2012 NCAA Bracketology - 4/22/12

2012 NCAA Bracketology - 4/22/12

New postby humb le on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:00 pm

As a reminder/request, this thread is meant to encourage respectful, thoughtful conversation. All of my projections are based on the criteria explained below:

Prior to the 2009 season, the NCAA adopted the following criteria for determining which teams receive at-large bids:

Primary Criteria for Selecting At-Large Teams

The Division I Men's Lacrosse Committee employs criteria specified in NCAA Bylaws. When selecting teams for possible at-large berths, primary factors considered when reviewing teams' won-loss records and strength of schedule are (not in priority order) as follows:
1. Strength of Schedule Index which is based on the 10 highest-ranking opponents in the ratings percentage index RPI. Two games against the same opponent will count as two contests.
2. Results against teams in descending order, as determined by the "normal RPI [Ratings Percentage Index] rank" used during the selection process, that is, the record against teams ranked 1-5, 6-10, 11-20, and team ranked greater than 20.
3. Average RPI win (average RPI of all wins)
4. Average RPI loss (average RPI of all losses)
5. Head-to-head competition.
6. Results against common opponents.
7. Locations of contests.
8. Significant wins" (wins against teams ranked higher in the RPI)
9. Significant losses" (losses against teams ranked lower in the RPI)


Off of this page(http://www.laxpower.com/update12/binmen/ncaa_d1.php) on Laxpower, you can access and see all of the numbers I am using for my analysis.

To be eligible, a team must have a .500 record or better. It is important to remember that the NCAA committee doesn’t care about poll rankings or “quality” losses.

The selection of Brown in 2009 over Loyola highlights how the criteria can be used. Loyola had good numbers (RPI, SOS) but lacked quality wins. Brown had a very weak SOS, but had quality wins and beat UMass on the road while Loyola lost to UMass at home.

The selection of Notre Dame and Hofstra in 2010 over Georgetown highlights the importance of wins against teams in the RPI Top 20, especially teams in the top 10. While Georgetown had a better RPI and SOS than Notre Dame and Hofstra, they did not have a top 10 RPI win while the Irish and Pride did.

In 2011, the committee acknowledged they do not view the ACC as a conference since they do not have an AQ. This is why UNC and Maryland played in the first round when conference match-ups are to be avoided.

For the 2012 Tournament, there are 7 AQs (America East, Big East, Ivy, Patriot, Colonial, ECAC and MAAC) and 9 At-Large teams. All teams in the ACC and NEC can only make the tourney as at-large teams (ACC has only 4 teams while the NEC hasn’t been around long enough to qualify for an AQ).

Inside the parenthesis for each team is their RPI rank, SOS Index rank and a listing of their top 20 RPI wins at the moment. Projected seeds have it listed in front of their names. The projection is based on the numbers as they stand today.

The current front-runners for their league AQs (if tied, RPI is used as the tiebreaker for the projection)
America East – UMBC (#29 RPI, #36 SOS, QWs – Maryland (5)) UMBC has the best RPI of the three teams currently tied for first in this one-bid league.
Big East –#3 Notre Dame (#3 RPI, #17 SOS, QWs – Duke (2); Villanova (12); Denver (16); Ohio State (18); Drexel (20)) A big week for the Irish. Besides clinching the #1 seed in the Big East tournament, their RPI jumps to #3, Duke becomes a top 5 RPI win and they add Villanova to their list of Top 20 RPI wins.
Colonial –#4 UMass (#4 RPI, #42 SOS, QWs – Penn State (12); Bucknell (17); Ohio State (18); Drexel (20)) UMass continues to have seeding issues based on their lack of top 10 RPI wins. The committee set a precedent in 2009 when they seeded an undefeated Notre Dame #7 using the same criteria. I think I am being generous with the #4 seed but believe the bad losses by UNC (Penn) and Maryland (UMBC) will help the Minutemen. If UMass wins out, it will be an interesting case study for future Bracketologies to see how they are seeded.
ECAC – #1 Loyola (#1 RPI, #18 SOS, QWs – Duke (2); Fairfield (11); Denver (16); Ohio State (18)) With Duke winning the ACC and jumping to #2 in the RPI coupled with the NCAA rewarding the #1 RPI with the #1 seed in past years, it would seem the Greyhounds are the clear #1 seed at the moment.
Ivy – Princeton (#14 RPI, #29 SOS, QWs – Villanova(12)) – The Ivies are looking more and more like a one bid league. The winner of Princeton-Cornell earns the right to host the Ivy Tournament. The loser is going to face an uphill climb to make it in as an at-large.
MAAC – Siena (#33 RPI, #59 SOS, QWs – None) - AQ or bust in this league
Patriot – Colgate (#10 RPI, #26 SOS, QWs - Lehigh (9); Fairfield (11); Bucknell (17)) –All the games between the teams involved in the Patriot Tournament were one-goal affairs. Should be a heck of tournament. If the Red Raiders win the tournament, they will have a good shot at a seed. Also, don't forget the Red Raiders have a season-ending game against a Maryland team they beat last year to solidify their At-Large resume if things do not go their way in Hamilton this weekend.

