D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby D-III on Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:51 pm

It is that time of year again! As a reminder, these early brackets require me to project ahead, for example, I obviously have to select the AQs, which in turns creates the at-large pool.

If you are coach, player, alum, fan, parent etc...and take exception with the Pool C selections, my suggestion would be to win your AQ, because as things stand right now, it does not appear that you will make the field as an at-large.

Pool B- There were essentially 7 teams in contention for 5 spots, the last two left out were Centre and Berry, due not surprisingly to a weak Strength of Schedule (SOS). There are still enough key games left that the Pool B field can shift dramatically (i.e. the Southern Conference playoffs and Whittier-Colorado College).

Eastern once again risked being on the outside looking in due to a weak SOS, but they hold the trump card this year-- a win against a regionally ranked opponent (York)-- something no other Pool B team will have.

Pool C- The good news in 2014 is that unless there are a lot of conference tournament upsets which shift some of the very top teams into the Pool C field there aren’t going to be teams left out of the field who had truly elite seasons. Nonetheless, the race for the 5 bids will be extremely competitive and as of now there are still 15-20 teams with realistic shots at the 5 bids if things break their way.

The biggest surprise to me in compiling the first Bracketology was how well the top NESCAC teams rated this year, which is contrary, I believe, to the perception of many. Bowdoin was the last team out (which would have put 4 NESCAC teams in the field) and a few other NESCAC’s are also near the top of the list of those in contention, along with several other squads. The ODAC is another conference that rates a bit higher than anticipated.

Keep in mind that with respect to seeding after the Top-8 seeds in both brackets, geography plays a bigger role than a team’s credentials.

4/16/14 Bracket:

North:

#1 RIT (Liberty AQ) First Round Bye v. winner of #8 Springfield (Pilgrim AQ) v. #9 Endicott (CCC AQ)

v.

winner of #4 Union (Pool C) v. #13 New England College (NAC AQ) v. winner of #5 Amherst (Pool C) v. #12 Keene St. (Little East AQ)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

winner of #3 Cortland (SUNYAC AQ) v. #14 Keuka (NEAC AQ) v. winner of #6 Ithaca (E8 AQ) v. #11 Adrian (MIAA AQ)

v.

winner of #2 Tufts (NESCAC AQ) v. #15 Emmanuel (GNAC AQ) v. winner of #7 Wesleyan (Pool C) v. #10 Montclair St. (Skyline AQ)
______________________________________________________________________________________________

South

#1 Stevenson/Salisbury winner (AQ) First Round Bye v. winner of #8 York (Pool C) v. #9 Eastern (Pool B)

v.

winner of #4 Denison (North Coast AQ) v. #13 Aurora (Midwest AQ) v. winner of #5 Cabrini (CSAC AQ) v. #12 Scranton (Landmark AQ)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

winner of #3 Washington College (Centennial AQ) v. #14 Whittier* (Pool B) v. winner of #6 W&L (ODAC AQ) v. #11 Otterbein (Pool B)

v.

winner of #2 Stevenson/Salisbury loser (AQ) v. #15 Colorado College* (Pool B) v. winner of #7 Lynchburg (Pool C) v. #10 Sewanee (Pool B)


*The only flights in the above Bracket involve Colorado College and Whittier.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby muleski on Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:58 pm

Thanks, as always. One correction. Think you mean to show Union as a Pool C qualifier. Based on today, it might be a toss-up as to who the LL AQ is and who grabs a Pool C between them and RIT. Assuming RIT wins, and Union wins out until the LL tournament championship, Union must be as close to a lock for Pool C as anybody.

Again, appreciate the work. Let the NESCAC haters chime in on the regional ratings…...
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby D-III on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Corrected, thanks. That was a copy/paste error.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby muleski on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:07 pm

Thought so. Thanks. Great work.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby Gypsy on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:14 pm

Ditto on Muleski's compliments and thanks to you. One other non-substantive thing you might look at is you have Salisbury/Stevenson loser listed as ODAC AQ.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby LaxForNow on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:18 pm

So by you projecting Lynchburg getting upset in ODAC tournament kills a Pool C spot for someone else, which you said would have been Bowdoin instead of Mary Washington?

