Let’s re-cap one of the most interesting weekends the MCLA has ever seen. Who’s in? Who’s out? What are the most compelling 1st round match-ups? Lets check out the final brackets and see who punched their ticket to Denver.
Biggest seeding storylines:
#1 Simon Fraser’s fall to a 6 seed. The committee really showed they valued quality OOC games by placing SFU this low. The Clan was ranked in the top 3 earlier this season and Virginia Tech is the one paying the price. This is a worst case scenario for the Hokies.
#2 Gator’s bubble burst. The selection committee gave the nod to Sonoma, SB, Oregon, CSU, Virginia Tech, and Colorado, while leaving Florida out in the cold (err sun). With CSU barely nabbing a #14 seed this was the first year I can remember where one could argue that the RMLC didn’t deserve to gobble up 2 of the 6 at-large bids like they do every other year. (For in-depth analysis and a player’s perspective on Florida’s season, check out this article by LAS’s own Cvas).
Wishing the tourney was still in Dallas:
With Nationals now moved from Dallas to Denver, the Longhorns can’t be happy to see they are slated for a date with the buzzsaw that is Michigan in the 1st round. The Wolverines are cruising again and haven’t lost a game in over two years. Texas is a great program but is it too soon to be scouting out consolation-round opponents?
Colorado is coming off a tough loss to BYU in the RMLC finals but seems to be playing their best lacrosse as of late. The projected CU vs. Duluth matchup in the 2nd round will be a win-able one for the Buffs. This team has the talent to make a run to the finals.
Murderers Row aka The Lower Bracket:
Right now all observers have the Maize and Blue penciled in for a return trip to the Finals. The other half of the bracket? Not so much. The lower bracket reads like a “who’s who” of some of the most historically successful MCLA programs. BYU and Chapman being #2 and #3 seeds in the same half of the bracket is understandable but add in SFU as a #6? Wow. Punish the Canadians for the OOC debacle that’s fine but the Clan should have been a #5 seed and put in the top half of the bracket with Michigan.
The Grudge Match:
Wanna know how loaded this years tourney is? Look no further than a 1st round match-up between BYU and Oregon. These teams are no stranger to one another and have played every year since 2004, including earlier this season in Minnesota. The Ducks snuck in as a #15 seed and the theme of scheduling top notch OOC games really helped Oregon in the eyes of the committee.
What do you think about this season’s tourney? What did they get right /wrong? What games are you most excited to see?