The following teams look to be in very good shape for at-large bids since each has a top 10 RPI, top 10 SOS and at least 1 top 5 RPI win:
#2 Duke (#2 RPI, #2 SOS, QWs – Maryland (5); Virginia (6); UNC x2 (7); Syracuse (19)) – Duke is the new Syracuse. The Blue Devils gel as the season progresses and seem to peak at the right time the past few years a la Syracuse in the 90s. Winning the ACC jumps their RPI to #2 and gives them an impressive list of wins to put them in position for the #2 seed
#5 North Carolina (#7t RPI, #1 SOS, QWs –Maryland (5); Virginia (6); Johns Hopkins (7); Penn State (12); Princeton (14)) – An impressive lists of wins is counterbalanced by a hard-to-explain loss to a 2-win Penn squad. Balancing the good with the bad and factoring in a potentially undefeated UMass squad for seating, #5 seems about right.
#6 Virginia (#6 RPI, #8 SOS, QWs –Maryland (5); UNC (7); Cornell (15); Ohio State (18); Syracuse (19); Drexel (20) ) – The Cavs are glad the NCAA doesn’t care about the timing of your wins as they stumble down the stretch a little.
#7 Maryland (#5 RPI; #5 SOS, QWs –Duke (2); Johns Hopkins (7); Villanova (12)) – With only 3 top wins and a bad loss to UMBC, the Terps are flirting with not being seeded again.

That leaves 5 at-large spots. There are 4 teams that have resumes that separate them from the rest of the At-Large contenders (Top 20 RPI with at least 3 Top 20 RPI wins including 1 Top 10 RPI win):
#8 Lehigh (#9 RPI, #22 SOS, QWs – UNC (7); Penn State (12); Bucknell (17)) – Every seeded team since 2009 has had a top 10 RPI. In a close call over fellow Patriot League member Colgate and Hopkins, Lehigh looks to have the best case as you look deeper into the criteria – no bad losses and the win against Navy while Colgate and Hopkins both lost to the Midshipmen. If either Lehigh or Colgate wins the Patriot Tournament, they look to have a good shot at a seed if Hopkins loses to Loyola.
Johns Hopkins (#7t RPI, #13 SOS, QWs –Virginia (7); Princeton (14); Syracuse (19)) – Not a great weekend for the Blue Jays. They get humbled by Navy, their win over Virginia is no longer a top 5 win with the Cavs loss in the ACC semis, and they lost Towson as a top 20 RPI win with the Tigers going down to Drexel. All these things drop the Blue Jays out of the seeded teams for the moment. A big match-up with Loyola coming up that could solidify their position in the tournament as a seeded team.
Penn State (#12t RPI, #6 SOS, QWs –Notre Dame (3); Villanova (12); Ohio State (18); Drexel (20)) – The win over Notre Dame keeps looking better and better for the Nittany Lions. If they can move their RPI into the Top 10, they are definite contenders for a seed with their list of wins and SOS.
Villanova (#12t RPI, #10 SOS, QWs – Lehigh (9); Bucknell (17); Syracuse (19); Drexel (20)) – With 3 of their wins toward the back half of the RPI top 20, the Wildcats are in a vulnerable spot. They could lose one or more of these wins in the coming weeks. Also, they could be bumped by a surprise AQ winner that throws a team like Loyola or UMass into the at-large pool.

