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Archive for May 7, 2018

May 7, 2018 — 23 things right, but so much wrong

Last night, the bracket for the NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse championship were issued.

The good thing about the bracket was that included the top 23 teams in terms of Ratings Percentage Index (that very fluid statistic that takes into account one’s record, the record of opponents, and the record of your opponents’ opponents). This meant that a couple of .500 teams which might have been on the bubble, Virginia and Syracuse, were able to sneak in.

But the committee’s nearly slavish following of RPI ratings as well as “pod” scheduling has created, I think, a tournament which not only creates some cynical matchups designed to eliminate one class of team, but also may, like last year, yield a game in which the national championship may be determined as early as the quarterfinal round.

Much has already been made about how consensus No. 1 Stony Brook has been deemed to be the fifth best team in the bracket, and will have to go on the road to No. 4 Boston College if both teams win their octofinal matches. SBU and BC, remember, were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, as early as two weeks ago.

I also don’t like how the bracket has conference rivals in adjoining segments. Think of it: you might have an octofinal round in which Patriot League finalists Navy and Loyola would have to meet for the second time in a period of eight days. At the same time, ACC rivals Virginia Tech and North Carolina would meet for the second time in about 15 days if the Hokies beat Georgetown.

If the point of a national championship tournament is to create new matchups in a nationwide tournament which will bring in fans, this NCAA tournament committee, in your Founder’s opinion, failed miserably.