If no ODAC (or any other AQ upsets) you would project 3 of 5 Pool C to the NESCAC (seems about right!)
Last edited by LaxForNow on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby LaxNews on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:19 pm

Gypsy wrote:Ditto on Muleski's compliments and thanks to you. One other non-substantive thing you might look at is you have Salisbury/Stevenson loser listed as ODAC AQ.


Thanks, fixed.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby PAlaxbro on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:23 pm

LaxForNow wrote:So by you projecting Lynchburg getting upset in ODAC tournament kills a Pool C spot for someone else, which you said would have been Bowdoin?

So if Lynchburg doesn't get upset, you have NESCAC with 3 pool C bids?
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby D-III on Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:03 pm

PAlaxbro wrote:
LaxForNow wrote:So by you projecting Lynchburg getting upset in ODAC tournament kills a Pool C spot for someone else, which you said would have been Bowdoin?

So if Lynchburg doesn't get upset, you have NESCAC with 3 pool C bids?


Correct. As of now.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby PAlaxbro on Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:08 pm

Im curious as to what qualifies Bowdoin over York in your opinion for a Pool C bid?
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby videoman on Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:13 pm

He has York as Pool C!
#8 Seed!
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby PAlaxbro on Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:14 pm

ohhhhh my apologies didnt see it.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby trplax25 on Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:23 pm

I see York, Mary Washington, Wesleyan, and Bowdoin all as comparable right now. All have a SOS in about the same neighborhood, all with similar results against regionally ranked opponents (3-2, 4-1, 4-2), all have chances left against regionally ranked opponents to pad their resumes. My guess is you will see 2 (maybe 3) of these 4 teams as Pool C and as usual the conference tournaments will decide it. I can envision a scenario where Mary Washington is a clear selection over York, Wesleyan, and Bowdoin if a couple of things happen.

I think if LC wins their tournament the ODAC is a one bid conference. Any of these four teams should have a stronger case than W&L or Roanoke.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby PAlaxbro on Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:39 pm

A pool C bid playoff game will be York vs UMW in the CAC playoffs. whoever wins that will be assured a spot.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby idealtin on Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:01 am

PAlaxbrother: The one thing that I and all of us have seen thru the years is someones beloved team get the shaft come tourny time. The one thing that you can be assured of is there will be upsets along the way and teams that do not win their AQ are left on the outside looking in. I realize that your Spartan team is having a VERY good year, if by chance they do not make it to the CAC finals they will be sweating out a Pool C bid come selection Sunday with a record of 15-4, and then a team such as (hypothetically) Bowdoin gets in with a record of 12-5. Happens every year. Still a week or so early for all this as the conference tournaments dictate the final Pool C bids. Unless you are Stevenson, Salisbury,Washington College, RIT, or Union you had better win the AQ.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby Cmonref on Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:03 am

I need some help understanding the Pool C decision process. It seems overall record, in-region record, record vs. regionally ranked teams and SOS are the main criteria. Specifically, my question is about Bowdoin: 9-4 overall with losses to Middlebury and Colby (not currently ranked) and SOS of 60 (per SOS RPI today). What makes this team a higher seed than Mary Washington with 10-2 record, wins over W&L and Chris Newport (both ranked) and SOS of 48???

I'm not lobbying for a team here, just want to understand the process better.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby trplax25 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:31 am

Keep in mind that D-III is forecasting future results, not just looking at them as they stand today. The NESCAC has many regionally ranked teams which gives Bowdoin a greater opportunity to improve that portion of their resume, and they already sit at 4-1 (I believe, no notes at work). They still have two of those games on their regular season schedule (Tufts, Endicott) before even getting to the conference tournament where they will likely face a couple more if they advance. Consider Tufts is one of their remaining opponents and then quality opponents in the NESCAC tournament and they probably equal or better Mary Washington's SOS by the time its all over, especially if Mary Washington fails to advance past York.

Mary Washington on the other hand needs help from SMC this Saturday to get a regionally ranked opponent in the first round of the CAC (FSU or CNU) and then they need to get past York to Salisbury just to get 3 more of those games; that is their best case scenario. The chances of them getting all of those breaks are less than Bowdoin playing only one more regionally ranked team in the NESCAC tournament. It could happen though, which is why I said I could envision a scenario where Mary Washington has a legitimate resume over the others if the others struggle.