That leaves the final group of teams competing for the final at-large spot (listed in order of RPI):
Fairfield (#11 RPI, #33 SOS, QWs – Denver (16))
Cornell (#15 RPI, #39 SOS, QWs – Denver (16); Syracuse(19))
Denver (#16 RPI, #3 SOS, QWs – Penn State (12))
Bucknell (#17 RPI, #12 SOS, QWs – Penn State (12); Drexel (20))
Ohio State (#18 RPI, #7 SOS, QWs - Denver (16))
Syracuse (#19 RPI, #4 SOS, QWs – Princeton (14))
Navy (#21 RPI, #27 SOS, QWs – Johns Hopkins (7); Colgate (10))
Georgetown (#22 RPI,#19 SOS, QWs – Syracuse (19))
Yale (#23 RPI; #44 SOS; QWs – none)
Robert Morris (#25 RPI, #46 SOS, QWs – Ohio State (18))
* - it should be noted that #20 Drexel and #24 Hofstra were not included due to having sub .500 records

Since no team outside the top 20 of the RPI has ever made the tournament, that currently eliminates Navy, Georgetown, Yale and Robert Morris. That said, if Navy’s RPI gets into the top 20, they have two impressive wins that could get them in. It will be interesting to see what happens with their numbers as they sit out the next two weeks and everyone else plays. If Navy’s RPI was in the Top 20, I would have them as the last team in …

That leaves Fairfield, Cornell, Denver, Bucknell, Ohio State and Syracuse with Top 20 RPIs competing for the last spot. Denver and Bucknell have the best RPI win of the group (Penn State). Cornell and Bucknell are the only two teams with a second quality win. Looking into the other criteria, nothing stands out to trump the 2 QWs from any of the other teams. Since Bucknell has the better two quality wins than Cornell, the Bison look to be the last team. That would leave Cornell, Denver, Fairfield and Syracuse as the first four out.

I freely admit I have been much better at picking who is in and who is out versus actual seedings and match-ups. That said, I am still going to give my best effort at it. Keep in mind that only the top 8 teams are seeded. The committee has the latitude to make any match-ups they want between unseeded and seeded teams they want while keeping conference affiliations and geography/travel considerations in mind.

Here's my best guess:

#1 Loyola v Siena
#2 Duke v UMBC
#3 Notre Dame v Bucknell
#4 UMass v Colgate
#5 UNC v Princeton
#6 Virginia v Villanova
#7 Maryland v Penn State
#8 Lehigh v Johns Hopkins

Moderator note: I finally had enough and changed the spelling of "bracketolgy". I'm surprised no one ever mentioned it.
Last edited by humb le on Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby a fan on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:15 pm

Pretty tough to argue Navy out as out today. They easily have the best QW's over all the other bubble teams. It's not even close. Be interesting to see if, yet again, the last week of games bails the committee out of having to explain why a team with two wins against top ten teams is sitting home.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby humb le on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:22 pm

a fan wrote:Pretty tough to argue Navy out as out today. They easily have the best QW's over all the other bubble teams. It's not even close. Be interesting to see if, yet again, the last week of games bails the committee out of having to explain why a team with two wins against top ten teams is sitting home.


As I stated, if Navy had a Top 20 RPI, they would be in. The committee has never had a team outside the Top 20 as an at-large. The logic is that if beating you doesn't count as a Quality Win, then how could you be considered as an at-large?

It will be interesting to see how the numbers play out for the Midshipmen.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby a fan on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:26 pm

I'm sorry... that "pretty tough to argue Navy is out" wasn't directed at you, humble. It was directed at the Committee. My post wasn't clear.

The last week of games has a funny way of eliminating tough decisions like these. It seems to happen every couple of years.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby HHS '64 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:30 pm

humb le -- Thanks very much for this extensive, excellent analysis. While there are some important games yet to be played (e.g., the Cornell-Princeton and Big East Tournament, among several others), I believe this weekend's results considerably clarify "some" NCAA seeding questions, although the major, late-season upsets (Navy-Hopkins, Brown-Cornell, UNC-UVa, Georgetown-Syracuse, etc.) certainly should complicate both the Committee's tasks and should make tomorrow's poll especially contentious. Parity throughout the top-tier obviously is overwhelming, which (I suggest) makes prompt NCAA Tournament enlargement critical.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby HOOfan_1 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:33 pm

Bucknell, Colgate, Villanova, Princeton, Penn State pretty evenly matched teams there, so 3-7 seeds get similar draws.

