This week’s comparing lacrosse polls post is even more fun than most other weeks because this week we have NCAA Seeding to talk about! How do they seeds compare to the polls? Are the best teams (according to the polls) the ones with the easiest roads to the Finals? Who is ranked high but not included? Who is unranked but dancing? It’s time to sort all this craziness out! And check out who got SNUBBED here.
The NCAA only seeds the Top 8 teams in the D1 tournament, but I give all 18 of the teams competing seeds by virtue of who they play. #1 plays #16, #2 plays #15, etc, etc, until you get to #8 Vs #9. The committee may determine who plays who based on location and other factors, but if you’re playing #8, you’re the defactor #9 seed. That’s just the way it works. We can stop pretending this isn’t the case!
Comparing Lacrosse Polls & NCAA Seeding
1) Syracuse – Cuse may sit atop my poll votes, and others may agree, but the committee said NO, and Notre Dame got that #1 seed for the NCAAs. Cuse comes in at number 2 for seeding. The Orange are talented, dangerous, and have all the pieces to win it all.
NCAA Seed #1: Notre Dame
2) Denver – While I’ve been bumping Denver up, most others are leaving them lower. From #1 to #5 it’s very tight, so this comes as no surprise. Denver has a dangerous attack, and they play a control stye of game. If they can get the ball back (turnovers and face offs), they can beat anyone. Hard to argue with ND and Cuse as your 1/2, but I’m doing it. Maybe I’m crazy?
NCAA Seed #2: Syracuse
3) Notre Dame – ND is the sweetheart of the NCAAs, and they got the #1 seed, in big part to a head to head win over Syracuse. I can’t argue with this pick, but it’s not where I would put the Irish. To me, a #1 seed wins their conference tournament. Again, maybe that’s not fair, but for me, late games matter!
NCAA Seed #3: North Carolina
4) North Carolina – UNC is sort of like Syracuse Version 2.0, and I don’t mean that as a knock on UNC at all. They both have good face off guys who can be great, strong and diverse midfielders, athletic defenses, and an attack that can seemingly score at will. Both teams fit a similar mold, and it’s an awesome mold. I just like Cuse a smidgeon more, so I have UNC at #4. The committee saw them a little higher, at #3.
NCAA Seed #4: Denver
5) Duke – I had Duke as my #1 preseason team in D1, and Quint K said that meant I hadn’t done my research. Well, I put them there for two reasons: 1) they won it all last year, and 2) I thought by the end of this year they would once again be competing for the title. I was correct on both counts, and that preseason #1 vote looks a lot more reasonable and researched now, doesn’t it? It does. Thanks for vindicating me, Blue Devils! Even the committee agrees with me now…
NCAA Seed #5: Duke
6) Albany – You may be right, I may be crazy, but it just might be a lunatic you’re looking for. If you’re an Albany guy, you’ve now found your man! The Danes won their conference tourney, and are clearing playing top level lacrosse right now. Lyle Thompson might be the best player on the planet right now (I am serious, he might be…) and you can always bet on the best to play their biggest games as a senior. Albany is an easy choice for this spot, and I’m almost regretting not putting them higher! Of course the committee disagrees with me heartily and has Albany headed to Cornell as the #9 seed. OK!
NCAA Seed #6: Maryland
7) Yale – Perhaps I reward conference winners too heavily, but I just can’t put Virginia (a team that didn’t make the ACC tourney) above Yale (the team that won the Ivy). I know the ACC is legit, but the Ivy is good too, and I must give credit to the team that pulls off that title run. Yale, Albany, Denver all climbed due to my belief that winning a conference tournament actually means something. Maybe it doesn’t!?!?!?
NCAA Seed #7: Virginia
8) Maryland – People who just finished reading the above sentence are probably asking why I have Maryland so high (they did not win the Big Ten), and Hopkins so low. It’s a good point! But my conference champion argument only goes so far… Hop has struggled a lot, and while I put them in my Top 20 again, it was too much to move them from unranked to the Top 10. For Maryland, I had them as high as #2 or #3 earlier in the year, so this is actually a huge drop for them. Conference finals still played a big part here, it just wasn’t enough to change either teams’ regular season records altogether.
