With the MCLA season well underway, we have a good picture of who will be a top dog and who will have to fight for every scrap they can get. Each week through the end of the regular season, we will pick one major upset for each division in the MCLA, then ask you which upset you think will be most likely to happen.
Last week was a forgettable week of picks for me, but not for everyone! 8 of the 70 people who voted knew Oregon State was up to something and nailed the pick of Oregon State beating Simon Fraser and Oregon to take the PNCLL AQ and earn a trip to Greenville, South Carolina this week. Wow, just wow. As much as I know about that program, I feel like I should’ve saw that coming. Very cool to see the growing parity in the MCLA and the PNCLL. This marked the first time a team other than Oregon and Simon Fraser won the PNCLL Championship since 2002.
See above, eight of you nailed it, 62 of you did about as well as me.
Really I just wanted a reason to use that GIF, glad to see new faces winning games.
In bigger news, the MCLA Tournament is here! I just found out this week that I will be able to commentate on the first two rounds at the tournament, see you in Greenville!
Thanks to some great scheduling by the MCLA, the first two rounds will be played before next week’s MCLA Fan Upset of the Week – what great timing! That gives us the opportunity to pick some upsets for the first round of 16, and there are definitely several opportunities for some big names to take an early exit from the tournament.
As Patton said earlier this week, the league did a fantastic job in the seedings this year. Taking these games at face value, there are several possible upsets and arguably every one of these games will be a solid match-up. You may scoff at that for a pretty good reason (#1 vs. #16), but if Purdue comes to play, which I don’t see why they wouldn’t, they could at least keep the Rams honest.
To be considered a true upset, I feel like the 6 vs. 11 match-up is about as high as you can go. From there, I believe each team is expected to be on the same level. The possible upsets I see for the first round of D1 come down to two main games: #2 Colorado vs. #15 Texas, #3 Arizona State vs. #14 Georgia, and #6 UCSB vs. #11 Oregon State.
So we’re all on the same page, BYU and GCU already played to a one-goal game earlier this year, if GCU wins, this isn’t an upset, and the same story goes for Oregon and Chapman. Oregon won earlier this year in a one-goal game. This is simply a case of seedings being seedings. Both of these match-ups are very evenly matched. Back to the upsets.
#2 Colorado vs. #15 Texas
These two have seen each other three times with Colorado taking all three wins. Texas may have a lighter schedule, but has still managed to put up 258 goals and only allow 92 in 16 games, that’s pretty impressive. Will it be enough to upset the #2 Buffs? Honestly, I don’t think so. Coach Galvin’s are very disciplined and should be ready to advance to the next round, everyone knows they want another chance at Colorado State.
#3 Arizona State vs. #14 Georgia
Arizona State has come about as close as one team could get to winning the National Championship without actually getting it. After After being disbanded for a year in 2009, they lost to Michigan in the title game in 2010, beat the unbeatable Michigan, only to lose to BYU in 2011, then lost to Cal Poly in the Final Four last year. Think they’re ready to come out and make a run at the title game? I do.
On the other end, our boy Conner Reed and the Bulldogs have put together a tough schedule and performed exceedingly well this year. They avenged their earlier loss to Ga Tech and won the SELC and now will get a chance to continue their run. With both defenses playing great right now, I think it will come down to which offense can put together a better string of runs.
#6 UC-Santa Barbara vs. #11 Oregon State
I couldn’t decide if this was an upset or not. After all, Oregon State just beat both Simon Fraser and Oregon to take the PNCLL AQ – they have proven that they are here to compete. At the end of the day though, you have to go off tradition. UCSB has been consistently good each and every year and will be out to avenge a loss in the SLC title game to Chapman and make their own run and Oregon State is still probably considered to be on the rise. That said, if the Beavers can get over the noise of being in the National Tournament and focus on the task at hand, I really think they could upset the Gauchos. That, my friends, is this week’s upset pick. #11 Oregon State over #6 UC-Santa Barbara.
MCLA D2 is shaping up to have a solid tournament showing as well. While there may not be as much parity in D2, there are still some great match-ups in the first round and as always, the tournament will get much more competitive after we get down to eight teams. I’m most excited to see the Sam Houston State vs. U.S. Coast Guard Academy match-up. Both very strong teams and both ready to make a run deep into the tournament.
For the D2 upset though, it comes down to one main pick - #14 Western Oregon over #3 St. John’s. A match-up that has already gone down once this year. The Johnnies took the game 11-9 after putting up a 7-3 run in the second half. As that game proved, this won’t be easy for Western Oregon. They will have to put together 60 complete minutes of great lacrosse and if they can do that, they might just take down St. John’s and move to the second round for the first time since 2009.
Know of a better upset? Tweet it at me @KriegShawLAS. Now it’s your turn, which of these upsets do YOU think is most likely to happen?