Next weekend will really clear this picture up
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby caliconboo on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:52 pm

Navy getting in should eliminate any complaints ever of a .500-esque last place ACC team getting in on the basis of a couple of power wins.

a fan wrote:Pretty tough to argue Navy out as out today. They easily have the best QW's over all the other bubble teams. It's not even close. Be interesting to see if, yet again, the last week of games bails the committee out of having to explain why a team with two wins against top ten teams is sitting home.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby a fan on Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:25 pm

Respectfully, that's a different narrative. Navy would get in for beating two top ten teams and a .500 record. The complaint about the ACC was that they'd get in with RPI and SOS that overwhelms the QW's.... in other words, for scheduling tough teams, but not beating them.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby caliconboo on Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:52 pm

UNC was criticized on this forum for last year's selection. They beat then-top 10 teams Penn, Princeton, Maryland and Notre Dame. A Patriot League team with the same schedule and record would have been championed for a high seed no questions asked.

a fan wrote:Respectfully, that's a different narrative. Navy would get in for beating two top ten teams and a .500 record. The complaint about the ACC was that they'd get in with RPI and SOS that overwhelms the QW's.... in other words, for scheduling tough teams, but not beating them.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby humb le on Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:59 pm

caliconboo wrote:UNC was criticized on this forum for last year's selection. They beat then-top 10 teams Penn, Princeton, Maryland and Notre Dame. A Patriot League team with the same schedule and record would have been championed for a high seed no questions asked.


Some revisionist history here. This is the 2011 UNC resume: #8 North Carolina (#10 RPI, #6 SOS, QWs – Notre Dame (3); Maryland (12); Penn (15); Princeton (18))

North Carolina only had 1 top 10 win, not 4 as you stated. And if you are going to follow-up with that the teams were ranked in the top 10 when North Carolina beat them, don't bother. Where a team is ranked when the game occurs is irrelevant. All that matters is where the team ranks in the RPI at the end of the year.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby caliconboo on Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:07 pm

A Patriot League team with that exact same schedule would still be celebrated for playing such a difficult schedule and winning a few of them. A traditional power team gets criticized for it. That said, your picks so far seem fair. (and its not revisionist; the teams were ranked what they were ranked as noted)

humb le wrote:
caliconboo wrote:UNC was criticized on this forum for last year's selection. They beat then-top 10 teams Penn, Princeton, Maryland and Notre Dame. A Patriot League team with the same schedule and record would have been championed for a high seed no questions asked.


Some revisionist history here. This is the 2011 UNC resume: #8 North Carolina (#10 RPI, #6 SOS, QWs – Notre Dame (3); Maryland (12); Penn (15); Princeton (18))

North Carolina only had 1 top 10 win, not 4 as you stated. And if you are going to follow-up with that the teams were ranked in the top 10 when North Carolina beat them, don't bother. Where a team is ranked when the game occurs is irrelevant. All that matters is where the team ranks in the RPI at the end of the year.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby glazed-over on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:02 pm

You do understand how it works, correct? The ACC is not recognized by the NCAA as a conference in men’s lacrosse because it lacks the requisite six members. All four ACC teams that play men’s lacrosse – Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia – are traditionally good. Thus they play in a “conference” that offers RPI and Strength of Schedule rewards and no penalties. Contrast that, as an example, to the Big East where for every Notre Dame a Syracuse faces there is also a Providence to balance things out.

Pretty cozy arrangement already, but it gets worse. Seeing the obvious benefits their arrangement breeds, these four ACC teams hold a postseason tournament in which all of them qualify. Nice. There is no ACC in men’s lacrosse as far as the NCAA is concerned, but get this: The NCAA recognizes those tournament games when it makes its selections. The bogus postseason ACC “tournament” is nothing more than an annual chance for the “conference’s” four teams to strengthen their NCAA Tournament credentials by playing each other a second time.

And, you don't think they're working it? Last year, Maryland lost to Duke and North Carolina in the regular season. Then in Maryland's "second chance" (tournament that is not a tournament) to play each, they defeated both, giving them two "quality wins", which pushed their RPI ahead of Colgate’s and sent the Terps to the Tournament even though they lost at home in a head-to-head battle with the Raiders.

