Final MCLA Division I Tournament Projections
We're still a couple of hours away from the official announcement of the MCLA Division I brackets, so I'll roll out my thoughts on who's getting in and where they'll be seeded.
Honestly, there aren't a whole lot of changes from the last time I projected the brackets save for two big differences.
The first is I had Chapman winning the SLC over Arizona State, but the Sun Devils opened a can on the Panthers today, shaking up a couple of seeds. I also had to take a closer look at UC Santa Barbara's body of work after the loss to ASU, and found them a little more wanting than my initial evaluation.
The second is more important. It may leave me with egg on my face after the brackets come out, and perhaps reveal a blind spot I have with the committee, but I have Clemson getting the final at-large in the tournament. In my first overture, I had California in that spot.
The reason that Clemson appears like a bizarre choice is because it lost in the first round of the SELC tournament to Tennesse – a conference lightweight. That certainly didn't do the Tigers any favors, but it's dangerous to get caught up in conference tourney finishes. If we take a peek at MCLA-II, SCAD didn't even make the SELC tournament and I guarantee you the Bees will be in Greenville. If you deal with the factors the committee typically works with, Clemson trumps Cal at every turn.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
So here's my last effort on picking and seeding MCLA Division I:
No. 16 Minnesota-Duluth (UMLL) vs. No. 1 Cal Poly (WCLL)
No. 15 Illinois (GRLC) vs. No. 2 Colorado State (AL)
No. 14 Texas (LSA) vs. No. 3 Brigham Young (RMLC)
No. 13 Clemson (AL) vs. No. 4 Chapman (SLC)
No. 12 Pittsburgh (AL) vs. No. 5 Arizona State (AL)
No. 11 Michigan State (CCLA) vs. No. 6 Oregon (PNCLL)
No. 10 Colorado (AL) vs. No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (AL)
No. 9 Virginia Tech (SELC) vs. No. 8 Buffalo (PCLL)