Women's Lacrosse Bracketology: Stage is Set for Bid Thieves

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER


Fourteen championship games in 26 hours will produce drama and some chaos.

Several bid thieves are playing in these literal win-or-go home games, ready to snag a ticket to the dance from an otherwise deserving pool of at-large teams.

Let’s break it down with various levels of worry that idle at-large teams should be feeling.

AAC

When & Where: Saturday, 11 p.m. at East Carolina
Potential Thief: Vanderbilt
Worry Level: Low to Moderate

Vanderbilt is on the periphery of being an at-large team, one that is shy of a marquee win. Florida handled the Commodores by eight in Nashville three weeks ago behind a dominant 7-0 second quarter.

ASUN

When & Where: Saturday, 1 p.m. at Jacksonville
Potential Thief: Liberty
Worry Level: Low

Liberty has shown flashes of greatness this year by beating Virginia Tech and taking Duke to the wire. Jacksonville, which also beat the Hokies, has been solid all season. The Dolphins are heavily favored and playing on their home field. Even in loss, there’s little guarantee they’d make the field as an at-large.

BIG EAST

When & Where: Saturday, 2 p.m. at Denver
Potential Thief: Georgetown
Worry Level: Moderate to High

The Hoyas have been lurking at the fringes of the at-large bubble for a while, but where they’re most lethal will be as an outright automatic qualifier. A 10-goal thumping of UConn to end the regular-season pitted preseason favorites Denver against the Huskies in the Big East semifinals, allowing Georgetown to dispatch Marquette in the other semifinal. The Hoyas lost by just two goals to the Pioneers earlier this year.

IVY LEAGUE

When & Where: Sunday, 1 p.m. at Princeton
Potential Thief: Yale
Worry Level: High

The Bulldogs are unlikely to get the at-large call on Sunday, and a championship win over Princeton would assure the Ivy League of being a two-bid league. Yale has been a pesky team this season and fell by just three to Princeton last week.

PAC-12

When & Where: Saturday, 2 p.m. at Arizona State
Potential Thief: Stanford
Worry Level: High

Bubble teams should be cheering hard for Arizona State. The Sun Devils have wins over Rutgers and USC and an improving RPI of 24. They’re nearly in lock territory. Stanford, however, is not. The Cardinal saw their RPI drop after a semifinal win over Oregon and a loss to the Sun Devils could put them in perilous position to make the field on their own merit.

PATRIOT LEAGUE

When & Where: Saturday, 2 p.m. at Loyola
Potential Thief: Navy
Worry Level: High

It seems like this rivalry always produces. Loyola is a lock for the field, but Navy is not. Yes, the Mids have a nice win over Johns Hopkins, but missed opportunities against Army, Georgetown and Saint Joseph’s have Navy too far adrift of the bubble. Expect a close one.

NOTES

  • Records against the top 20, top 21-40, significant wins and significant losses (41st or higher) are based on performance against the current RPI rankings (as of Monday, April 25), not human polls.

  • Results from Monday and Tuesday games are not included.

  • First-place teams are listed as automatic qualifiers.

  • In the event of a tie, the AQ goes to the highest-rated team in the RPI.

  • For the 2022 season, 15 automatic qualifiers will be granted. No play-in games will take place in the 29-team field.

AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS (15)

North Carolina ACC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

1

5

3-0

2-0

5-0

Maryland Big Ten

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

2

9

2-0

1-0

5-1

Florida AAC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

5

15

0-2

1-2

0-0

Denver Big East

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

9

29

0-1

0-0

3-0

Loyola Patriot League

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

10

26

1-0

0-1

2-0

Princeton Ivy League

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

12

23

0-1

0-2

2-0

Jacksonville ASUN

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

22

53

0-2

0-0

0-2

Saint Joseph's* A-10

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

28

T31

0-1

0-0

1-1

5-1

Stanford Pac-12

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

29

23

0-0

0-2

2-1

Colorado (41)

Towson CAA

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

33

36

0-0

0-1

0-3

Mount St. Mary's (52)

Albany America East

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

38

48

0-0

0-2

0-1

Drexel (42), Cornell (54)

Fairfield MAAC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

39

73

0-0

0-1

0-1

3 losses of 41+

Mercer Big South

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

40

91

0-2

0-0

0-1

High Point (47)

Mount St. Mary's NEC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

52

92

0-0

0-0

0-0

Bryant (65), La Salle (94)

Central Michigan MAC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

80

103

0-0

0-0

0-2

5 losses of 41+

* Automatic bid clinched

North Carolina and Boston College has been the best rivalry the past few years. Tomorrow’s championship game should be wonderful … Maryland rolled Johns Hopkins again and is on the verge of yet another Big Ten tournament title … If Florida beats Vanderbilt in the final, it likely prevents it from being a multi-bid league.

