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Conference Tournaments: NCAA Conference Comparison — Week 13

In seasons past, most of the NCAA was in their conference tournaments this weekend while the ACC and Patriot League would find a way to play each other. But those leagues tweaked their schedules a bit so that the ACC RPI booster tournament spans two weekends while the Patriot League is also holding their championship with everyone else. That means that the following table is the final one of the regular season. Note: The +/- is relative to two weeks ago.

2019 NCAA Conference Comparison

Conference Record % +/-
ACC 38-13 0.745 -0.011
Big Ten 36-17 0.679 0.000
Ivy League 30-22 0.577 0.045
CAA 30-22 0.577 0.000
Patriot 32-26 0.552 -0.006
Big East 30-25 0.545 -0.012
NEC 27-32 0.458 0.001
MAAC 21-34 0.382 -0.030
SoCon 20-33 0.377 -0.007
DI Independent 19-33 0.365 0.032
America East 15-37 0.288 -0.018

So, the ACC takes the final crown, comfortably ahead of the Big Ten. The Ivy League and the CAA tie each other, but the Ivy is significantly more top heavy and will be sending multiple teams to the postseason. The Patriot League might actually be the most reflective of their record top to bottom. But now, we go into conference tournaments time!

The underlying thing to keep in mind for whether or not a team is alive is RPI. As of April 28th, the official NCAA RPI rankings for the top 15 are:

  1. Penn State
  2. Duke
  3. UVA
  4. Yale
  5. Penn
  6. Loyola
  7. Maryland
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Towson
  10. Syracuse
  11. Hopkins
  12. Cornell
  13. Ohio State
  14. Denver
  15. Villanova

I’m only going to 15 because beyond that you’re getting into some crazy events transpiring to get an at-large bid with an RPI higher than 15. Games have already affected these rankings, but it’s a reference to have for now.

ACC

Dates April 25-27 & May 4

Conference Tournament Location: UNC & Virginia

SCHOOL ACC OVERALL Seed
Virginia 3-1 12-3 #1
Duke 2-2 11-4 #2
Notre Dame 2-2 8-5 #3
Syracuse 2-2 9-4 #4
North Carolina 1-3 8-7 #5

With the new tournament format, UNC, the fifth seed, was able to play Syracuse in the opening round game and avenged their regular season loss to the Orange. UNC losing to UVA probably sinks them, though. They’re not mathematically dead, but it’s not pretty. Syracuse has fallen a bit and may not host a game, but they’re definitely in. Duke losing affected their fate very little. Notre Dame winning this weekend would almost guarantee a home game, which UVA should wind up with anyway. Barring some insane bid stealing scenarios, the ACC is looking at four teams in the NCAA tournament.

Big Ten

Dates May 2-4

Conference Tournament Location: Rutgers

SCHOOL B1G OVERALL Seed
Penn State 5-0 13-1 1
Maryland 3-2 11-4 3/Out
Johns Hopkins 3-2 8-6 2
Ohio St. 1-4 8-4 Out
Rutgers 2-3 7-8 4/Eliminated
Michigan 1-4 4-9 Eliminated

Penn State rocked Rutgers in their opening game and Hopkins shocked Maryland. Again. For the second straight week. Their season was almost over, but they made some deal with the Lord of Light to come back. Rutgers was dealt the toughest blow by losing so big to Penn State. That loss put them at 7-8 and they are now postseason ineligible while the Ohio State team that didn’t even make the tournament could technically make it, but their RPI is a tad high for comfort. With Hopkins’ late season push, the B1G is looking like a three bid league with an AQ included.

