NCAA Playoff Time – D1 Rundown
It’s almost 2016 D1 Lacrosse NCAA Playoff time!
As the regular season is almost over, many teams found their 2016 season done and will start cleaning out lockers this week. There are still three non-tournament games left in the informal ACC/Patriot challenge, as well as plenty of conference tournament games to keep you occupied this week.
Get ready for a sprint to the finish because once all the games are played, we’re done with hypotheticals. The tournament field will be announced and the winner take all race to Memorial Day will be officially on. But enough about the future, what happened this past week?
As always, check out Connor’s Media Poll submission to get his take on the current “situation”. Get it? Don’t worry, you will.
NCAA Playoff D1 Scoreboard
13 Army vs. Lehigh 6
17 Albany vs. Siena 8
13 Bucknell vs. Holy Cross 7
3 Sacred Heart vs. Bryant 9
8 Penn vs. Saint Joseph’s 9 OT
16 Brown vs. Dartmouth 3
3 Navy vs. Army 9
7 North Carolina vs. Syracuse 10
5 Delaware vs. Fairfield 10
7 Loyola vs. Bucknell 6 2 OT
9 Notre Dame vs. Duke 10 OT
12 Wagner vs. Robert Morris 18
15 Hobart vs. Sacred Heart 10
20 High Point vs. VMI 6
6 Mercer vs. Richmond 12
7 Princeton vs. Cornell 6
10 Quinnipiac vs. Manhattan 3
15 Bellarmine vs. Furman 8
14 Denver vs. Marquette 11
7 Hofstra vs. Towson 8
14 Penn State vs. Michigan 9
13 Siena vs. Monmouth 14 OT
8 St. John’s vs. Georgetown 5
16 Stony Brook vs. Hartford 8
12 Saint Joseph’s vs. Mount St. Mary’s 5
3 Detroit vs. Marist 14
7 UMass Lowell vs. NJIT 6 OT
14 Villanova vs. Providence 7
6 Jacksonville vs. Air Force 11
8 Johns Hopkins vs. Maryland 11
14 UMBC vs. Albany 15 OT
9 Yale vs. Harvard 8
12 Ohio State vs. Rutgers 10
11 Virginia vs. Brown 19
17 Vermont vs. Binghamton 9
8 Duke vs. Syracuse 14
14 Loyola vs. Army 6
The Stat Freaks
Freak of the week: This was actually a tough week, to be honest. With some teams finishing their season this week, some guys went down swinging. Despite the man fantastic performances out there, I’m going to go with UMBC’s Nate Lewnes. The big reason why is he was able to take his 4-10 UMBC squad and make the highly ranked Albany team sweat out their win. He did this by scoring 10 of his team’s 14 goals against one of the best goalies in the country. His 10 goals were on just 12 shots on goal. While UMBC lost the game in OT, Lewnes’ effort did not go unnoticed.
