D-III on D3: NCAA Tournament Bracketology, April 29th

We are less than a week from Selection Sunday! I will update the brackets later this week if necessary; otherwise, I will plan to post the final bracket sometime on Sunday once the conference tournaments play out. Here is where things stand with respect to the all important Pool B and C bids:

Pool B: We are essentially down to 6 teams for 5 spots. One critical game remains between Colorado College and Whittier. Also, Eastern and Otterbein need to win out, which is expected. I will revisit this Pool after the Colorado College-Whittier game, but as of now, the team on the outside looking in will be Sewanee.

Pool C: The group of teams in contention for these 5 bids has gotten smaller and smaller, but there will still be some very unhappy teams on Sunday.

First, let me start by listing the conferences that will certainly get only get only bid this year, regardless of whether or not there is an upset of the top seed in their tournaments: Empire 8, NEWMAC, CCC, NAC, Little East, NEAC, Landmark, GNAC, Skyline, North Coast, Midwest, and MIAA. What this means is that I have eliminated teams like Ithaca, Endicott, Springfield, and Montclair State from Pool C consideration. Also, OWU's season is over as well. Another team that does not want to risk being put into the Pool C field is Roanoke, but I cannot eliminate them completely at this point.

At this time, after selecting the AQs, 9 teams remained in contention for the 5 bids: Amherst, Dickinson, Union, York, Mary Washington, Franklin & Marshall, Wesleyan, Lynchburg, and Washington & Lee.

Amherst, Union, and York separate themselves significantly from the pack and were the first 3 Pool C bids. In the end, it came down to Wesleyan, Lynchburg (assuming they reach the ODAC finals), and Mary Washington for the final 2 bids. Based on SOS and results with regionally ranked opponents, Wesleyan and Lynchburg were the last two teams in via Pool C.

Clinched: Teams that are already dancing: Denison and Emmanuel. Special congratulations to Emmanuel, which has gone from the 14th percentile in D3 to the 46th percentile and an NCAA tournament in only three years of existence as a program.


Bracket as of April 29th


North

#1 RIT (Liberty AQ)
      vs. winner of
#8 Springfield (NEWMAC AQ) vs. #9 Endicott (CCC AQ)

#4 Union (Pool C) vs. #13 New England C. (NAC AQ)
      vs. winner of
#5 Amherst (Pool C) vs. #12 Keene State (Little East AQ)



#3 Cortland (SUNYAC AQ) vs. #14 Keuka (NEAC AQ)
      vs. winner of
#6 Wesleyan (Pool C) vs. #11 Susquehanna (Landmark AQ)

#2 Tufts (NESCAC AQ) vs. #15 Emmanuel (GNAC AQ)
      vs. winner of
#7 Montclair State (Skyline AQ) vs. #10 Ithaca (Empire 8 AQ)



South

#1 Salisbury (CAC AQ)
      vs. winner of
#8 Lynchburg (Pool C) vs. #9 Otterbein (Pool B)

#4 Denison (NCAC AQ) vs. #13 Aurora (Midwest AQ)
      vs. winner of
#5 Cabrini (CSAC AQ) vs. #12 Eastern (Pool B)



#3 Washington C. (Centennial AQ) vs. #14 Whittier* (Pool B)
      vs. winner of
#6 York (Pool C) vs. #11 Adrian (MIAA AQ)

#2 Stevenson (MAC AQ) vs. #15 Colorado College* (Pool B)
      vs. winner of
#7 Roanoke (ODAC AQ) vs. #10 Centre (Pool B)



* The only flights in the above bracket involve Colorado College and Whittier. I would note that last year the Committee elected to award Adrian with a Round 1 home game in an effort to save travel expenses, which increased their seeding and shifted them way up to #8-#9 game with Otterbein. St. Mary's paid the price for this and was moved down to a #10 seed, and it was unnecessary because the bracket could have been structured without having to fly Adrian/Otterbein anywhere. We could see this again in 2014 if the Committee wants to save a few hundred miles in gas money for the buses. Hopefully we do not.

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.

2014-04-29



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