They all look equal right now, maybe Mary Washington even looks a little better, but it can all hinge on just one game. Suppose that SMC loses this weekend to FSU and they are locked into the 6 seed in the CAC tournament; Mary Washington loses out on a chance to play another regionally ranked opponent (FSU or CNU) and that could cost them a Pool C bid. Or suppose that Bowdoin loses to both Endicott and Tufts to close the season, drops to the 4 seed in the NESCAC, and has to play non-regionally ranked Middlebury in the first round of the NESCAC. They could easily lose that game and go home without a bid.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby Col. FastBreak on Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:57 am

Cmonref wrote:I need some help understanding the Pool C decision process. It seems overall record, in-region record, record vs. regionally ranked teams and SOS are the main criteria. Specifically, my question is about Bowdoin: 9-4 overall with losses to Middlebury and Colby (not currently ranked) and SOS of 60 (per SOS RPI today). What makes this team a higher seed than Mary Washington with 10-2 record, wins over W&L and Chris Newport (both ranked) and SOS of 48???


CNU is the most likely conference tournament opponent for MWU. CNU has lost to both SMCM and Frostburg St, so if CNU loses to York, they will be the #6 seed regardless of the result between Frostburg and SMCM. On the other side of the coin, it looks to me that Amherst is Bowdoin's most likely first round opponent.

Also remember that those SOS rankings you are quoting are a little misleading, since the actual numbers behind the rankings are relatively close. Currently the difference between the SOS of schedules for MWU and Bowdoin is relatively small. My guess is that the above Bracketology is anticipating, as trplax said, that the difference will shrink and Bowdoin will move slightly ahead as they play Tufts, Amherst and Endicott(all regionally ranked currently and expected to stay that way) while MWU plays CNU and Marymount.
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby Cmonref on Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:25 pm

Col & Trp-
Thanks. I thought the bracket was "as it stands now" and not forecasting.... my mistake.

Clearly, there are many scenarios to play out with those who are likely in the Pool C hunt, not to mention the effect of a clear-cut favorite losing in their conference tourney (e.g, Salisbury last year). It's a pity there are so few Pool C spots. I guess I understand the NCAA's desire to grow small leagues and remote areas, but it does not seem fair to pick on 5 from such a deep group of contenders from the strong leagues. I'm beating a dead horse, I know. (are you still allowed to say stuff like that???)
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Re: D3 Bracketology, 4/16/13

New postby D-III on Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:34 pm

Cmonref wrote:I need some help understanding the Pool C decision process. It seems overall record, in-region record, record vs. regionally ranked teams and SOS are the main criteria. Specifically, my question is about Bowdoin: 9-4 overall with losses to Middlebury and Colby (not currently ranked) and SOS of 60 (per SOS RPI today). What makes this team a higher seed than Mary Washington with 10-2 record, wins over W&L and Chris Newport (both ranked) and SOS of 48???

I'm not lobbying for a team here, just want to understand the process better.


Couple of additional comments:

1. Bad losses, however you want to define them are not an independent part of the criteria. Losses are reflected in win/loss percentage and can affect head-to-head and results v. common opponents, but a team like Bowdoin isn't going to then get dinged again, just because a team like Colby is unranked.

2. As trplax and Col. Fastbreak point out, in making my determinations I account for the fact that Bowdoin's SOS is about to get a significant boost, their next two opponents are 11-3 and 11-2 respectively, and both are regionally ranked.

3. Bottom line, the Bowdoin-Endicott game is a big one for any Pool C hopefuls, if Bowdoin wins and moves to 10-4 overall with a 5-1 record against Regionally Ranked Opponents, their resume becomes extremely strong and puts them in a good position.

4. My assessment is fluid, right now Bowdoin rates higher than MWU but that can certainly change, especially now that "once ranked, always ranked" is no longer part of the Criteria, we need to see how the rankings evolve over the next couple of weeks.

4. You mention Middlebury and they are another team to watch believe it or not. An eye popping 10 of their 14 regular season games are against regionally ranked opponents, I believe only Salisbury has faced as many. If they beat Williams they'll have head-to-head wins over Amherst, Bowdoin, Plattsburgh and Williams, with a high end SOS and 9-6 overall record. If they make a deep run in the NESCAC and pick up one or two more regionally ranked wins, they are another team that could get a Pool C bid.

That said, teams like Gettysburg, Dickinson, F&M, Conn College, the aforementioned Williams etc...are all in the running too if they each take care of business. Win your games.
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