Monday Notebook: MCLA Division I
- Things didn't get a whole lot clearer this weekend, that's for sure. The only thing that we know is these Michigan weekends are turning into a house of horrors for the visitors. Or Michigan State. We're into April, so let's roll out my latest stab at the match-ups for Denver (making some assumptions on how the rest of the season will wrap up).
No. 16 Illinois v. No. 1 Michigan
- Next weekend has a bunch of quality games on the schedule, but perhaps the most interesting one will feature No. 15 Oregon and No. 16 Simon Fraser on Friday night in Eugene. There really isn't a whole lot on the line -- the PNCLL is a two-team league and these two will be playing for the conference AQ at the end of April -- but this will give us a better idea about what to expect in that title game. I think it's likely that this will be a very close game that will confirm the notion that this league is a toss-up between the two.
- Arizona State losing to Michigan State on Sunday sure put a dent in my "The Michigan Effect" blog on Sunday. Thanks for nothing, Devils.
- Colorado State scored six goals over a three minute span against Michigan State to send the game into overtime, where the Rams won it on Saturday, but it was a little too close for comfort. "It was relieving win," said CSU head coach Alex Smith. "It was good to get out of there 1-1."
Getting out of the state of Michigan with a push should give the Rams confidence heading into their final 12-day stretch starting next Monday that features, in order, No. 5 Chapman, No. 7 Colorado, No. 11 Utah and No. 4 BYU. The last three of those games will be on the road. While Colorado State is looking good to stay at No. 2 spot in the poll for now, they still have to earn the No. 2 seed.
- While there are still a couple of machinations left to play out among the different divisions, the conference tournament for the colossal, 20-team SELC is starting to take form. Wake Forest and Virginia Tech are pretty much locked in from the Northeast while Clemson and South Carolina are likely participants out of the Northwest. The southern divisions are a little trickier.
Considering the results so far, I'd normally feel comfortable calling the Southeast for Florida State and Central Florida, but if my math is right, Florida just has to beat FSU by any combination of scores less than a 20-to-19 final. Considering that rivalry -- and what happened last year -- I'm not sure if I'm ready to go out on that limb. The Southwest division is technically wide open, but that's inconsequential as the two teams coming out of that section will get handled easily in the quarters.
- Pittsburgh punched its ticket to the four-team CCLA tournament. The Panthers will probably get spanked by Michigan State in the semis, but it's still a strong accomplishment for a building program...Duluth has a challenging road trip this weekend. They play at Illinois on Friday night and then square off against Michigan State on Saturday evening. A pair of wins and the Dawgs might buy themselves a two-seed jump in Denver.