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NCAA Men’s DI Conference Comparison 2020: Week 1

The first few weeks of games in NCAA lacrosse are among the most exciting of the season. We finally get to see what teams have done in the offseason.

NCAA Men’s DI Conference Comparison: 2020, Week 1

Brief Refresher On The Series

Coaching changes, new recruits, transfers, underclassmen taking on new roles and the fact that teams are still trying to figure out how to make everything work together are the typical parts of being early in the season. It also means we are at the first step in putting together the NCAA tournament field.

The reason I do this conference comparison each week is I think it’s fun — and important — to talk about how conferences actually are doing against each other. Conferences have become increasingly important as the parity across Division I lacrosse increases. There are now very good teams being left out of the NCAA tournament, and cleaning their lockers out a week or two early. All of this can be traced to these early games.

Conferences are routinely beating each other up as conferences are going to four to five teams in order to have automatic qualifier contenders in the NCAA tournament.

These early games are what help keep things in perspective for how good each of these conferences currently are in relation to each other.

As we take a look at the first few games so far this season, we can see how some conference races are beginning to shape up. This post each week is also where I’ll take a deeper dive into some of the individual games that went on as well.

The Race Through Week 1

The Numbers

Conference Record % +/-
Big Ten 10-0 1.000
ACC 5-1 0.833
NEC 6-2 0.750
Big East 6-2 0.750
CAA 2-2 0.500
Patriot 7-8 0.467
MAAC 4-6 0.400
America East 1-2 0.333
SoCon 2-9 0.182
Independent 1-5 0.170
Ivy League 0-0 0.000

A Few Thoughts

I’m not going to be getting too deep in things yet because we have a major, major conference that hasn’t even played a single game yet. But there are a few interesting nuggets so far. The first and most obvious one is that the Big Ten has yet to lose a single game. Maryland came close with Richmond, but that has been it. Every other game has been won by a pretty large margin. For the ACC, there’s the lone Duke loss to Air Force and two wins over Colgate, but Virginia has a quality win over Loyola.

The NEC is the conference that I really have my eye on right now. Its two losses are by the two newest additions, LIU and Merrimack. What’s encouraging for the conference is that even those losses by those teams were close. Given the conference’s usually lower standing, this is a very promising start for the expanding conference.

Now, let’s jump back to a higher level. As the table at the top of this post changes week to week, it’s nice to know where each conference has finished in years past, and how winning percentage translates to the number of bids they usually see. As this post grows through the season, and we take a deeper dive into each conference, these last three years will be included at the bottom as a reference. Enjoy!

If you’d like to take a closer look at some analysis on the top teams in the country to this point, read my article about how I voted in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll ballot by clicking here.

Conference Comparisons From 2017-2019 Seasons

2019:

Conference Record % Bids
ACC 38-13 0.745 4
Big Ten 36-17 0.679 3
Ivy League 30-22 0.577 2
CAA 30-22 0.577 1
Patriot 32-26 0.552 2
Big East 30-25 0.545 1
NEC 27-32 0.458 1
MAAC 21-34 0.382 1
SoCon 20-33 0.377 1
DI Independent 19-33 0.365 0
America East 15-37 0.288 1

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

Who do you think will be the top NCAA Men’s Division I lacrosse conference this year? Share your thoughts in the comments or on social media our handle (@LaxAllStars). Stay tuned for more NCAA Men’s DI Conference Comparison 2020 articles.

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