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ncaa conference comparison

NCAA Conference Comparison: Week 4

After having the biggest gain in last week’s NCAA Conference Comparison, the ACC saw the biggest drop after this last weekend. Bringing down the average was UVA’s 1-1 for the week, Notre Dame’s loss and UNC’s loss. The UNC loss probably hurt the most, just because it was to the Big Ten as Hopkins finally got a win. Before I give it all away, take a look:

2019 NCAA Conference Comparison:

Conference Record % +/-
Big Ten 17-6 0.739 -0.061
ACC 12-6 0.667 -0.083
Big East 13-7 0.650 0.035
CAA 11-6 0.647 0.047
Patriot 20-13 0.606 -0.030
SoCon 13-18 0.419 0.119
NEC 9-13 0.409 -0.058
Ivy League 5-9 0.357 0.024
America East 7-11 0.389 0.056
MAAC 6-15 0.286 0.055
Independent 3-12 0.200 -0.022


EDITOR’S NOTE: The records listed for each conference are based on the Monday through Sunday schedule of the previous week.


It amazes me that as great as the SoCon has been, they’re still on the wrong side of .500. Talk about a top heavy conference. With those 31 games, amazingly VMI (VMI?!?!) LEADS THE CONFERENCE at 2-0. VMI!! You have to go back to 2012 to find a season where they had more than two wins, and they’ve already hit that mark. What is pulling every team in the conference down are the performances of Jacksonville, Bellarmine and Mercer are all winless, accounting for 11 of the league’s 18 losses. The league as a whole is still miles ahead of 2018, though. At this point last year, they were just 8-24, second worst in the country.

What’s concerning for the ACC so far is that they are well behind their pace from last year. At this point last season, they only had two losses paired with their sixteen wins. The road only gets tougher, which means they need to be virtually perfect to boost their conference rating. Now, this whole thing is mainly a big deal for the ACC for one simple reason: they do not have an automatic qualifier. Realistically, they need at least four teams (preferably five) playing great out of conference ideally only losing top ten games. Then they can do whatever they want in conference, and it just multiplies strength of schedule, and other metrics for NCAA seeding. Hopes of multiple bids require sustained success right now.

ncaa conference comparison

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As for out of conference matchups from the past weekend, I want to take a look at the Harvard – UMass game. The CAA – Ivy battle was between one team (UMass) who has started to slide relative to surging Towson.  Harvard is really in need of some improvement as they are basically in a battle with Brown, Dartmouth and Penn for the fourth Ivy League tournament spot. Early on, Harvard was looking pretty dominant, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. Defensively, the Crimson were very aggressive and causing turnovers while their offense was getting looks after looks when they had the ball. But, once halftime rolled around, things changed completely. UMass started really excelling in the transition game and using fast breaks to their advantage. The main reason why this turned the tides for Minutemen is that they had been shooting pretty poorly, but were now capitalizing on opportunities. This was not specific to this game. As a team, they’re listed as the 67th best shooting team in NCAA DI Men’s Lacrosse.

ncaa conference comparison

The thing with UMass’ shooting is they are not that far off. They hit several pipes, and their offense was actually generating some fantastic looks. There were several times where Chris Connolly or another attackman would feed from next to the crease to a completely wide-open middie for a great step down shot in the center of the field only to hit pipe. If they start actually finishing these shots, this could be a very dangerous team. When you combine that with a defense who I thought had the best defensive stand I would see all weekend (the Black Wolves’ final minutes against Toronto took the cake, however). They did not give the Harvard man-up any decent opportunity, they could make a push for the CAA title again.

ncaa conference comparison

For Harvard, they just need to keep the energy up and maintain an aggressive approach over the entire field. Them playing aggressive defense was to their advantage. The more they engaged proactively, the better results they saw. When they let UMass dictate, players like Jeff Trainor started scoring. Same for the offense. When the offense had that ball and would run through a possession, they would generate looks and find good matchup. Without that, they forced passes and gave the ball away too often.

Now, before I sign off, which are my non-conference games to watch this weekend? Also, be sure to check back for next week’s NCAA Conference Comparison.

Duke vs. Richmond

Denver vs. UNC

Hopkins vs. Princeton

Albany vs. Cornell

Robert Morris vs. High Point

Penn State vs. Penn

Maryland vs. Notre Dame

As always, here are the past two years 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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