Offense: The Cutoff here is a combined 7 goals and/or assists
Bucknell’s Will Sands 3G, 7A vs Holy Cross
Albany’s Connor Fields 4G, 4A vs. Siena
Robert Morris’ Luke Laszkiewicz 7G, 2A vs. Wagner
UMBC’s Nate Lewnes 10G vs. Albany
Marquette’s Ryan McNamara 3G, 4A vs. Denver
Penn State’s Grant Ament 1G, 6A vs. Michigan
High Point’s Matt Thistle 5G, 4A vs. VMI
Brown’s Dylan Molloy 3G, 4A vs. UVA
Loyola’s Pat Spencer 5G, 5A vs. Army
Defense: For here, you need 8 GBs, CTs, and/or points
Holy Cross’ Will Gaudreau 5GB, 5CT vs. Bucknell
Brown’s Larken Kemp 10GB, 3CT vs. Dartmouth
Drexel’s Pat Root 3GB, 5CT vs. UMASS
Syracuse’s Brandon Mullins 5GB, 4CT vs. UNC
Loyola’s Ryan Fournier 8GB, 1CT vs. Bucknell
Duke’s Ian Yanoulis 8GB vs. Notre Dame
Robert Morris’ Daniel Smith 5GB, 3CT vs. Wagner
UMBC’s Steve Winsor 5GB, 3CT vs. Albany
Mount St. Mary’s Timothy Mangan 5GB, 3CT, 1A vs. St. Joseph’s
NJIT’s Brent Lubin 8GB, 1CT vs. UMASS-Lowell
Towson’s Mike Lowe 7GB, 3CT vs. Hofstra
Villanova’s John Moderski 7GB, 3CT vs. Providence
VMI’s Kyle Walsh 6GB, 4CT vs. High Point
Quinnipiac’s Adam Bellamy 7GB, 1CT vs. Manhattan
Richmond’s Brendan Hynes 8GB, 4CT vs. Mercer
Duke’s Ethan Powley 5GB, 3CT vs. Syracuse
Faceoffs: Greater than 70%, at least 10 attempts
Army’s Dan Grabher 12/13 vs. Lehigh
Bryant’s Kenny Massa 15/16 vs. Sacred heart
St. Joseph’s Mike Lanham 14/20 vs. Penn
Albany’s Zack Ornstein 19/26, 1G vs. Siena
Brown’s Will Gural 17/18, 1A vs. Dartmouth
Army’s Dan Grabher 8/11 vs. Navy
Fairfield’s Will Fox 12/17 vs. Delaware
Drexel’s Nabil Akl 12/17, 1A vs. UMASS
Duke’s Kyle Rowe 18/23 vs. Notre Dame
Albany’s Zach Ornstein 25/29 w/ 22 GB, 1A vs. UMBC
Michigan’s Brad Lott 19/26 vs. Penn State
Hobart’s John Spallanzani 10/13 vs. Sacred Heart
Bellarmine’s Connor Harryman 19/26 vs Furman
High Point’s Jamie Piluso 11/14 vs. VMI
Johns Hopkins’ Craig Madarasz 17/22, 1A vs. Maryland
Richmond’s Peter Moran 10/14 vs. Mercer
Goalies: Greater than 70%
Bucknell’s Christian Klipstein 21/28 vs. Holy Cross
Bryant’s Gunnar Waldt 11/14 vs. Sacred Heart
Army’s AJ Barretto 9/12 vs. Navy
Fairfield’s Tyler Behring 12/17 vs. Delaware
Marist’s Brian Corrigan 16/18 vs. Detroit
Princeton’s Matt O’Connor 11/13 vs. Cornell
St. Joseph’s TJ Jones 13/18 vs. Mount St. Mary’s
NJIT’s Nick Marzullo 17/24 vs. UMASS-Lowell
St. Johns’ Harry Burke 15/20, 7GB, 3CT vs. Georgetown
Quinnipiac’s Jack Brust 9/12 vs. Manhattan
The Big Upsets and Surprises
- ACC Tournament Super Post: Syracuse vs. Duke ACC title round two was hardly expected. Duke needed overtime to complete the comeback against Notre Dame and received a huge NCAA tournament boost in the process. Syracuse controlled UNC from start to finish in their semi-final game. The final was a different story. While Cuse was up early, this game was back and forth all day until the brief rain storm to end all brief rain storms rolled through. The game was paused and both teams sat around while an alternate field was located due to the excessive amount of water pooling on the grass field. After the intermission which was partway through the fourth quarter, Cuse blew open a one goal game into a 14-8 win. Duke’s defense looked like they were still stuck in the mud on the other field while Cuse was playing like they were on the old Astro turf circa 1990s in the Carrier Dome. The win gave Cuse their second straight ACC title, and Duke needs to take care of business next weekend in Boston to feel comfortable on selection Sunday. Fun fact: Since Notre Dame and Syracuse joined the ACC 3 season ago, only those two teams have won the conference title, and Syracuse has been in all three title games. What terrible guests.
