Bracketology: Selection Sunday Edition
The intrigue started Wednesday night, when Delaware knocked off
Hofstra in the CAA semifinals. It continued Friday, when North
Carolina beat Notre Dame, and intensified Saturday afternoon, when
Colgate beat Maryland and Hartford pulled out a last-second win
against Stony Brook. Then Saturday night Villanova played its way
onto the bubble by losing at Georgetown.
The bubble may appear cloudier than ever, but I've tried to simplify it. Here's a look at the Division I men's tournament, as of Sunday morning.
1. Syracuse (At-Large)
Record: 14-1; SOS: 3, RPI: 1*
Wins of note: Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins, Denver, Duke, Villanova, Virginia, Army
2. Cornell (Assuming Ivy League automatic
Record: 12-2; SOS: 8, RPI: 3
Wins of note: Syracuse, Penn, Yale, Stony Brook, Harvard
Sunday: Plays Harvard in Ivy League championship at 2 p.m.
3. Johns Hopkins (At-Large)
Record: 12-2: SOS: 10; RPI: 4
Wins of note: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Loyola, Delaware, Army
4. Notre Dame (At-Large)
Record: 10-2; Strength of schedule: 4; RPI: 2
Wins of note: Denver, Duke, Villanova, Penn State, Drexel
5. Duke (At-Large)
Record: 12-5; SOS: 16; RPI: 6
Wins of note: Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia (twice), Loyola
6. Virginia (At-Large)
Record: 9-5, SOS: 2, RPI: 5
Wins of note: Cornell, North Carolina, Penn, Stony Brook, Drexel
7. Maryland (At-Large)
Record: 10-3; SOS: 11; RPI: 11
Wins of note: Duke, Virginia, North Carolina
8. North Carolina (At-Large)
Record: 10-5; SOS: 5, RPI: 13
Wins of note: Notre Dame, Maryland, Penn
After the top eight, teams are unseeded in the NCAA tournament. Rankings of Nos. 9-16 here are included only to help paint a picture of how the unseeded teams compare to each other.
9. Denver (ECAC automatic qualifier)
Record: 11-2; SOS: 28; RPI: 7
Wins of note: Duke, Loyola
Denver is the best of the unseeded. It's quite possible they end up with an eight seed, but either way I think North Carolina-Denver is the 8/unseeded matchup.
10. Bucknell (Patriot League automatic
Record: 14-2; SOS: 35; RPI; 9
Wins of note: Villanova, Army, Penn State, Colgate (twice)
The next best unseeded team outside of Denver; will almost certainly be on the road to face one of the ACC teams in the first round.
11-13. Bubble teams (see below)
14. Delaware (CAA automatic qualifier)
Record: 11-6; SOS: 34; RPI: 16
Wins of note: Hofstra (twice), UMass, Drexel, Detroit
Delaware is in theory locked into the 14th overall seed at this point, unless Hofstra makes the tournament. Then the Hens would hold an edge over the Pride, whom they've beaten twice this season. This is one reason to think Hofstra shouldn't make the tournament. Any of the other bubble teams would likely be regarded higher than Delaware.
15. Hartford (America East automatic
Record: 11-6; SOS: 45; RPI: 26
Wins of note: Stony Brook, UMBC
The Hawks are in; this much we know. But they lost to Siena early in the regular season, which could hurt them matchup-wise.
16. Siena/Detroit Mercy (MAAC automatic
These two play noon Sunday for a bid to the tournament. If Siena wins, it probably has a first-round matchup with Syracuse waiting. Detroit could head to Notre Dame based on geography.
If Cornell beats Harvard in the Ivy League championship, the bubble looks like this: Three at-large spots up for grabs among Villanova, Hofstra, Penn, Harvard and Colgate.
If Harvard beats Cornell in the Ivy League championship, Cornell slips to No. 3/4, with Johns Hopkins at No. 2 and Notre Dame at No. 3/4, and the bubble looks like this: Two at-large sports up for grabs among Villanova, Hofstra, Penn, Colgate
The resumes for the bubble teams (if Harvard wins Sunday, the Crimson's in anyway):
Record: 11-4; SOS: 20; RPI: 9
Wins of note: Penn, Penn State, Delaware
Record: 13-2; SOS: 37, RPI: 11
Wins of note: Colgate, Harvard, UMass, Penn State, Drexel
Record: 8-6; SOS: 6; RPI: 15
Wins of note: Duke, Bucknell, Harvard, Yale
Record: 10-5; SOS: 26; RPI: 17
Wins of note: Penn, UMass, Yale
Record: 11-5; SOS: 22; RPI: 14
Wins of note: Maryland, Army (twice)
None here. No matter how you slice it, two teams Sunday will have legitimate beefs about not getting in the tournament. Just which two will they be? We report, and you can let your mind wander. Leave some comments below, or send me an email at email@example.com. Check back to LaxMagazine.com Sunday night for the brackets in all divisions and back often this week for analysis and breakdowns of the selections.
* Strength of Schedule rankings and RPI numbers are from LaxPower.com, which uses the NCAA formulas.