Denver is solidly in and has an outside chance of being a national seed … Loyola faces its only true peer in the Patriot League, Navy, for another tournament title … Princeton has a tricky game against Yale on Sunday. The Tigers are in even with a loss.

Jacksonville hasn’t lost a game to ASUN competition in five years. Dropping the championship game to Liberty might land the Dolphins out of the NCAA tournament altogether … Saint Joseph’s gets to enjoy an extra week of rest compared to its peers after claiming its first A-10 title … Stanford is back in the Pac-12’s AQ position as the top seed remaining after USC’s loss to Arizona State.

Towson got all it could ask for on Friday against fourth-seeded Delaware. The Tigers would be one of the final teams left out if they don’t claim the CAA crown … Albany hosts Vermont in the America East final. The Great Danes squeaked by the Catamounts by a pair in the regular season … Fairfield upended second-seeded Siena to reach the MAAC final to face top-seeded Monmouth in Albany.

Mercer crushed Furman to set up a rematch with High Point, who beat the Bears in the regular season … Mount St. Mary’s and Bryant are facing off in the NEC final today in Rhode Island … Central Michigan hosts Robert Morris in the MAC final where a win by the Chippewas would clinch their first NCAA tournament bid.







AT-LARGE (24 TEAMS/14 SPOTS)

Northwestern Big Ten

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

3

2

0-3

3-1

3-0

Boston College ACC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

4

7

1-1

2-0

4-1

Syracuse ACC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

6

3

0-4

2-0

3-1

Rutgers Big Ten

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

7

12

1-2

0-0

3-0

Stony Brook America East

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

8

19

1-1

0-1

2-0

James Madison CAA

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

11

18

1-1

0-1

2-0

Duke ACC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

13

21

1-1

0-1

2-1

UConn Big East

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

14

44

0-0

0-2

1-1

Johns Hopkins Big Ten

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

15

8

0-3

0-3

0-1

Notre Dame ACC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

16

4

0-4

0-1

2-2

USC Pac-12

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

17

37

0-0

0-0

1-1

Virginia ACC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

18

1

0-4

1-1

0-4

Michigan Big Ten

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

19

11

0-2

0-2

2-1

UMass A-10

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

20

42

0-1

0-0

0-1

Temple AAC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

21

T31

0-2

0-2

1-2

Delaware (64)

Ohio State Big Ten

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

23

17

0-2

0-2

1-2

Arizona State Pac-12

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

24

13

0-2

1-1

1-3

Yale Ivy League

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

25

40

0-1

0-1

0-3

Vanderbilt AAC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

27

33

0-1

0-1

1-1

Colorado (41), Louisville (44)

Navy Patriot League

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

30

61

0-0

0-1

1-0

Richmond A-10

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

31

58

0-0

0-0

0-3

Virginia Tech ACC

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

34

10

0-3

0-1

2-2

Louisville (44), Liberty (47)

Georgetown Big East

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

37

25

0-1

0-3

1-1

Penn (45), Marquette (62)

Colorado Pac-12

RPI

SOS

1-5

6-10

11-20

41+L

41

27

0-0

1-0

0-2

Oregon (86)

Northwestern did not look like itself in a total loss to Rutgers last night in the Big Ten semifinals. NU will likely stay at the No. 4 seed but could drop depending on what the committee values … Boston College may end up being the No. 1 seed with a win over UNC, but more likely the Eagles will be No. 2 or No. 3 … Syracuse went 3-3 down the stretch and won’t be any higher than a No. 5 seed on Sunday.

Rutgers was the big winner Friday night with a thorough victory over Northwestern. The Scarlet Knights saw their RPI rise to 7th and will likely be seeded now. We have them at No. 6 … Stony Brook supporters won’t like to hear this, but the Seawolves are hanging on to the final national seed despite a quality win over Florida … James Madison will be on the road for the first round with an RPI of 11 and a really good win at Maryland earlier this season.

