Blogs and Commentary



 
posted 04.20.2011 at 11.15 a.m. by Paul Ohanian

Division II Men Jostle for Postseason Position


Mercyhurst must defeat Limestone if it has any hopes of qualifying for the NCAA tournament.

© Lee Weissman

It's a big week of games in the men's Division II ranks with six of the top seven nationally ranked teams playing each other. With only four teams selected for the NCAA Championship Tournament, each game could have significant playoff implications.

The fun starts Wednesday afternoon with No. 2 Le Moyne (9-1) at No. 6 Adelphi (10-1) in a big Northeast-10 clash. The teams are ranked one and two in the most recent NCAA North Region ranking and are the only two remaining unbeatens in the league. Wednesday's winner will likely claim the top seed for the NE-10 Championship Tournament, which begins on May 3.

On Saturday, two-time defending national champion and No. 3 ranked C.W. Post (13-1) visits No. 7 Mercy (10-1) in a battle for first place in the East Coast Conference. While the Pioneers currently hold the top spot in the NCAA Central Region ranking, a victory by the upstart Mavericks would put them in control of their destiny and give them a chance to win the league title in just their second varsity season.

Also on Saturday, top-ranked Limestone (14-0), fresh off its Conference Carolinas championship, meets No. 4 Mercyhurst (8-2) in a neutral-site game in Alexandria, Virginia. While the Saints, who won their league title for the 12th time in 13 years, are a virtual lock for the NCAA Tournament, a victory would likely ensure home field for the NCAA semifinal regardless of their postseason opponent.

Conversely, despite being a non-region game, a Mercyhurst win would possibly help build its postseason credentials as the at-large selection, slim as they may be at this point with the Lakers currently lined up in third place in the ECC behind C.W. Post and Mercy.