The final regular-season ball has been struck, the results are in, and the selection committee is doubtlessly hard at work trying to come up with a fair bracket. I’m not sure if this recommendation is coming too late, but I would like to remind coaches to put in bids to host, even if they’re not oom the power teams. Giving the committee geographical options makes making the bracket a lot easier. For those wondering how we got to where we are, here is the previous Bracketology:
If you want a better understanding of the NCAA Rules, please reference the article below:
In that article, it was incorrectly stated that there are 3 Pool B teams this year. There are only 2 this year.
Pool A – The Conference Champions.
Allegheny Mountain – Franciscan
American Southwest – UT-Tyler
Capital Athletic – Christopher Newport
Centennial – Johns Hopkins
CCIW – Wheaton
CUNY – Baruch
Colonial States – Cabrini
Commonwealth Coast – Nichols
Commonwealth – Messiah
Empire 8 – Stevens
Great Northeast – Ramapo
Freedom – Wilkes
Heartland – Rose Hulman
IIAC – Coe
Landmark – Goucher
Liberty League – Skidmore
Little East – UMass-Boston
MIAA – Kalamazoo
Midwest – Grinnell
MIAC – Gustavus
NESCAC – Bowdoin
NEWMAC – MIT
North Atlantic – Colby-Sawyer
NCAC – Kenyon
Northern Athletics – Concordia-Wisconsin
Northwest – Whitman
Ohio Athletic – John Caroll
Old Dominion – Washington & Lee
Presidents – Thomas More
Skyline – Yeshiva
Southern Athletic – Sewanee
SCIAC – CMS
SCAC – Trinity TX
UAA – Emory
USA South – NC Wesleyan
As this is the final bracketology, it’s my job to put forth just one bracket that I think is most fair/most likely given the financial and geographical considerations of the selection process. Given Williams’ big victory over Amherst, I’m projecting them into the final Pool C spot, and the bracket will reflect that
1. Emory*, Sewanee, Washington & Lee, NC Wesleyan
2. Middlebury*, Skidmore, TCNJ, Colby-Sawyer, Baruch, Yeshiva
3. CMS, Trinity*, Whitman, UT-Tyler
4. Wash U*, Kalamazoo, Kenyon, Wheaton, Rose-Hulman, Concordia-Wisconsin
5. Bowdoin*, MIT, Stevens, Wilkes, Cabrini, Messiah
6. Wesleyan, Johns Hopkins*, Christopher Newport, Thomas More, Goucher, Franciscan
7. Chicago*, Gustavus, UW-Whitewater, Coe, Grinnell, John Carroll
8. Amherst*, Williams, Nichols, Ramapo, U-Mass Boston
This is not a major deviation from the previous “Williams Scenario.” Based on Bowdoin’s NESCAC victory, I’ve reshuffled the seedings, moving Bowdoin from 8 to 5, Wesleyan from 5 to 6 (because of the direct loss to Bowdoin), and Amherst from 6 to 8 (because of the direct loss to Williams giving them an indirect loss to Chicago).
I kept Middlebury ahead of Bowdoin because they went 1-1 against the Polar Bears on the season and still hold several indirects over them (CMS, Bates, Wesleyan). I kept Middlebury ahead of Wash U because of the indirect victories over the Bears via CMS and Emory. I kept Midd ahead of CMS because I believe the direct victory outweighs the two indirect losses, but I wouldn’t be surprised if those two teams switched positions.
You could certainly argue that Bowdoin should be ahead of Wash U based on similar seasons and Bowdoin’s superior late-season play, but the point is moot because it doesn’t change the bracket, and they will end up playing each other in the Elite Eight if they get their anyways. I would also argue that Wesleyan’s body of work is superior to Wash U’s (wins over Midd/Bowdoin/Williams > wins over Chicago x2/CMU. Wash U’s losses to Emory/Chicago vs. Wesleyan’s losses to Amherst/Bowdoin), but I recognize that traditionally stronger programs tend to get the nod in these situations.
The #2 seeds are pretty standard. CMS gets Trinity, Emory gets Sewanee, Wash U gets Kalamazoo, and Chicago gets GAC because of geography (with Wash U getting Kalamazoo instead of GAC because they are ranked higher). The remaining #2 seeds (Williams, Hopkins, MIT, and Skidmore) are partitioned so that the stronger #1 seeds get the weaker #2 seeds.
I could see a couple hosting wrinkles in the near future as well. The Texas regional is completely unprecedented, and I could see the committee sending Trinity, Tyler, and Whitman to California instead (though this would involve an extra flight). I’ve also heard that it might be the women’s team’s turn to host in Chicago, in which case GAC would host that region, and all the teams would remain the same.
I would also remind readers that this bracket is pure speculation, and the committee seems to have a surprise for us every year, sometimes because teams did not put in to host, other times for reasons only known to them. Keep an eye on the blog tomorrow, as we will update the site with bracket information as soon as we get it!
Thanks for reading!