NCAA Seed #8: Cornell
9) Virginia – Virginia is an enigma right now, and their last game was on April 25th. They will play Hopkins on the 10th, and that’s a 15 day break in between games. Without playing in their conference tournament, UVa will either be super healthy, or show a lack in being battle tested. That’s a lot of question marks, and it really makes me doubt the committee’s decision to put them at the #7 seed.
NCAA Seed #9: Albany
10) Cornell – I definitely have my doubts about the big red at this point. They did not make the Ivy final, and they are 3-3 in their last 6 games. Maybe Cornell makes a deep run this year, but personally, I don’t see it.
NCAA Seed #10: Johns Hopkins
11) Brown – Brown is another team I don’t feel great about right now, and another team that didn’t make the Ivy final, but against Denver, they do have a shot. I’d pick Denver to win, but if Brown can push the pace early, and score some goals to put pressure on Denver, anything can happen. My main concern for Brown is that when they play a truly disciplined team, their offense can sputter. This can not happen come tourney time like it did against Yale last week.
NCAA Seed #11: Yale
12) Georgetown – No NCAAs for Georgetown this year, and a definite contender for Snub of the Year because of how highly ranked they currently are. That being said, without winning the Big East, the Hoyas didn’t have a shot at the dance. Denver, Duke, Virginia, Notre Dame… win ONE of those and it might be a different story. GREAT year for the Hoyas though. The program made huge strides in 2015.
NCAA Seed #12: Ohio State
13) Colgate – Colgate has the potential to upset UNC on the road. They played Cuse tight last weekend, and they are playing their best lacrosse of the year right now. Will they get overwhelmed by UNC’s offense? Maybe! But it could be great game, and along with Albany-Cornell, could be the game of the weekend.
NCAA Seed #13: Brown
14) Princeton – Oh, Princeton, my Princeton! How did the Tigers get left out? Honestly, I have no idea! Well, I have some idea, but the Tigers have a definite gripe. I love their wins over Cornell, Yale, and Hopkins, but some of their losses were tough too. For me, this was a team that deserved to be in, but clearly the committee saw it another way!
NCAA Seed #14: Colgate
15) Ohio State – OSU has made a believer of many. Sure, they have some bad losses, but their wins over Maryland, Hop, and Denver speak volumes about their potential. I wish OSU has played Princeton head to head, but that’s neither here nor there.
NCAA Seed #15: Bryant
16) Towson – Let’s get back to that conference champion thing! Towson gets back into the Top 20 after winning the CAA. Their reward? Playing High Point to see who gets to face Notre Dame! The Tigers are blue collar, work hard, and play tough lacrosse.
NCAA Seed #16: Marist (Bryant and Marist play, the winner plays Cuse)
17) Stony Brook – Stony Brook cycled the ball well against Albany, but when Lyle was on, he was unstoppable. Then the rest of the Albany offense opened up and it was game over, season over, for Stony Brook. This was a good team this year, and the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.
NCAA Seed #17: Towson
18) Johns Hopkins – If you’re wondering why I have Hop so low, it’s because last week (and for some weeks before) I didn’t have them ranked at all. Hop is picking up pace, and their results are finally starting to match up with our expectations for this program. Hop is dangerous now! Believe that. HUGE game with Virginia in round 1.
NCAA Seed #18: High Point
19) Marquette – Marquette had a great year, and while they are now done, they will get a #19 vote from me.
NCAA Seed #19: N/A (only 18 teams make the NCAAs, so only 18 seed spots)
20) Marist – Marist won the MAAC and now they’re dancing! Easy choice for a Top 20 spot. I have them in earlier polls, and now they are back at #20. Marist needs to beat Bryant before they could play Syracuse, but hey, anything could happen, right? I believe Syracuse and Bryant can attest to that fact actually!
NCAA Seed #20: N/A