2022 Men’s Lacrosse Bracketology 5.0

(Photo Courtesy of Harvard Athletics)

The final week of the regular season is on the horizon and there is till much to be determined, and many different scenarios that could unfold.. But that’s just indicative of how wild this season has been.

How It Works

Here is a refresher as to how the NCAA Tournament works for those of you who may be unaware or have forgotten. The 2022 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament will feature eight seeded teams and 10 non-seeded teams. Those teams will make up the 18-team bracket.

10 teams will be automatic qualifiers (AQ) and those 10 will all be conference champions. Remember, the ACC does not have an AQ because a conference needed six teams to qualify for an AQ. The ACC only has five teams. With 10 AQ’s, that leaves eight spots for at-large selections.

With the return of the ASUN on the men’s lacrosse scene, the tournament returns to two play-in games featuring the bottom four teams. The winners of those games will have to face the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the first round.

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.

You can find the official NCAA pre-championship manual here.

Projected Automatic Qualifiers

We still have a lot of lacrosse to be played, but if the tournament started today this is what the AQ situation would look like. These selections are based on best conference record at the moment. Where there is a tie at the top of a conference, highest RPI is used.

ConferenceTeamRecordConference RecordRPI RankSOS Rank
America EastVermont8-65-04854
Big EastGeorgetown11-14-0315
Big TenMaryland12-05-0116
Ivy LeaguePrinceton9-33-221
MAACSt. Bonaventure9-34-13867
Patriot LeagueBoston U.10-37-01220
NECSaint Joseph’s11-26-01847

Data from Laxnumbers.com – 4/25

Possible At-Large Selections

As previously mentioned, after those 10 automatic qualifiers are set in stone, there are still eight other teams that will get in via at-large berths. This portion of the selection process is always fun, but maybe even more so this year with how tight things have seem to be across the landscape.

For this section this week, we are listing 14 teams that are in contention for a possible at-large bid after removing the projected AQs. Teams are listed in order based on their RPI rank.

ConferenceTeamRecordConference RecordRPI RankSOS Rank
Ivy LeagueYale8-33-2414
Ivy LeaguePenn6-43-357
Big TenRutgers12-24-1617
Ivy LeagueBrown8-43-288
Ivy leagueCornell10-33-2924
Ivy LeagueHarvard8-33-21118
Big TenOhio State9-43-21310
ACCNotre Dame6-43-11423
Big EastDenver8-53-1155
ACCNorth Carolina8-51-4179
Big TenJohns Hopkins6-82-3192

Data from Laxnumbers.com – 4/25

Bids Per Conference

Before getting into what I think the bracket could look like at this time, let’s take a look at how many bids each conference could recieve. There are a few conference that are sure to get multiple bids while other may get just get one bid. Some of the bottom conferences will obviously only get that one AQ, as usual.

Ivy League – Five or six bids

ACC – One or two Bids

Big Ten – Three bids

Big East – One or two bids

Patriot League – One bid

ASUN – One bid

America East – One Bid 

CAA – One Bid

MAAC – One Bid

NEC – One Bid

SoCon – One Bid

Projected Bracket 5.0

Last Four in: Brown, Cornell, Harvard, Ohio State

First Four out: Duke, Notre Dame, Denver, North Carolina

Breaking it Down

Six Ivy League teams in? At the moment, yes. However, as I have stated before, I don’t think that the Ivy League will get that many teams in. Only four teams make the league tournament and I can see one team, most likely Penn, who misses that making it into the NCAA Tournament. But if Harvard beats Yale on Saturday and the status quo remains in other leagues, six teams from the Ivy League could very well make it in.

Duke and Notre Dame are both on the bubble right now. I think Duke has a much better chance of gettin in at the moment, but both are essentially fighting for that second ACC spot that I believe they will get on Selection Sunday. The two square off on May 7th in a game that could very well decide that. North Carolina I feel has a very slim chance, especially after their loss to Notre Dame last week.

Ohio State I feel is pretty safe unless absolute chaos breaks out in the Big Ten Tournament, which starts this weekend. Other than that, I would say the Big Ten is pretty set as far as who is getting in and who isn’t. Maryland and Rutgers are locks no matter what.

In the Patriot League and Big East, I don’t see much changing unless their conference tournaments are turned upside down. And by that, I mean Boston U. loses in the Patriot League and Georgetown gets upset in the Big East. Other than that, both are getting one team in. And in the case of the Patriot League, if the Terriers do lose to a Lehigh or Army – whom they play this week in their season finale – in the tournament, could they still get? After all, their three losses at this point are against Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Not bad losses at all.

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