Living In A Fantasy (Bracket) World
With the announcement yesterday that the Division I men's bracket was expanding by two teams to 18, I did some calculations and came up with the fact that if the Division III men were afforded the same tournament participation ratio as the big boys – 18 of 67 teams, or 26.7 percent – D-III would have a 57-team bracket this spring instead of the 30 it's actually getting. In addition, if that ratio was applied to Division II, it would have a 15-team tournament.
The numbers pretty well paint the picture of what is going on in NCAA lacrosse and where the value is placed, but let's ratchet up the point, shall we? Here's a look at what last year's brackets might have looked like if D-II and D-III were afforded the same participation rates as Division I is getting this spring.
2013 NCAA Division II Fantasy 15-Team Bracket
First Round - North
Dowling at LIU Post
First Round - South
Mars Hill at Limestone
2013 NCAA Division III Fantasy 57-Team Bracket
Washington & Lee Regional
Does Division II and Division III deserve to have the same proportional representation as Division I? It's an interesting question. I certainly don't begrudge D-I expanding its tournament. The more student-athletes included in anything, the better. However, there is no question that the bulk of lacrosse-playing student-athletes participate at the Division III level. What are the mitigating factors when the NCAA makes a decision to offer more proportional opportunities to one subset of student-athletes than another?