Final MCLA Division II Projection
The automatic qualifiers are in the books, and the cases have been made for the at-large bids. Here's what I've got as we await the release of the brackets, which is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. for Division II, according to selection committee chariman Ken Lovic.
No. 16 Washington U. (GRLC) vs. No. 1 St. Thomas (UMLL)
No. 15 Western Oregon (PNCLL) vs. No. 2 Grand Valley State (CCLA)
No. 14 Sam Houston State (LSA) vs. No. 3 Dayton (AL)
No. 13 Elon (SELC) vs. No. 4 Davenport (AL)
No. 12 Cal State-Fullerton (AL) vs. No. 5 St. John's (AL)
No. 11 St. Mary's (AL) vs. No. 6 Westminster (RMLC)
No. 10 Grand Canyon (SLC) vs. No. 7 SCAD (AL)
No. 9 Briarcliffe (PCLL) vs. No. 8 North Dakota State (AL)
I feel pretty good about the Top 10 seeded teams. It may not play out in that exact order, but those should be the teams in that group. And, frankly, Nos. 13-16 seem relatively obvious, as well.
Initially, I figured Western Oregon would be the No. 16 seed, but that's changed. Although the record (7-7) isn't pretty, the Wolves have played a stiff schedule, which I think will get them out of the caboose.
The tough picks were the last two at-larges, which I have slotted at No. 12 and 13. The SLC is looking good for two bids, and it was very close between Concordia and Fullerton, but I've got the Titans moving through. The two teams split, but Fullerton has the most recent win, and they also split with Grand Canyon. That should be good enough.
Fullerton's entrance brings St. Mary's in on their coattails, as the Gaels beat Fullerton earlier this year. Indiana Tech was in the discussion, helped by the fact that they played seven games against projected MCLA qualifiers. But the Warriors didn't register a win against any of them. Unless the committee is in the "close loss" business – something they have said they aren't in the past – Tech is on the outs.
Again, we'll find out at 9:30 EDT tonight. Check back with LMO then for the match-ups and analysis.