- Patriot League Super Post: The Patriot League is the only league to have 6 teams in their tournament. This led to Bucknell and Army dismantling their opponents in the opening games (Holy Cross and Lehigh, respectively). Bucknell responded by taking eventual champ Loyola in OT to decide the trip to the finals. Army would face Navy, who had just beaten the Black Knights in overtime to close out their regular season conference schedule. Army handled Navy with relative ease, but fell to Loyola by a large margin. Loyola wins the AQ and looks good to host an NCAA game. Army may have won their way into the tournament, but their RPI is very, very low. They still have a date with Notre Dame looming.
- Maryland beating Hopkins at Homewood has many wondering if this may finally be the year of the turtle for Maryland. They’ve been frequent visitors to Memorial Day weekend, but always come up short. They are loaded with MLL draft picks, have a terrific record, and their RPI is on top. Depending on how the B1G tournament goes, these teams may meet again, but if Maryland wins again, they have a strong argument for the overall number one seed in the tournament.
- The real shocker was UMBC taking Albany into overtime. Albany still has a terrific RPI and only has losses to Syracuse and Maryland. Many might consider this UMBC game as a blip in the radar on their way to another America East crown, but I’m still a little weary. Sure, their losses are great, but they only have four wins over teams with a record better than .500, and three of those are in their conference. I absolutely think this team has exceeded expectations, are very dangerous, and will probably host an NCAA game. But, I would be totally shocked to see them playing in late May.
- Yale started the year strong and looked like they were finally making the leap into the top tier of the NCAA. They now have two losses, and a 7-7 Harvard team took them down to the wire. They open the Ivy tournament against Penn, who they beat at home in overtime back in early April. Yale will still make people miserable in May, but they are looking very, very vulnerable right now.
- Speaking of the Ivy league, Brown absolutely dominated Virginia in their showcase game. UVA really needed this win to have a shot at the NCAA, but it looks like they’ll be watching from home. This was a very tough result for a program that had plenty of hope to start the season. The rest of the ACC was a little off this season as well, but UVA was just a little more off. They’re still loaded with talent and have superb coaches, but they need some solutions for 2017. I can’t imagine a team with the resources and talent available to them will stay in the ACC basement much longer.
NCAA D1 Conference Comparison
|Conference||Record||%||# of Teams|
The dust still has not yet settled as three Patriot and three ACC teams play next weekend, but once again, the ACC has come out on top. Even if they lose all three of those game, they will at worst tie with the Big Ten for the best record out od conference. It’s also amazing how close the Colonial, Patriot, and America East are in terms of out of conference win percentage. Now with the Patriot and ACC tournament done, everyone else will be starting theirs. Here’s how all those fields looks and what possible NCAA implications are:
ACC – Tournament Finished
Runner Up: Duke
For the third straight year since Notre Dame and Syracuse joined the ACC, neither the #1 or #2 seeds won their semifinal game. For the second straight year, that meant Syracuse was in the final game against Duke. Also, for the second straight year, it meant Syracuse would be ACC champs. Syracuse was listed as out of the tournament at worst and on the road at Brown at best in early bracketology. Now they should find themselves hosting a first round game. Duke should still be fine, but dropping next week’s game against BU will be disastrous. For Notre Dame, they should still find themselves hosting an NCAA game. North Carolina is on the bubble, so they are cheering for every favorite in other conferences to get their Automatic Qualifiers. Virginia is likely done with the postseason.
B1G – Field Set
In: (1) Maryland (2) Hopkins (3) Rutgers (4) Penn State
Out: Ohio State, Michigan
What needs to happen: Hopkins jumped over Rutgers for the two seed by virtue of Rutgers’ loss to Ohio State. That doesn’t change much since they still play each other. Rutgers and Penn State are almost deadlocked at 20 and 21 in the LaxPower RPI, so they need to win this tournament to see the NCAA. Hopkins and Maryland should be in regardless, but a win by Hopkins might be enough to lock up a home game for the opening round.
