Last week’s edition of lacrosse bracketology was, in essence, a matter of winging it. It was much, much more speculative than statistically well-reasoned.
That problem has been solved (much thanks, LaxPower, for your close-enough estimates on RPI and strength of schedule based on top 10 opponents).
With data in hand, it’s important to remember the committee has actually stuck very close to the numbers the computer spits out the last few years. Very close, hence Denver’s inclusion in the field last year.
So ignoring that means you’re ignoring an obvious trend, which means you’ll be wrong come Selection Sunday.
And that’s not the plan here. So with just three weeks left in the season, consider this weekly exercise an attempt to fine-tune before the final version is due sometime on May 3.
(1) IVY/Princeton vs. MAAC/Siena
(8) GWLL/Notre Dame vs. North Carolina
(5) Duke vs. ECAC/Massachusetts
(4) Johns Hopkins vs. Maryland
(3) Virginia vs. Navy
(6) AMERICA EAST/UMBC vs. Cornell
(7) CAA/Hofstra vs. Loyola
(2) Syracuse vs. PATRIOT/Colgate
* Last four out: Albany, Brown, Harvard, Penn State
* There’s two first-round flights: North Carolina to Notre Dame and Massachusetts to Duke. Cornell is just inside the mileage window to make a trip to UMBC.
* In a case of something the committee might or might not do, UMBC and Hofstra (and their first-round opponents) have been flipped to maintain some geographic balance. Namely: Hofstra and Navy are the quarterfinal hosts, and they sure won’t be on a collision course in the first two weeks.
* Speaking of the quarterfinals, Princeton and Syracuse are funneled into the northern (Hofstra) site. Virginia and Hopkins are funneled into the southern (Navy) site.
* The last spot is a pure toss-up between Albany and Navy. Albany’s profile is a little bit better, but there is an assumption Navy’s will improve simply by playing Hopkins this week. If the Midshipmen get that game, it’ll be tough to leave them out.