Bracketology 1.0: Fully Immersed in Conference Play

Photo Courtesy of Penn State Athletics                                                                                                            

* Note: Team records have been updated after Tuesday’s games but RPI rankings are as they were before the games on Tuesday*

We have hit April and that means we are just about five weeks away from the start of the NCAA tournament. While it is still plenty early, conference play is fully underway and it’s time into get into some Bracketology. 

How it Works

With this being the first bracketology post of the 2019 here is a little refresher of how the NCAA tournament works for those of you who may not be familiar or have forgotten. In the NCAA DI men’s lacrosse tournament there are eight seeded teams and nine teams that are not seeded. Two teams will be in a play-in game and the winner will have to play the number one overall seed in the first round. 

There are nine automatic qualifiers and those nine are all conference champions. Remember, the ACC does not have an AQ because they just have five teams and a conference needs six teams to be given an AQ spot in the NCAA tournament. With nine AQ’s that leaves eight teams that get in as at-large bids. 

Now how does the NCAA selection committee pick teams for at-large bids and seed teams for the tournament? According to the committee they consider a multitude of things. The committee looks at record, strength of schedule index (based on team’s 10 highest rated games), RPI results, average RPI wins and losses, head-to-head results, record against ranked teams (1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, and 21+), significant wins and losses, location of games, results versus common opponents, and any polls do not matter. 

Predicted Automatic Qualifiers 

Since there are still some teams that just have one conference game under their belt it makes no sense to go by best conference record for all conferences at this time. After this weekend we will know more and can start going off of conference record. Instead RPI will be the deciding factor in predicting AQ’s for this weeks bracketology. Yes, doing it this way has it’s flaws but next week we will be using conference record which makes much more sense going forward.

Conference Team Record Conference Record RPI Rank SOS Rank
America East Vermont 5-4 2-1 40 51
Big East Villanova 6-4 1-0 13 6
Big Ten Penn State 8-1 1-0 1 11
CAA Towson 6-3 1-0 11 10
Ivy League Yale 6-2 2-1 2 3
MAAC Siena 5-3 3-1 28 46
Patriot League Loyola 7-2 4-0 8 16
NEC Hobart 8-2 2-0 21 52
SoCon High Point 8-2 2-1 23 57

Data from LaxBytes – RPI Rankings From 4/2

Possible At-Large Selections

It’s going to be an interesting to see the at-large selections on selection Sunday because of how many teams have and will have beaten each other by then. For this section 20 possible at-large candidates will be listed, and that number may shrink to 12-16 as we get closer to selection Sunday. 

Conference Team Record Conference Record RPI Rank SOS Rank
ACC Virginia 8-2 2-0 3 7
ACC Notre Dame 5-3 1-1 4 1
Ivy League Penn 5-3 3-0 5 2
Big Ten Maryland 8-2 0-1 6 13
Big Ten Ohio State 7-1 0-1 7 21
ACC Duke 8-3 0-2 9 5
ACC Syracuse 5-3 1-2 10 4
Ivy League Cornell 6-3 1-2 12 12
Big East Denver 6-3 1-0 14 14
Big Ten Johns Hopkins 5-4 1-0 15 8
Big Ten Rutgers 6-4 1-0 16 17
Patriot League Army 8-2 4-1 17 35
CAA UMass 7-3 1-0 18 23
Patriot League Lehigh 7-3 5-0 19 27
ACC North Carolina 7-3 1-0 20 30
Big East Georgetown 7-3 0-2 22 42
SoCon Air Force 7-3 3-0 24 24
Patriot League Colgate 3-6 1-3 25 9
SoCon Richmond 6-4 3-0 26 32
Patriot League Boston U. 7-4 2-2 27 36

Data from LaxBytes – RPI Rankings From 4/2

Anybody Out?

At the moment no team with a conference affiliation is officially out as anything can certainly happen. But there are teams that you pretty much know are surely going to miss the NCAA tournament or that aren’t eligible. Most of these teams aren’t necessarily out of contention but they are surely hanging onto the edge of the cliff right now. 

Conference Team Record Conference Record RPI Rank SOS Rank
Independent Hampton 4-3 73 73
Independent NJIT 1-10 69 53
America East Binghamton 0-8 0-2 68 50
MAAC St. Bonaventure 0-9 0-5 60 20

Data from LaxBytes – RPI Rankings From 4/2

Projected Bracket 1.0

This was very tough as it’s difficult enough to pick the teams, but then to seed and place them is even more difficult. I used the criteria that the NCAA selection committee uses was used as beast as I could to put this bracket together. 

While the hardest part was picking the at-large teams and seeding the top eight, it was even harder picking who to leave out at the moment. There are for sure about seven teams that you could say are on the bubble or could make a case to get in. At the moment it looks like Denver is the last team out an Lehigh is the last team in. While things can and will change, the bubble looks weak this year due to everybody beating everybody. There is no bonafide top team this year and that just makes everything difficult. 

There is still a lot of lacrosse to play so things will change over the coming weeks and hopefully more clarity will be provided. 


Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 3.20.55 AM



Last Four In: Duke, Penn, Cornell, Lehigh

First Four Out: Denver, Johns Hopkins, Rutgers, Ohio State


3 thoughts on “Bracketology 1.0: Fully Immersed in Conference Play

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