NCAA Tourney/Bracket thoughts

JeremyCuse

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#1
First off good to see SU come out and dominate Colgate on Saturday. Still had some issues with gb's and overall sloppy play it was nice to see us dominate on the scoreboard for a change and not have to sweat through another "Cardiac Cuse" type of game. Buttermore and Phoup each played great late in the game and you wonder if they should have seen more time this year especially Buttermore. I will have a post about about the Colgate and Cornell games later in the week and we can get more in depth then.

As for the tourney itself, no real surprises other Nova getting in which I didn't understand but there is usually one of those odd decisions every year so its par for the course. The matchups again are usually regionally influenced which why you have so may re-matches - Cornell/SU, Denver/ND, Loyola/UVA, Yale/Umass etc. My biggest fault with the NCAA lax tourney is the regional and travel nonsense. NCAA makes untold millions a year, lets at least set up a bracket that goes strictly by where a team should be seeded not because there closer to another school that made the tourney as well. That to me is small time and needs to be corrected.

Most intriguing first round match ups are probably SU/Cornell, Loyola/UVA, Hop/Gtown and Albany/Richmond. Duke probably got the easiest first round matchup, ahrd to see how Nova has any chance of winning that game. Maryland vs ROMO could be an interesting game thats closer then the normal 1 seed game but I still expect them to win going away by 4-5+ goals. Umass has had a nice year but playing Yale coming off a loss with a Sr laden team is a horrible matchup. Denver should have the edge at the X but its hard to see where else they can outplay ND right now. ND is better defensively and a month ago you would have been crazy saying this but their offense is definitely better right now. Denver is a mess offensively right now and hasn't been able to replace Cannizaro or the other Seniors they lost to graduation last year. This is a game ND should win.

I am interested to see how Albany looks with and without Fields. He didn't play against Vermont in the AE champ game so you wonder if he will sit in the 1st round as well. Albany ambushed Vermont and go tup 8-0 but then Vermont switched to a zone and befuddled Albany for a good 20+ min before Albany got it cranked again. If I am Richmond I am playing zone from the word go whether Fields is playing or not. Even if Fields can play with that knee is almost no threat to dodge which forces guys like Reh, McClancy, Patterson and Nanticoke to initiate. I still think Albany should win with Ierlan being so dame dominant but a potential 2nd round matchup with their #1 nemesis ND looms very large. Maryland being on the other side of the bracket is huge for the Danes actaully make a final four + run but ND and Yale will be tough match-ups for Albany if they meet up.

Hopkins vs Gtown will be interesting. Gtown's goalie and faceoff guy were playing out of their minds in the BE tourney and will need a repeat if they want a shot at the upset. Hopkins has been up and down a bit this year and can struggle when there not winning draws. Turnbaugh has exceeded everyone's expectations but you worry about him in a big spot as he has been a disaster in the NCAA tourney. If Gtown still had Buccaro I think they would have had a legit shot here but I don't know if they can generate enough offense to win the game. Still this is one of the games I am most looking forward to seeing.

As for us, we will get more in depth later in the week but clearly its two teams who know each other pretty well and will see each other for the second time this season. Clearly the key for SU will be how do they defend Teat? Shut him off, look to double, straight up with Mellen with a quick slide... etc. X play and GB's will also be enormous as I believe SU got annihilated on gbs in the first match up. Faceoff X will be intereseting as well as Varello actually did fairly well against Cornell's main guy in the first game. Delisle looked pretty good against Colgate as did Phaup in the 4th. Could those guys especially Phaup get some run at the X? Could SU spring a guy like Buttermore into the second or third line after his impressive game late against Colgate ? The answer to both of those questions is probably No but if your SU giving Cornell a new wrinkle or two isn't the worst thing in the world.

As for the teams who got left out Buckenll probably had the best case that they got screwed. Great wins over Yale and Loyola and a 7-1 Patriot League record. Unfortunately for them they lost in the 1st round to a mediocore at best Boston U team that they beat by 7 goals earlier in the season. Was a crushing loss as they didn't even get to the semi-finals of the Patriot league tourney. Sealed their fate.

As for Rutgers yes there fans are b$tching up a storm and claiming its rigged and Delaney needs to step in yada yada yada. In truth had RU just won one more game there likely in over Nova. As good as the B10 might have been this year you have to actaully beat some of the good teams to take advantage of that. Against PSU, OSU, Maryland and JHU Rutgers was 1-4. Yes there mostly close game but you have to win more then 1 game as the top four of the conference. Rutgers best win ending up being us and probably ROMO. They had no top 5 or top 10 RPI wins. Rutgers problem is it can't win on the road against a good team and they can't beat Maryland. Missed opportunity for the Scarlet Knights as they now lose a ton to graduation and will likely take a step back next year especially wiht OSU and PSU returning so many key guys.
 

NineOneSeven

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#3
Okay so my college lax knowledge is incredibly limited, but I see there are 16 teams in the tournament. How many D1 teams exist that could technically make the field?
 

orange79

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#7
Okay so my college lax knowledge is incredibly limited, but I see there are 16 teams in the tournament. How many D1 teams exist that could technically make the field?
Actually, 17 teams. 9 AQ, 8 at-large. There's one PIG game, with the winner playing #1 seed Maryland.
 

OrangeXtreme

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#9
NCAA Women have 115 teams and a 27 team tournament. NCAA Men have 70 teams and a 17 team tournament. How many more teams need to be added on the Men's side to justify adding another play-in game?
Just one more. In the ACC.

Gives us an AQ, and will raise the total number of bids to 18.
 