CAA

Dates May 3-5

Conference Tournament Location: UMass (Highest Seed)

SCHOOL CAA OVERALL Seed
UMass 4-1 10-5 1/Out
Towson 4-1 10-4 2
Delaware 3-2 10-5 3/Out
Drexel 2-3 7-7 4
Hofstra 2-3 5-9 Eliminated
Fairfield 0-5 5-9 Eliminated

Buckle up for this one. Aided by a winless Fairfield and a weakened Hofstra, Drexel snuck into the fourth spot in this tournament and knocked off UMass. A loss in the finals eliminated them from the postseason and a win gets them an NCAA AQ. This is what these moments are made for. Delaware losing means they’re going to be cleaning out the lockers on Monday due to their low strength of schedule. UMass is in the same boat. Their RPI does them no favors, and really needed the AQ to get in. Towson will LIKELY be in even if they lose to Drexel. That would almost certainly eliminate Ohio State from even smelling a postseason. Drexel winning will make the selection committee put their thinking caps on.

Patriot

Dates April 30 – May 5

Conference Tournament Location: Campus sites and Loyola

SCHOOL CONF OVERALL Seed
Loyola 7-1 11-3 1
Lehigh 5-3 8-7 2
Boston University 5-3 11-5 3
Army West Point 5-3 11-4 4
Holy Cross 4-4 7-7 5/Out
Bucknell 4-4 6-9 6/Eliminated
Navy 4-4 6-7 Eliminated
Colgate 2-6 4-9 Eliminated
Lafayette 0-8 4-11 Eliminated

During the midweek games, BU topped Bucknell to start the Patriot Quarterfinals, eliminating the Bisons from the hope of more games. Army also topped Holy Cross. The ‘Saders are still technically alive, but they won’t be seeing an at-large bid coming their way. That sends Lehigh, BU, and Army down to Baltimore to attempt to knock off Loyola. The Hounds will be in the NCAA tournament with a loss, but everyone else is out to bid steal. Army gets the first crack at them while BU and Lehigh play for a trip to the Patriot finals. Given BU’s win over Loyola just a few weeks ago, they can taste that AQ.

Big East

Dates May 2-4

Conference Tournament Location: Denver

SCHOOL CONF OVERALL Seed
Denver 4-1 9-4 1
Georgetown 3-2 12-4 2
Providence 3-2 7-9 3/Eliminated
Villanova 3-2 8-6 4/Out
Marquette 2-3 6-8 Eliminated
St. John’s 0-5 4-10 Eliminated

The Big East is in the odd situation for once where Denver did not steamroll their out-of-conference opponents. It may be a one-bid league regardless of who wins. The Thursday games saw Providence almost pull off an upset (before a 0-4 fourth quarter), but still send Georgetown to the finals. Denver then beat ‘Nova for their 100th win in their home stadium, which is a great milestone to record in an event like this. ‘Nova isn’t mathematically eliminated, but they essentially are. Georgetown doesn’t have the RPI to get in as an NCAA at-large bid, and Denver might not with a loss. This championship game is huge!

Ivy League

Dates May 3-5

Conference Tournament Location: Columbia University

SCHOOL CONF OVERALL Seed
Penn 6-0 9-3 1
Yale 5-1 11-2 2
Cornell 4-2 10-4 3
Brown 3-3 7-9 4
Princeton 2-4 7-7 Out
Harvard 1-5 5-8 Eliminated
Dartmouth 0-6 2-11 Eliminated

With Penn Rolling, Brown is the most desperate team left in the field. Princeton won’t play in the Ivy League tournament, so their .500 record will have them watching the selection show waiting for a miracle that will never come. If Brown loses one game, they’re out of it at 7-10. Win one lose one, they’re out at 8-10. Win two, they’re in with an AQ at 9-9. Cornell also could really use that AQ to rest easy. Even one win should be enough of an RPI boost to keep them alive. Yale and Penn are going to keep playing regardless, and want an Ivy trophy to help their seeding. The Ivies are likely a three-bid league.

