D-III on D3: NCAA Tournament Bracketology, May 6th

Here is where things stand. I will probably take another look or two and update if necessary leading up to selections at 10:00 pm tonight. This is the year of the imperfect resume. There are not a lot of teams beating down the Pool C door, and even when trying to seed the teams, it became difficult to weigh overall resume strength vs. head-to-head.

An example, take a look at the North seeds #5-#9, where it was a circular firing squad of head-to-head wins and losses. There was no way to order these teams neatly. This was probably the single hardest group of teams to order in the field.

And in the South, Cabrini/Goucher have two of the weakest SOS in the entire field. I would not be surprised if they drop when the bracket is released, and I was tempted to have them as #10 seeds or worse. That said, Cabrini beat Gettysburg and Goucher beat Washington College, so it becomes difficult to place those Centennial teams higher despite having huge SOS advantages.

Couple of final thoughts:

1. Roanoke gets the last bid ahead of Connecticut College and St. Lawrence despite going 0-3 against regionally ranked opponents, a key part of the criteria. How and why you might ask? They sit ahead of Conn College, who perhaps has the most well-rounded resume of the bottom Pool C contenders, but digging deeper, Roanoke has an advantage at SOS and winning percentage. I felt this was enough to offset that Conn College went 3-4 against regional ranked opponents, especially because those wins were against lowly ranked Colby and no longer ranked Amherst.

St. Lawrence, had a better winning percentage than Roanoke, and many of the Pool C teams, but their SOS was the worst of the bunch, and they were also 0-3 against regionally ranked opponents.

Again, imperfect resumes all around.

2. Washington College and Trinity's wins over Dickinson and Tufts, respectively, were difference makers. Both were very much on the bubble, particularily Washington College, but that win put them ahead of Roanoke in the pecking order.

3. Tufts had a D3 best 9 wins against regionally ranked opponents. The next most was way back at 6 wins, Cortland and Salisbury.

4. I shifted Birmingham-Southern to the North. They are flying no matter what, so why not send them to the northern-most school in the entire field? I also considered shifting OWU to the North to face RIT. I also think there is a possibility that Stevens could move to the South if necessary, since it would be geographically feasible.

Bracket as of 5/06/12


#1 Cortland (SUNYAC AQ)
      vs. winner of
#8 Trinity (Pool C) vs. #9 Springfield (Pilgrim AQ)

#4 Union (Pool C) vs. #13 New England College (NAC AQ)
      vs. winner of
#5 Bowdoin (Pool C) vs. #12 Birmingham-Southern (SCAC AQ)

#3 RIT (Liberty AQ) vs. #14 Mount Ida (GNAC AQ)
      vs. winner of
#6 Stevens (Empire 8 AQ) vs. #11 Montclair State (Skyline AQ)

#2 Tufts (NESCAC AQ)
      vs. winner of
#7 Western New England (CCC AQ) vs. #10 Eastern Connecticut (Little East AQ)


#1 Salisbury (CAC AQ)
      vs. winner of
#8 Denison (Pool B) vs. #9 Washington College (Pool C)

#4 Dickinson (Centennial AQ) vs. #13 Ohio Wesleyan (Pool B)
      vs. winner of
#5 Cabrini (CSAC AQ) vs. #12 Kenyon (Pool B)

#3 Stevenson (Pool C) vs. #14 Eastern (MAC AQ)
      vs. winner of
#6 Gettysburg (Pool C) vs. #11 Adrian (Midwest AQ)

#2 Lynchburg (ODAC AQ)
      vs. winner of
#7 Goucher (Landmark AQ) vs. #10 Roanoke (Pool C)

Visit the thread on the LaxPower Forum to read or participate in the discussion.

D-III is a long-time contributor to the LaxPower Forum. What appears above is a lightly edited version of his post there.


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