by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – It’s too soon. I know this.
Bear with me. I’m starting to put together the program for nationals and it’s time to start parsing the field in order to avoid punching in every roster in the country. As such, I figured I’d use some of my notes to whip up a mock bracket.
Trying to predict both MCLA divisional fields on St. Patrick’s Day is, most certainly, an effort in futility. But that's why I'm here.
Bringing you what don't want or need (but will still read).
[Full disclosure: I am not on either selection committee nor do I listen in on their calls. This is pure conjecture. Treat it as such.]
We’ll start with Division I.
Here’s what I’ve got with for the seven conference champions (remember the RMLC does not have an AQ this spring):
Cal-Berkeley (WCLL AQ)
Georgia Tech (SELC AQ)
Oregon (PNCLL AQ)
Boston College (CLC AQ)
Texas A&M (LSA AQ)
Chapman (SLC AQ)
Indiana (UMCL AQ)
We can quibble on some of these, but these are the teams that look like the likely victors at this point. And even if somebody jumps up and bites Oregon, Texas A&M and/or Indiana – the defending champion in their respective conferences – they are one-bid leagues, regardless.
There are nine at-large picks this year, which makes things very difficult at this point.
Here are teams I consider locks: Liberty, Cal Poly, Arizona State.
The next level of at-larges, the ones that are on the right track but not quite locked in, are: Concordia-Irvine, South Carolina, Colorado and Virginia Tech.
That’s 14 teams. We need two more.
Shooters gonna shoot#playingwithfire
: Sam Pyo pic.twitter.com/gywO5wGfe0
— Liberty Lacrosse (@LibertyLax) March 18, 2019
Unfortunately, I legitimately have 12 teams in this bucket, but for the sake of this initial bracket, I’m going with a pair of teams who have enough left on the schedule to make a move: Michigan State and Brigham Young.
Here’s how I’d seed it and pair it.
No. 16 Indiana vs. No. 1 California
No. 15 Oregon vs. No. 2 Georgia Tech
No. 14 Texas A&M vs. No. 3 Chapman
No. 13 Brigham Young vs. No. 4 Arizona State
No. 12 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Liberty
No. 11 Virginia Tech vs. No. 6 Concordia-Irvine
No. 10 Boston College vs. No. 7 South Carolina
No. 9 Cal Poly vs. No. 8 Colorado
Let’s transition to Division II. Before we get to the conference winners, we’re locking in the six UMLC teams right off the bat. In the other leagues (remembering that the WCLL does not have an AQ) we have:
Kennesaw State (SELC AQ)
Central Conn. State (CLC AQ)
College of Idaho (PNCLL AQ)
Loyola Marymount (SLC AQ)
Missouri State (LSA AQ)
Montana State (RMLC AQ)
The UMLC cabal plus the six auto-bids above leave us with four at-large slots to fill.
I’ve got UC Davis, Florida Gulf Coast, UC Santa Cruz and North Florida. The last spot has numerous contenders from across the country – and went originally to Northern Arizona – but the Ospreys get the nod for now.
Let’s seed and pair.
No. 16 Missouri State vs. No. 1 Minn.-Duluth
No. 15 North Florida vs. No. 2 Dayton
No. 14 Central Conn. State vs. No. 3 Kennesaw State
No. 13 UC Santa Cruz vs. No. 4 St. John’s
No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 5 St. Thomas
No. 11 College of Idaho vs. No. 6 Grand Valley State
No. 10 Loyola Marymount vs. No. 7 North Dakota State
No. 9 UC Davis vs. No. 8 Montana State
@Kobeaster24 with a sick goal in the @SLCLacrosse game of the week @PowayLacrosse pic.twitter.com/TJhCeFyMhH
— TVX Sports Video (@TVXsportsvideo) March 17, 2019
Back from the Brink
If Grand Canyon walked away from Irvine with a loss to Concordia on Saturday afternoon, they were officially in the “AQ-or-bust” bucket. A 2-5 mark with a loss to Santa Clara would have been impossible to dig out from, even with a potential win over Arizona State.
In the wake of GCU’s relatively comfortable, 12-10 victory over the Eagles, you’d have to put the Lopes with group in the hunt for the last couple of at-large berths. They’ll need to be 6-5 heading into the SLC playoffs and at least get to the semifinals, but GCU has a good chance to be discussed on Selection Sunday.
Slides & Rides
It was a gritty comeback win for BYU over Arizona in Vegas on Saturday. The Cougars were down 12-9 in the fourth, but rallied for a 14-13 triumph…a double overtime loss to Florida State kept Texas from a 2-0 Sunshine State sweep. The Longhorns lost to a Texas A&M by a goal in mid-February, but this is very good team. Keep an eye on this group…don’t forget to check up on the stats on MCLA.us…is UNH ready for its star turn? The Wildcats showed out in Florida. Now it’s Colorado State on Monday…Utah Valley puts its 6-0 mark up against Grand Canyon on Tuesday.
Incredible end-to-end sequence from #13 Alec Gastony. Alec scored his first collegiate goal, and posted (26)saves in our 6-7 loss to UCSC. #goaliegoal pic.twitter.com/l3rvqQZbMi
— NAU Lacrosse (@NAULacrosse) March 18, 2019
As expected, top-ranked Minn.-Duluth took care of No. 11 Montana State, 18-12. It was a one-goal game heading into the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs outscored the Bobcats, 6-1…rough weekend for Northern Arizona, losing to both UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz. This will take a toll on the SLC.
Make sure to get those nominations for the Commanding Performance of the Week powered by Under Armour and Pearl’s goalie of the Week to firstname.lastname@example.org.