Lacrosse bracket projection: May 4

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Among the notations not included in Monday’s massive bracket breakdown was this: The top seed in the CAA tournament has not won the event since 2006.

And that streak stayed alive thanks to Hofstra’s semi-surprising loss to Delaware on Wednesday.

Why semi-surprising? Well, the Pride did have only one setback all year … but it came against the Blue Hens. Delaware has also made a habit of playing well in the conference semifinals (now 5-2). It certainly wasn’t an unthinkable result.

What it did do was squeeze the NCAA tournament bubble. Hofstra goes onto that heap, with its decent RPI (12), forgettable schedule strength (41), zero games against the top 10 but a 4-2 mark against the top 20 that could improve if Harvard climbs back in before the weekend is through.

(All that data, by the way, courtesy of LaxPower as usual).

That’s still the best profile of the bubblers, though at the moment the Pride (13-2) must contend with a comparison with a Delaware outfit (RPI: 19, SOS: 11, 2-5 vs. top 20) in possession of a pair of head-to-head wins. Of course, the Blue Hens could make that consideration vanish simply by winning at Massachusetts on Saturday.

Speaking of the Minutemen, they slide into the updated projection while Harvard falls out of the final at-large spot. Hofstra assumes that role at the moment, but the Pride is far from safe entering the weekend.

The night’s other development was Stony Brook holding serve in the America East tournament. The Seawolves get Hartford at home on Saturday with an automatic berth on the line.

Hofstra quarterfinal

(1) Syracuse vs. METRO ATLANTIC/Siena
(8) Villanova vs. North Carolina

Nothing changes in this quadrant. Siena-Syracuse is the single most obvious potential matchup of the first round – if the Saints win the Metro Atlantic tournament. … Not sure Villanova can hold off Denver for the last seeded slot in the field. The Wildcats did get helped when Delaware managed to climb into the top 20; Villanova beat the Blue Hens on April 9.

Hofstra quarterfinal

(4) Johns Hopkins vs. COLONIAL/Massachusetts
(5) Duke vs. Hofstra

Fortune, it seems, is favoring the Minutemen. They’ve won three overtime games in the last month and eight of nine in extra time since 2005. … The evening’s subtle winner? Hopkins. It adds a top-20 win with Delaware moving up, while Harvard’s one-spot slippage temporarily takes away a top-20 win from Cornell. … What to do with Hofstra? Nothing remarkably different at the moment.  but the Pride is rooting for favorites in just about every game this weekend.

Foxborough quarterfinal

(3) IVY/Cornell vs. PATRIOT/Bucknell
(6) Maryland vs. Penn

Gave some thought to flipping Bucknell and Stony Brook in the bracket. Still might. … Did wind up flipping Maryland and Virginia. Assuming the Terps beat Colgate, they’ll be 11-3 with a head-to-head over the Cavaliers. Plus, Maryland’s possible absence in the midfield (injured Joe Cummings) isn’t as permanent as Virginia’s (dismissed Shamel Bratton). … Another way this bracket might work is dependent on who is mapping Penn-to-Duke, which is in the 400-mile ballpark for a flight/bus consideration for the NCAA. Penn could go to Duke, UMass could go to Maryland and Hofstra could head to Hopkins.

Foxborough quarterfinal

(2) Notre Dame vs. AMERICA EAST/Stony Brook
(7) Virginia vs. ECAC/Denver

Denver has a very real chance to play an ACC team in the first round. If the Pioneers host, North Carolina is a logical team to ship west since the Tar Heels (a) won’t get paired with an ACC team and (b) would have to fly to Syracuse, Notre Dame or Cornell, anyway. If Denver doesn’t get a home game, a visit to Charlottesville would be a fascinating matchup.

Patrick Stevens

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