The projected bracket below is unchanged from this time Friday. In fact, the tweak most heavily considered after last night’s seven games was switching the Duke/Stony Brook-Maryland/Lehigh quarterfinal to Chester, Pa., while sliding the potential Virginia-Johns Hopkins quarterfinal into an Annapolis slot.
All things considered, that’s not a lot of shuffling.
Perhaps today’s six games will have a greater impact, but here’s a league-by-league look at why nothing changed and whether there was even a subtle impact.
The NEC won’t have an automatic bid until next season, so little attention was being paid to its tournament this weekend. The one interesting development was the potential for Robert Morris to slide into the top 20 and provide ever-so-modest assistance to Bucknell, Colgate and Denver – the three teams it lost to in the regular season.
Instead, the top-seeded Colonials dropped a 16-15 overtime decision to Mount St. Mary’s, which will meet Bryant in Sunday’s league title game.
METRO ATLANTIC SEMIS
No surprises here. Top-seeded Siena remains in the bracket thanks to a two-goal victory at Marist. The Saints (11-4) will face Canisius (5-7) in Sunday’s final for a league that, as usual, is one-bid territory.
Whoever wins will have the same potential NCAA tournament destinations: Duke, Massachusetts, Loyola and maybe even Johns Hopkins.
Top-seeded Princeton clamped down on Brown after 20 even minutes to collect a 9-6 victory. That keeps the Tigers (RPI: 11, SOS: 24 per LaxPower) as the projected AQ.
Princeton will meet Yale (RPI: 16, SOS: 31) in Sunday’s title game. The Bulldogs collected their first top-20 win of the season, blasting Cornell in the other semi. That could and probably should be the end of the line for the Big Red (RPI 14, SOS: 34) this season. Cornell can afford no further chaos and needs the committee to heavily value its victory over Denver earlier this season. Not sure the latter is going to happen.
Loyola did a solid to all the bubblers, knocking off Fairfield 14-7 to lock up the ECAC crown. At 14-1, the Greyhounds are a lock to host a first-round game and will probably find themselves with a top-three seed. It appears Loyola will finish the season as the No. 1 team in the RPI.
As for Fairfield, credit to the Stags for not going one-and-done this week. Most of the borderline tournament teams – Denver, Penn State, Cornell, Ohio State and Villanova – did precisely that.
Fairfield (RPI: 13, SOS: 23) never collected a signature win (Denver’s as close as it gets) and doesn’t have eye-popping computer numbers. That’s a shame, since former Maryland assistant Andrew Copelan’s done a fine job improving the Stags over the last few years.
(1) Duke vs. AMERICA EAST/Stony Brook
(8) Maryland vs. PATRIOT/Lehigh
(4) Virginia vs. Penn State
(5) Johns Hopkins vs. IVY/Princeton
(3) North Carolina vs. BIG EAST/Syracuse
(6) COLONIAL/Massachusetts vs. Colgate
(2) ECAC/Loyola vs. METRO ATLANTIC/Siena
(7) Notre Dame vs. Denver