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May 8, 2016 — Bracketology 2016

It’s only a few hours before the official NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse selection show, and the various and several student athletes have done half of the tournament committee’s job already by winning the 13 Automatic Qualifier slots.

Here they are, in order of their Ratings Percentage Index scores as calculated by at 4 p.m. Sunday:

1 Maryland, Big Ten
2 North Carolina, ACC
3 Florida, Big East
5 Towson, Colonial
6 Southern Cal, MPSF
11 Stony Brook, America East
12 Cornell, Ivy League
14 Loyola, Patriot League
19 Massachusetts, Atlantic 10
25 Winthrop, Big South
33 Canisius, MAAC
35 Old Dominion, Atlantic Sun
58 Wagner, Northeast Conference

It would be easy to take only the top 13 teams which have not won a conference tournament, but, as you’ll see in a bit, there’s a reason you might want to extend your search to the top 15. Here they are in order:

4 Syracuse
7 Notre Dame
8 Penn
9 Princeton
10 Northwestern
13 Stanford
15 Penn State
16 Louisville
17 Virginia
18 Duke
20 Boston College
21 Albany
22 James Madison
23 Connecticut
24 Johns Hopkins

There are plenty of good teams who didn’t win an AQ, and that includes the area in between the two automatics ranked 19th (Massachusetts) and 25th (Winthrop).

Let’s assume that the top 10 make it, and we’ll concentrate on five teams vying for the last three slots: Boston College, Albany, James Madison, Connecticut, and Johns Hopkins. Here are their RPI numbers from the LaxPower website:

20 Boston College 0.5849
21 Albany 0.5813
22 James Madison 0.5798
23 Connecticut 0.5778
24 Johns Hopkins 0.5754

Given the fact that less than 1/100th of a point separates these five teams, I’d to a little digging to figure out the three teams which clearly deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament.

Amongst the criteria that can be considered are head-to-head matchups, although there were only a couple during the season.

Feb 21: UCONN 12:10 JMU
Apr 23: JHU 12:9 BC

Another criteria is the strength of schedule of their 10 strongest opponents:

Boston College 0.6953
James Madison 0.6869
Albany 0.6735
Johns Hopkins 0.6446
Connecticut 0.5528

In addition, there could also be consideration given to teams having “significant” wins or defeats when comparing their own RPI to those of other opponents; the outlier in this group of teams is James Madison, which suffered four defeats to teams lower than themselves in RPI.

One more factor to consider is how a team did in the last six games of the season:

Boston College 3-3
James Madison 4-2
Albany 4-2
Johns Hopkins 3-3
Connecticut 3-3

It appears as if the NCAA Tournament Committee has some work to do.




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