (11), Boston University (20)
Towson CAA 8-4 11 10 0-1 1-0 1-2 1-0 5-1 29.875 12.75 Loyola (6) Cornell (13), Denver (15), UMass (21)
Villanova Big East 8-5 12 4 1-3 0-0 1-0 0-1 6-1 32.5 10.8 Yale (5) Georgetown (17), Drexel (29)
Air Force SoCon 9-4 19 32 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-0 9-2 46.22222222 24.25 NA High Point (22), Utah (55)
Hobart NEC 10-3 25 70 0-0 0-1 0-1 0-0 10-1 53.4 24.66666667 NA Saint Joseph's (52)
Marist MAAC 7-6 35 43 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-3 7-2 58.71428571 21.33333333 NA Detroit Mercy (37)
Albany America East 5-7 43 34 0-2 0-1 0-1 0-0 5-3 55.6 20.71428571 Drexel (29) Harvard (46), Vermont (48)
Data from LaxBytes from all games before 4/26

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

  • Towson takes the CAA autobid over Delaware (Delaware, Towson, UMass each have 3-1 conference records, but Towson has the higher RPI)
  • Hobart takes the NEC autobid over Mount St. Mary’s (head-to-head win)
  • Albany take the America East autobid over Vermont (Albany and Stony Brook each have 4-1 conference records, but Albany has the higher RPI)

All of the regular season conference champions will be figured out at the end of this weekend with the seasons wrapped up.

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 6.0

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 11-3 2 1 1-0 3-1 2-0 0-1 5-1 24 15.66666667 NA Syracuse (9), North Carolina (16), High Point (22)
Maryland Big Ten 11-2 3 13 1-1 1-1 1-0 1-0 7-0 25.45454545 5.5 NA Notre Dame (10)
Yale Ivy League 10-2 5 16 1-1 0-0 1-1 1-0 7-0 31.3 8 Penn State (1) Villanova (12)
Virginia ACC 11-3 7 9 0-1 2-1 1-0 1-0 7-1 27.90909091 10 NA High Point (22)
Ohio State Big Ten 8-3 8 15 0-2 1-0 1-0 1-0 5-1 27.5 9 NA Rutgers (23)
Syracuse ACC 9-4 9 7 1-0 0-2 2-0 2-1 4-1 20.88888889 18.5 Duke (2) Notre Dame (10), North Carolina (16), Colgate (41)
Notre Dame ACC 7-5 10 3 1-1 1-2 1-1 1-0 3-1 22.14285714 11.2 Maryland (3), Syracuse (9) Cornell (13), Richmond (26)
Cornell Ivy League 9-4 13 6 0-3 1-1 1-0 0-0 7-0 36.44444444 4.75 Notre Dame (10), Towson (11) NA
Johns Hopkins Big Ten 6-6 14 2 0-1 0-4 0-1 1-0 5-0 28.83333333 7 NA NA
Denver Big East 8-4 15 17 0-1 0-1 1-1 3-0 4-1 33.5 12 Towson (11) Princeton (24)
North Carolina ACC 8-6 16 8 1-1 1-3 0-2 0-0 6-0 36.375 9.666666667 Duke (2), Syracuse (9) NA
Georgetown Big East 10-4 17 30 0-0 0-1 1-2 0-0 9-1 42.5 16.25 Villanova (12) Marquette (33)
Army West Point Patriot League 9-4 18 26 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-1 9-1 39.66666667 16.25 NA Boston University (20), Lehigh (30)
Boston University Patriot League 10-4 20 36 0-0 1-1 0-0 1-0 8-3 41.6 31.25 Loyola (6), Army West Point (18) Lehigh (30), Colgate (41), Harvard (46)
UMass CAA 9-4 21 40 0-1 0-1 1-0 0-1 8-1 43.11111111 19.5 Towson (11) Hofstra (47)
High Point SoCon 11-2 22 50 1-0 1-0 0-0 1-0 8-2 42.81818182 47 Duke (2), Virginia (7), Air Force (19) Jacksonville (38), St. John's (56)
Rutgers Big Ten 7-6 23 23 0-1 1-2 0-1 0-1 6-1 41.28571429 13.33333333 Ohio State (8) Lehigh (30)
Princeton Ivy League 7-6 24 24 0-2 0-1 1-1 0-0 6-2 46.28571429 13.33333333 Denver (15) Brown (27)
Data from LaxBytes from all games before 4/26

Bracketology Prediction 6.0

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: North Carolina, Denver, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown

Hoping to have the next edition out prior to the Patriot League Quarterfinals on Tuesday.


As for games this weekend, I’ll split the weekend preview in two. Today’s games are here, while Saturday’s games will be in a separate post. You can check out all the games this weekend as well as previous results on the composite schedule.

PATRIOT LEAGUE

First, the games.

  • Boston University vs. Navy (4 PM, Patriot League Network): Navy hasn’t clinched a spot yet.
  • Colgate vs. Bucknell (7 PM, CBS Sports Network): Bucknell hasn’t clinched a spot yet. Colgate is out.
  • Lehigh vs. Holy Cross (7:05 PM, Patriot League Network): Holy Cross hasn’t clinched a spot yet.
  • Loyola vs. Lafayette (7:30 PM, Patriot League Network): The game that means the least unless Loyola loses.