Moontan

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#10
NCAA Men have 70 teams and a 17 team tournament. How many more teams need to be added on the Men's side to justify adding another play-in game?
At first I read your question as how many teams needed to be added to the tournament for that to happen. My answer was: Math would indicate just 1 more.

Then I re-read it and understood that you meant something different. I could see adding another with 72, perhaps going up to 3 more at 80.

The ACC really needs to add 1-3 more programs.

Biggest problem with the tournament is the travel restrictions.
 

upperdeck

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#11
Well there are 4 more Div 1 programs started in 2018, utah starting in 2019. will the pac 12 follow and create a conf from all the club teams they have?
 

JeremyCuse

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#12
Well there are 4 more Div 1 programs started in 2018, utah starting in 2019. will the pac 12 follow and create a conf from all the club teams they have?
Unlikely, Title 9 is still a major problem/issue. I think you will continue to see a few school here and there add mens lax mostly lower end Div 1 programs like Cle State, Furman, Hampton etc. I think St. Bonaventure just added and then obviously Utah but they don't have a conference home right now so its going to be a while before I think they can really get the program off the ground, ask Michigan how tough it is.
 

Hoo's That

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#13
Well there are 4 more Div 1 programs started in 2018, utah starting in 2019. will the pac 12 follow and create a conf from all the club teams they have?
No. Too many have Title IX problems. Schools that have a women's team and no men's team (notably Louisville, BC, and Va Tech in the ACC; Florida and Vanderbilt in the SEC; Stanford, Colorado, Oregon, Cal, Arizona State and USC-w in the Pac-12; and NWern in the B1G) use the big rosters of WLax teams as part of their effort to counteract the 85 scholarships and ~100-man roster of D-1A football. if they have MLax teams, they lose that counterbalance. Utah is starting both teams next year. That means they're probably OK on their Title IX compliance and adding both doesn't affect anything.
 

upperdeck

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#14
you could go no scholie though and get around the title 9 thing since the all already have club teams.
 

Hoo's That

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#15
you could go no scholie though and get around the title 9 thing since the all already have club teams.
It's not just schollies it's total participation. They'd be adding men's roster spots without adding any for women. The craziest thing is that just about every major D-1 school has a "team" of males for their women's basketball team to practice against. They count as women's participation opportunities for Title IX purposes.
 
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#16
I really wish there were no AQs or less AQs. with only 17 teams seems crazy that so many good teams miss out so a small school can get killed in the first round.
 

Hoo's That

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#17
I really wish there were no AQs or less AQs. with only 17 teams seems crazy that so many good teams miss out so a small school can get killed in the first round.
It all came about because a small school (I forget whether it was Butler or Bucknell) had a really good season and was snubbed by the selection committee. Everyone wanted to blame the blue-blood schools, but they were not represented on the committee that year; it was all non-powers. I want to say there was even a quote from Coach Desko in a paper that he was shocked they weren't picked. As a result, the AQ was voted in for conferences with a minimum of 6 teams. For good or for ill, the AQ will never go away because a whole lot more schools depend on the AQ for their chance to make the tournament than schools who can reasonably compete for an at-large bid. They're perfectly willing to take their chances in that one game.
 

Moontan

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#19
It all came about because a small school (I forget whether it was Butler or Bucknell) had a really good season and was snubbed by the selection committee. Everyone wanted to blame the blue-blood schools, but they were not represented on the committee that year; it was all non-powers. I want to say there was even a quote from Coach Desko in a paper that he was shocked they weren't picked. As a result, the AQ was voted in for conferences with a minimum of 6 teams. For good or for ill, the AQ will never go away because a whole lot more schools depend on the AQ for their chance to make the tournament than schools who can reasonably compete for an at-large bid. They're perfectly willing to take their chances in that one game.
I don’t mind the AQ, in theory it gives every program in those conferences a chance. However, with the current number of programs, the number of AQ bids should not exceed the number of at large bids. So, by that, I’m indirectly supporting the addition of another PIG.
 

Hoo's That

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#21
I don’t mind the AQ, in theory it gives every program in those conferences a chance. However, with the current number of programs, the number of AQ bids should not exceed the number of at large bids. So, by that, I’m indirectly supporting the addition of another PIG.
The committee has said on many occasions that it wants to keep a 50-50 ratio for at-large and AQ bids. Even though D-1 MLax has more bids than it deserves based on the NCAA's formula, they will add an at-large bid any time another conference becomes eligible for an AQ bid.
 

PhatOrange

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#23
I would agree... but allowing 1/3 of the eligible teams to make the tournament seems like too many. What's a fair percentage? 25% now seems reasonable.
i think it's the only way to get around the poor AQ teams who don't really belong in the tourney.
 
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#25
While some years I can be convinced that we need to expand, this year there wasn't a deserving team that was left out of the tournament (and maybe one at large got in that didn't deserve to be there). Despite all the Rutgers whining, were they really a deserving team? They were 9-6 overall and lost 4 of their last 6 games since April 1st (with their only wins coming against unranked teams). Ohio State was 8-7 and lost 6 of their last 9 games. I really like Bucknell, but if you're going to play a weak schedule you can't end the season with a loss to BU.

That being said, I would like to see the committee move away from such an analytical approach and place more emphasis on head to head match ups, de-emphasize early season out of conference losses, and emphasize how teams are playing at the end of the year. Syracuse shouldn't be penalized for playing an Albany in February or scheduling out of conference games with Hopkins, Rutgers and Cornell. Those contests are great for the sport.
 


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