NEC

Dates May 2-4

Conference Tournament Location: Mount St. Mary’s

School NEC Overall Seed
Mount St. Mary’s 5-1 9-7 1/Out
Hobart 4-2 11-4 2
Sacred Heart 4-2 9-6 3/Out
Robert Morris 4-2 8-7 4
Saint Joseph’s 3-3 7-7 Out
Bryant 1-5 3-11 Eliminated
Wagner 0-6 2-12 Eliminated

This is a one-bid league and it’s already crazy. The Mount lost to RMU in their first game of the tournament and is now done for the year. Hobart topped Sacred Heart, setting up a Hobart – RMU NEC final, which was an OT game just a week ago. Just like last year’s RMU – St. Joseph’s final, this should be a good one!

MAAC

Dates May 2-4

Conference Tournament Location: Marist

SCHOOL CONF OVERALL Seed
Marist 6-1 9-6 1
Quinnipiac 5-2 9-6 2
Detroit Mercy 5-2 8-7 3/Out
Canisius 4-3 8-8 4/Out
Siena 3-4 6-7 Eliminated
Monmouth 3-4 4-8 Eliminated
Manhattan 2-5 6-8 Eliminated
St. Bonaventure 0-7 0-13 Eliminated

In the opening night of the MAAC tournament, things pretty much went to plan. Quinnipiac won handily, but Marist just barely scraped past Canisius, which was a tight game all night. Detroit and Canisius are not mathematically out of the NCAAs, but they essentially are. Quinnipiac is now in a fight with Marist for the lone AQ and likely spot in the play-in game.

SoCon

Dates May 2-4

Conference Tournament Location: High Point

School Conference Overall Seed
High Point 6-1 13-2 1
Air Force 6-1 10-5 2/Out
Richmond 5-2 9-6 3
Jacksonville 5-2 6-9 4/Eliminated
Bellarmine 3-4 3-10 Eliminated
Furman 2-5 4-10 Eliminated
Mercer 1-6 1-12 Eliminated
VMI 0-7 4-9 Eliminated

High Point looked great early, but is certainly on the bubble for an at-large bid should they lose the SoCon Finals to Richmond. After a dominant 17-3 semi against Jacksonville, it’s hard to imagine that happening if they play like that again. Richmond also snuck away with a 7-6 win over Air Force to keep their postseason hopes alive. Could the SoCon send two teams? Maybe. Will they? Highly doubtful.

America East

Dates May 2-4

Conference Tournament Location: Stony Brook

SCHOOL CONF OVERALL Seed
Stony Brook 5-1 9-6 1/Out
Vermont 4-2 8-6 2
Albany 4-2 5-9 3/Eliminated
UMBC 2-4 5-8 4
Hartford 2-4 4-11 Eliminated
UMass Lowell 2-4 5-9 Eliminated
Binghamton 2-4 2-11 Eliminated

This was a rough year for the AE. Unquestionably a one-bid conference, it’s strange to see Albany as “just another team” in this pack. They have ruled this one for so long, but their story is about how they have fallen, not how the others have risen. After Thursday’s games, Albany is officially out while UMBC is somehow still alive after topping Stony Brook. What a crazy world.

As always, here are the past two years of NCAA conference records for reference.

2018:

Conference Record % Bids
ACC 36-13 .735 4
Big Ten 38-14 .731 2
Big East 33-20 .623 3
Ivy League 31-22 .585 2
Patriot 28-24 .538 1
America East 29-27 .518 1
NEC 27-28 .491 1
CAA 22-29 .431 1
MAAC 19-36 .345 1
SoCon 13-39 .250 1
Independent 7-31 .184 0

2017:

Conference Record % Bids
Big Ten 45-8 0.849 4
ACC 36-14 0.720 4
Colonial 28-22 0.560 1
America East 29-26 0.527 1
Ivy 25-25 0.500 1
Northeast 28-31 0.475 1
Patriot 27-30 0.474 1
Big East 25-28 0.472 2
MAAC 19-36 0.345 1
Southern 18-36 0.333 1
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