Bracketology 3.0: What’s Going On?

Photo Credit: John Strohsacker/US Lacrosse Magazine                                                                                

After the first weekend in April we still don’t have much clarity in a lot of the conference races, but we do have a good idea in some. Last weekend was crazy as there were upsets everywhere.

Today, we sit less than a month away from Selection Sunday and things are winding down and heating up at the same time. It’s an exciting time to be involved in the sport no matter what. But now, let’s get to some bracketology.


Last week: Bracketology 2.0: The Field is Still Wide Open

Two Weeks Ago: 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. 


When looking at who the automatic qualifiers could be, conference record is used and not highest RPI rank. However, in the case that some teams have the same conference record then RPI will be used.

Conference Team Record Conference Record RPI Rank SOS Rank
America East Vermont 7-4 4-1 44 57
Big East Villanova 7-5 2-1 11 6
Big Ten Penn Sate 10-1 3-0 1 11
CAA Delaware 10-2 3-0 28 61
Ivy League Penn 7-3 5-0 2 4
MAAC Marist 7-5 5-1 37 46
Patriot League Loyola 9-3 5-1 9 10
NEC Mount St. Mary’s 8-5 4-0 39 45
SoCon Air Force 8-4 4-1 19 28

Data From LaxBytes – 4/17


Again, there are still so many teams that have a very good case at this point to be at-large bids. While we have started to see a little more clarity, 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 Duke 10-3 2-2 3 1
ACC Syracuse 8-3 2-2 4 9
Ivy League Yale 8-2 4-1 5 22
ACC Virginia 10-3 3-1 6 7
Big Ten Ohio State 8-2 1-2 7 24
Big Ten Maryland 10-2 2-1 8 18
ACC Notre Dame 6-5 1-2 10 2
CAA Towson 7-4 2-1 12 15
Big Ten Johns Hopkins 6-5 2-1 13 5
Ivy League Cornell 8-4 2-2 14 3
Big East Denver 7-4 2-1 15 23
Big East Georgetown 9-4 2-2 16 29
Patriot League Army 9-3 5-2 17 30
ACC North Carolina 7-5 1-2 18 14
Patriot League Boston U. 9-4 4-2 20 27
CAA UMass 8-4 2-1 21 31
Big Ten Rutgers 6-6 1-2 22 12
SoCon High Point 10-2 4-1 23 32
SoCon Richmond 7-5 4-1 24 52
Ivy League Princeton 6-6 3-3 25 21

Data From LaxBytes – 4/17

Projected Bracket 3.0

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. 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 is the last team in while Johns Hopkins is the first team out. 

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 2019-04-17 at 8.20.45 AM


Last Four In: Yale, Ohio State, Cornell, Denver

First Four Out: Johns Hopkins, Rutgers, North Carolina, Army

Bracketology Show

For more college lacrosse bracketology check out our weekly bracketology show that will be out ever Wednesday at 10pm on YouTube

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