Forget the call to expand the tournament - just launch the ACC off on its own to play each other 3 or 4 times a season and tell each other how great they are and have Quint comment on it and let the sport grow without them - it can't grow as long as the current ACC loophole is left open.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby slipknot on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:07 pm

Cry me a river.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby MaizeAndBlueWahoo on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:14 pm

glazed-over wrote:You do understand how it works, correct? The ACC is not recognized by the NCAA as a conference in men’s lacrosse because it lacks the requisite six members. All four ACC teams that play men’s lacrosse – Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia – are traditionally good. Thus they play in a “conference” that offers RPI and Strength of Schedule rewards and no penalties. Contrast that, as an example, to the Big East where for every Notre Dame a Syracuse faces there is also a Providence to balance things out.

Pretty cozy arrangement already, but it gets worse. Seeing the obvious benefits their arrangement breeds, these four ACC teams hold a postseason tournament in which all of them qualify. Nice. There is no ACC in men’s lacrosse as far as the NCAA is concerned, but get this: The NCAA recognizes those tournament games when it makes its selections. The bogus postseason ACC “tournament” is nothing more than an annual chance for the “conference’s” four teams to strengthen their NCAA Tournament credentials by playing each other a second time.

And, you don't think they're working it? Last year, Maryland lost to Duke and North Carolina in the regular season. Then in Maryland's "second chance" (tournament that is not a tournament) to play each, they defeated both, giving them two "quality wins", which pushed their RPI ahead of Colgate’s and sent the Terps to the Tournament even though they lost at home in a head-to-head battle with the Raiders.

Forget the call to expand the tournament - just launch the ACC off on its own to play each other 3 or 4 times a season and tell each other how great they are and have Quint comment on it and let the sport grow without them - it can't grow as long as the current ACC loophole is left open.

The inherent stupidity of this argument is that it boils down to this: "The ACC has four teams which are always among the best in the country, and because of that it's just not fair that they always get in the NCAA tournament."

The non-autobid NEC is going to hold a tournament and it doesn't seem to bother you.

Every other conference is going to hold a tournament where teams will play teams they've already played and it doesn't seem to bother you. The idea that it's perfectly fair for Denver to get another crack at Loyola but not fair for Duke to play Maryland twice is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

Syracuse is gonna join the ACC next year. If the ACC adds another lax team, will you suddenly be happy with the idea of an ACC tournament?

Seriously - shut up.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby doms76 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:21 pm

re Slipknot comment: Exactly - they made the championship game, where they lost to another ACC team, so how can you argue that the selection was bogus based on results?

I was shocked to read about Navy possibly making it, just the thought of a team that doesn't even make it's own conference tourney would make the NCAAs is tough to grasp. But I'll defer to humb le on the criteria, and he did say that since they don't have a top 20 RPI that rules them out.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby a fan on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:22 pm

1. Strength of Schedule Index which is based on the 10 highest-ranking opponents in the ratings percentage index RPI. Two games against the same opponent will count as two contests.

A very simple solution would be to only count one game when you play an opponent twice.

Cry me a river, true, slipknot..... It's not the ACC's fault that other Division I coaches and AD's are too dumb to understand that the selection process is rigged for the ACC. The new conference alignments and the NCAA max on games makes it impossible to strengthen a team's schedule. So until the lacrosse brass at other schools wake the heck up.... cry me a river.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby glazed-over on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:24 pm

Did you read some note of complaint in my post? I was just explaining how it works - it didn't seem clear to all who put such faith in rpi and sos - rpi and sos pre- or post- ACC "let's play each other again" for no purpose (there's no AQ) other than to boost them.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby a fan on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:30 pm

Your words: ".... it gets worse...."

Seems like you're complaining to me.

We've been talking about the ACC RPI and SOS merry go round at Laxpower for over a decade now, so please forgive me for misunderstanding your intent.
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby MaizeAndBlueWahoo on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:36 pm

glazed-over wrote:Did you read some note of complaint in my post? I was just explaining how it works - it didn't seem clear to all who put such faith in rpi and sos - rpi and sos pre- or post- ACC "let's play each other again" for no purpose (there's no AQ) other than to boost them.

Please. Unless you're suddenly claiming to like "bogus" things, you were complaining. Unless you like that "the sport can't grow with the ACC loophole."
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Re: 2012 NCAA Bracketolgy - 4/22/12

New postby CU77 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:33 pm

humb le, on your list of Cornell's QWs, you left out their win over #19 Syracuse.
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