Duke’s RPI remains at No. 13, which will likely put the Blue Devils on the road to start the tournament … UConn didn’t see its RPI slip despite a blowout loss at Denver. For now, we have the Huskies sneaking into the field … Johns Hopkins wasn’t able to pull the upset over Maryland has to hope their impressive numbers (RPI No. 15, SOS No. 8) with a profile of no bad losses, but few particularly significant wins is enough.

Notre Dame is all but assured of getting into the NCAA tournament … USC lands in the at-large pool after a semifinal loss to Arizona State. Wins over Michigan, Jacksonville and a pair of regular season victories should be enough to get into the field … Virginia’s win over Syracuse was impressive. The Hoos also beat Stanford, Richmond and Virginia Tech when compared to other bubble teams.

Michigan limped to the regular season’s conclusion going 1-5 and missing the Big Ten tournament. On a comparatively weak bubble, the Wolverines’ wins over Notre Dame and Arizona State stand out along with a victory over Johns Hopkins … UMass has been nervously waiting for tomorrow since its loss to St. Joe’s. The Minutewomen are our first team out of the field … Temple suffered a heartbreaking loss to Vanderbilt that likely ended its season.

Ohio State has a win over Michigan, but little else. Going 2-7 against the RPI Top 40 likely isn’t enough despite ranking 23rd in the RPI … Yale needs to win the Ivy League championship over Princeton to get in … Vanderbilt is nearing the right side of the bubble, but losses to Colorado and Louisville wipe out the good wins over Notre Dame and a split with Temple.

Navy is ending the season on a strong note by making the Patriot League final and rising to 30th in the RPI. The Mids win over Hopkins is special, but a split with Army and a loss to Georgetown weigh things down …. Richmond keeps slipping after its A-10 semifinal loss to St. Joe’s … Virginia Tech has a very Jekyll & Hyde resume—wins over James Madison and Notre Dame, but losses to Louisville and Liberty. The Hokies are among the first four out.

Georgetown has made a late season push to get to the Big East final where they are playing bid thief … Colorado’s Pac-12 tournament loss to the 86th-ranked Oregon Ducks will sink the season despite a great win over Denver and solid victories over Ohio State, Vanderbilt and Stanford.

PROJECTED BRACKET

Bracketing procedures:

  • The committee seeds the top 8 teams to host first- and second-round games. The top 3 seeds will receive byes into the second round. All other teams are unseeded and will be placed with geographical considerations (e.g., teams will drive vs. fly), while keeping bracket integrity when possible.

  • Schools located more than 400 miles from any host institution will fly to their assigned location.

  • Conference matchups must be avoided in the first round.

  • It’s possible a seeded team may not host due to factors such as facility availability. We anticipate each seed hosting and bracket them accordingly, but the committee may not have that option.

Chapel Hill, N.C.

Arizona State vs. Johns Hopkins
Winner plays at (1) North Carolina (ACC)

Stony Brook, N.Y.

Fairfield (MAAC) at (8) Stony Brook
Loyola (PATRIOT) vs. Towson (CAA)

Evanston, Ill.

Central Michigan (MAC) at (4) Northwestern
Notre Dame vs. Michigan

Syracuse, N.Y.

Mount St. Mary’s (NEC) at (5) Syracuse
Denver (BIG EAST) vs. USC

Newton, Mass.

Princeton (IVY) vs. UConn
Winner plays at (2) Boston College

Gainesville, Fla.

Mercer (BIG SOUTH) at (7) Florida (AMERICAN)
Duke vs. Jacksonville (ASUN)

College Park, Md.

Virginia vs. Stanford (PAC-12)
Winner plays at (3) Maryland (BIG TEN)

Piscataway, N.J.

Albany (AMERICA EAST) at (6) Rutgers
James Madison vs. Saint Joseph’s (ATLANTIC 10)

Last Four In: Michigan, Stanford, UConn, Johns Hopkins
First Four Out: UMass, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Ohio State
Next Four Out: Navy, Temple, Colorado, Richmond

Moving In: Johns Hopkins, Fairfield
Moving Out: Colorado, Siena

Multi-bid Conferences: ACC (6), Big Ten (5), Pac-12 (3), America East (2), Big East (2), CAA (2)

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