Just a week remains in the college lacrosse regular season, meaning the number of permutations is now reduced.
A handful of the top-20 teams – Virginia, North Carolina and Navy among them – are in the clubhouse as far as the regular season goes. No one has more than two games remaining, and everyone’s postseason profile is just about complete.
Granted, some upsets could change things, especially if Notre Dame and/or Hofstra go down in their respective conference tournaments. But it’s not too early to lay some cards on the table.
All of the data that will be used comes from Laxpower.com, which has the benefit of being publicly available information. It does not have the benefit of being precisely what the NCAA uses. But last year it was really close, and made it possible to project the entire 16-team field before it was announced.
Anyway, here’s a breakdown of the record, RPI, strength of schedule, top-five RPI wins, top-10 RPI wins and top-20 RPI wins of pretty much everyone left in the at-large field – as well as the current leaders in leagues with automatic qualifiers.
Go ahead and digest this, since the pairings will soon follow:
|Duke||12-3||3||2||UVa 2||UNC 2|
|At-large in for now|
|Rest of A-L field|
Obviously, that’s a whole lot of stats. And for now, those delineations are reasonable.
Plenty can change. Brown probably isn’t safely in the field unless it beats Princeton. Maryland could play its way out with a loss at Yale. Georgetown (against Penn State) and Colgate (against Syracuse) could damage their cases with losses. Massachusetts better not lose to Rutgers, since it would lose the AQ to Loyola and badly damage its profile.
As it stands, none of those things have happened yet. That’s why this is a reasonable field to consider less than a week before Selection Sunday:
(1) Duke vs. MAAC/Siena
(8) Cornell vs. CAA/Hofstra
(5) North Carolina vs. PATRIOT/Navy
(4) Johns Hopkins vs. ECAC/Massachusetts
(3) Syracuse vs. IVY/Brown
(6) Princeton vs. Maryland
(7) GWLL/Notre Dame vs. Loyola
(2) Virginia vs. AMERICA EAST/UMBC
Some bracket notes:
* The Duke and Syracuse quadrants are funneled into Hofstra quarterfinal dates. The Virginia and Hopkins quadrants are funneled into Navy.
* Georgetown is the last team out of the field, followed by Colgate
* Two teams fly to their games in the first round: Loyola and Siena. Massachusetts and Navy flip spots to make the travel work appropriately.
* Just a guess, but Loyola very well could be hurt because its best victories are against Penn State and Georgetown. The strength of schedule and RPI data combined suggests the Greyhounds could get a home game. That’s probably only going to happen if they win at Hopkins on Saturday. Both Cornell and Notre Dame have proven more against top-10 teams than the Greyhounds.
* Yes, Maryland is in the field. The Terps are vulnerable to a series of upsets, but those two ACC regular-season wins should be enough to earn an at-large spot.
* Strength of schedule is going to seriously hurt UMBC and Brown should those teams lose this week.