A funny thing happened today when it came to the 18 Division I field hockey conference tournament games. Despite the large number of games, and the fact that key teams Michigan and Northwestern lost today in the Big Ten semifinals, neither team lost ground in the Ratings Percentage Index calculations as published by FieldHockeyCorner.com. Michigan is still 11th and Northwestern remains 16th.
Now, given the fact that the RPI is a compilation of winning percentage, the winning percentage of opponents, and the winning percentage of opponents’ opponents, movements can be made for reasons that may be counterintuitive. For example, because of yesterday’s results, Princeton moved ahead of Ivy League champion Harvard in RPI rankings:
|10 Boston College||0.608|
|12 Boston University||0.596|
|17 St. Joseph’s||0.574|
We are listing only the 10th through the 19th in RPI because we think the NCAA Tournament Committee will select only the top eight in RPI for the at-large bidge, given what it has done in the past.
As for the nine AQ teams, we’ll work from the bottom. We are pretty sure that the winners of the Metro-Atlantic, the Mid-American, and the Atlantic-10 are going to be the lowest three in RPI, which means that any at-large team would have to be in the top 15 in order to be an at-large bid.
That would put Harvard in the Play-In round, and it would put Princeton in an interesting situation. The Tigers are going to have to hope that Liberty does not beat Connecticut on Sunday, or that James Madison doesn’t beat Delaware, or that American doesn’t beat Boston University. Imagine if Princeton winds up with a higher RPI than Harvard and the Tigers don’t make the field for the NCAA Tournament.
So, tomorrow, there will be four tournament games, including the MAC and A-10 finals. Plus, there will be the last four Ivy League games, which could affect the positioning of other teams in this critical area. We’ll have another update in about 24 hours.