Bracketology 2.0: The Field is Still Wide Open

Photo Courtesy of Penn State Athletics                                                                                                            

The first weekend in April has passed and we are now under a month away from Selection Sunday. Even with that, the field looks as wide open as ever. 

All conferences are now fully emerged in conference play and things are looking a bit clearer in some conferences than other. Either way it’s time to dive into some bracketology. 

ICYMI: Bracketology 1.0: Fully Immersed in Conference Play


As a little refresher for those of you who may not be aware, this is how the NCAA tournament works. 

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. 


Since every conference is now fully in conference play we can start looking at conference record and not highest RPI to predict the nine automatic qualifiers. However, some teams do have the same conference record and in that case RPI will be the deciding factor. 

Conference Team Record Conference Record RPI Rank SOS Rank
America East Vermont 6-4 3-1 38 50
Big East Villanova 7-4 2-0 11 5
Big Ten Penn State 9-1 2-0 1 8
CAA Towson 7-3 2-0 13 13
Ivy League Penn 6-3 4-0 3 2
MAAC Detroit Mercy 7-3 4-1 39 63
Patriot League Loyola 9-2 5-0 4 7
NEC Mount St. Mary’s 7-5 3-0 34 40
SoCon Richmond 7-2 4-0 22 29

Data from LaxBytes – RPI Rankings From 4/10


Again, there are still so many teams that have a very good case at this point to be at-large bids. In time we will hopefully see more clarity, but remember there are nothing is handed to anybody in college lacrosse. Anything can happen on any day and that is part of what makes this sport so great. 

For this section 20 possible at-large candidates will be listed. Again, the number of teams displayed here will likely shrink as we get closer to Selection Sunday. 

Conference Team Record Conference Record RPI Rank SOS Rank
ACC Virginia 9-2 3-0 2 4
ACC Duke 9-3 1-2 5 3
ACC Syracuse 7-3 1-2 6 9
Big Ten Maryland 9-2 1-1 7 19
Ivy League Yale 7-2 3-1 8 18
ACC Notre Dame 5-4 1-2 9 1
Big Ten Ohio State 7-2 0-2 10 20
Big Ten Johns Hopkins 6-4 2-0 12 6
Big East Denver 6-4 1-1 14 14
Ivy League Cornell 7-4 2-2 15 11
Patriot League Lehigh 7-4 5-1 16 21
ACC North Carolina 7-4 1-1 17 22
Big Ten Rutgers 6-5 1-1 18 16
Big East Georgetown 8-4 1-2 19 24
SoCon High Point 9-2 3-1 20 42
Patriot League Army 8-3 4-2 21 30
SoCon Air Force 7-4 3-1 23 31
Ivy League Princeton 5-6 0-3 24 17
Patriot League Boston U. 8-4 3-2 25 35
CAA UMass 7-4 1-1 26 37

Data from LaxBytes – RPI Rankings From 4/10

Who’s Out?

Still, not many teams are mathematically  out but there are those who are out by rule or you just know are not going be dancing in May. 

Conference Team Record Conference Record RPI Rank SOS Rank
Independent Hampton 4-4 73 73
Independent NJIT 2-10 70 54
America East Binghamton 0-9 0-3 62 62
MAAC St. Bonaventure 0-11 0-6 65 36

Data from LaxBytes – RPI Rankings From 4/10


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. Even with what transpired last weekend, there are still teams that you could make a very strong case for getting in and vice versa. At the moment it looks like Denver remains the last team out while Johns Hopkins has moved into the spot as the last team in. Some other movements include Yale being on the last four in list when I had them as the #3 seed last week and Ohio State moving from the last four out list to the last four in list. 

Things last weekend changed some things, especially in the Patriot League. But there is still plenty of season left, and not to mention conference tournament’s can get crazy. This field seems still pretty wide open and numerous different teams can make serious jumps from now until Selection Sunday. 


Screen Shot 2019-04-10 at 2.42.07 AM

Last Four In: Duke, Ohio State, Yale, Johns Hopkins

First Four Out: Rutgers, Lehigh, Cornell, Denver


2 thoughts on “Bracketology 2.0: The Field is Still Wide Open

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