There are grand total of 16 ways for the Patriot League to finish tonight. It will hurt your mind going over all of these. You can check out everything from the PL themselves. I’ll try to simplify it.

To start, Loyola, Lehigh, Boston University, and Army West Point are all in the Patriot League Tournament. Loyola has a quarterfinal bye, BU can finish no lower than third, and Army West Point is locked into the No. 4 seed. Colgate and Lafayette are eliminated.

Loyola gets the No. 1 seed if they beat Lafayette (7:30 PM, Patriot League Network). There’s a couple other scenarios but do we really think Lafayette pulls off the upset tonight? Sorry Leopards.

So that leaves Bucknell, Holy Cross, and Navy as the three teams left for the final two spots in the conference tournament.

The Bison can clinch a PL Tournament spot with a win over Colgate. That’s their easiest way to a postseason berth. They can also get in with a loss to Colgate if Navy beats BU and Lehigh beats Holy Cross. There are also tiebreakers involved but you can check out the Patriot League’s release at the start of this section.

The Crusaders can clinch with a win over Lehigh plus losses from Bucknell and Navy. Also, they can be the No. 5 seed with a win, as well as victories from Navy, Loyola, and Colgate. Don’t ask me how that’s possible. There are also tiebreakers involved but you can check out the Patriot League’s release at the start of this section.

The Midshipmen need some help via tiebreakers. There’s a couple of ways Navy can make it in with a loss (one of them is due to their win over Vermont, a common nonconference opponent and men’s lacrosse’s sport-specific tiebreaker). But the easiest scenario is if Navy wins and Holy Cross loses. If you want the tiebreaker info, check out the Patriot League’s release at the start of this section.

Now to the rest of the conferences in action.

AMERICA EAST

  • Albany vs. Stony Brook (7 PM, AmericaEast.TV): Both teams are tied for first in the conference at 4-1. The winner will not only take the regular season title, but will also host the conference tournament next weekend. With Albany having a down season, the Seawolves or the Vermont Catamounts could take this year’s conference AQ.
  • Binghamton vs. UMass Lowell (7:30 PM, AmericaEast.TV): Congrats to the Binghamton Bearcats on their first win of the season last weekend. They’re playing for pride. The River Hawks (2-3 in AE play) are playing for the final spot in the conference tournament along with Hartford (2-3) and UMBC (1-4) (the latter two play tomorrow at noon). Here’s the scenarios:
  1. Hartford clinches with a win vs. UMBC
  2. UMass Lowell clinches with a win and a Hartford loss
  3. UMBC clinches with a win and a UMass Lowell loss

So either way, one team is eliminated tonight.

BIG EAST

  • Denver vs. Marquette (9 PM, FS1): Some later-than-usual *Friday* Night Lacrosse on the docket in the Big East. Denver is already in the Big East Tournament and Villanova (3-1 Big East record) looks like a shoe-in as well. Marquette, Georgetown, and Providence are all 2-2 in conference play (Providence plays Villanova, Georgetown plays St. John’s on Saturday). There could be some chaos if Marquette, Providence, and Georgetown all win this weekend. There’d be a five-way tie for first with three spots for four teams. Let’s not hope for that to happen.

BIG TEN

  • Ohio State vs. Michigan (6 PM, ESPNU): Rivalry weekend in the Big Ten opens up in Ann Arbor and the Buckeyes are in dire need of a win and help. A Buckeye win, along with Rutgers upsetting Penn State and Maryland taking care of Johns Hopkins, would give Ohio State the fourth and final seed over the Blue Jays due to their head-to-head win over Hopkins. But they need to do their job first. As for Michigan, they eliminated Penn State from the conference tournament last season on the road. They’re looking for their first ever win over the Buckeyes in men’s lacrosse.

CAA

  • Delaware vs. UMass (5 PM, LSN): Delaware, Drexel, Towson, and UMass have clinched spots in the CAA Tournament. Hooray! But the seeding is still to be determined. That will all be decided tomorrow with Towson visiting Drexel. But here’s the scenarios:
  1. Delaware hosts with a win and a Towson loss vs. Drexel. UMass, Drexel, and Towson are the three remaining seeds.
  2. UMass hosts with a win. A Towson win would see them as the 2nd seed followed by Delaware and Drexel. A Towson loss would create a three-way tie for second with 1-1 records against each other.
  3. Towson hosts with a win and a UMass loss vs. Delaware. Delaware, UMass, and Drexel are the three remaining seeds.

MAAC

  • Marist vs. Canisius (4 PM, ESPNU): Everybody’s favorite MAAC flex game! Marist (5-1 in MAAC play), along with Detroit Mercy (5-2 and done conference play) and Quinnipiac (5-1) are already in. One spot remains. Canisius could clinch a spot this afternoon with a win over Marist. The seeding is still up in the air, especially if Quinnipiac beats Manhattan. That would mean we’d have a four-way tie for first in the conference. But if Canisius loses this afternoon, that would give an opening to Siena (who holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Golden Griffins). A win over Monmouth on Saturday would put them in the MAAC Tournament.