Ivy League – Field Set
In: (1) Brown (2) Yale (3) Penn (4) Harvard
Out: Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth
What needs to happen: There was no change in this field or seedings from last week. Brown is hosting, and this should be a great tournament to watch. Only Brown and Yale are in the NCAA right now, so Penn and Harvard are desperate for two more wins. Brown only beat Harvard by 3 earlier in the year in their lowest scoring win of the season. Yale and Penn went into Overtime in their matchup. Nothing in this tournament is a sure thing.
Patriot – Tournament Finished
Runner Up: Army
Despite losing, Navy could still find themselves in the NCAA field next week. Bucknell, Colgate, Lehigh, Boston University, Holy Cross, and Lafayette are all out. BU still plays Duke and Colgate plays Syracuse, but even with wins there, their fortunes are not going to change much. Loyola came out on top and was crowned the Patriot League champs. That’s good news for bubble teams as they Greyhounds likely would have been in anyway. Army still plays Notre Dame next week, which is the best non tournament game left this year.
Colonial – Field Set
In: (1) Towson (2) Fairfield (3) Hofstra (4) Drexel
Out: UMASS, Delaware
What needs to happen: Drexel won their way into the field this past weekend, sending Delaware home packing. Only Towson is close to being an NCAA lock, but even they only sit at number 16 in the RPI rankings right now. So they may not be a high security fingerprint and retinal scan lock, but they’re like one of those dollar store locks that could break and make you really angry if/when it breaks. Losing to Drexel right away might be that lock weakening a bit. As far as anyone here is concerned…a tournament championship is mandatory to keep playing.
America East – Field Set
In: (1) Albany (2) Stony Brook (3) Vermont (4) Hartford
Out: Binghamton, UMBC, UMASS-Lowell
What needs to happen: This field did not change at all since last week. Albany is in regardless and is playing for a home game, which is a huge feat post-Thompson era. Stony Brook is also sitting in a good spot, but isn’t very comfortable. Both need at least one if not two wins to ease their nerves a little bit.
Big East – Field Set
In: (1) Denver (2) Marquette (3) Villanova (4) Providence
Out: Georgetown, St. John’s
What needs to happen: By way of miracle tie breakers, Providence got themselves the fourth seed over the weekend. I feel like the Friars have been flirting with major upsets all year, but keep coming up a little short. Now is their chance as they’ll have to beat Denver in Denver to have a shot at advancing. This tournament in Denver’s to lose and Marquette should be in the NCAA field with a win over Villanova. A loss throws them into the gigantic bubble of at large teams. Denver will be hosting a game no matter what happens.
Northeast – Field Set
In: (1) St. Joseph’s (2) Bryant (3) Hobart (4) Robert Morris
Out: Mount St. Mary’s, Wagner, Sacred Heart
What needs to happen: No change from last week. Only the winner goes to the NCAA and will probably be in a play-in game. St. Joseph’s best wins are OT wins over Penn and Bryant. Bryant’s best wins are over Harvard and Brown. Neither team has a sterling resume, but do show that they can be a first round nightmare for anyone.
Southern – Field Set
In: (1) Air Force (2) Richmond (3) High Point (4) Bellarmine
Out: Mercer, Furman, Jacksonville, VMI
What needs to happen: Air Force and Richmond have both spent time ranked this year, with Air Force still up there. The high ranking is not an NCAA bid, though. The Falcons really need to take this tournament championship to get an NCAA game. Richmond and Air Force both have a few solid wins while High Point has been very spotty this year. Bellarmine wears the “Most Close Losses” crown as they played several quality teams tough. This will be a one bid conference.
MAAC – Field Set
In: (1) Quinnipiac (2) Marist (3) Monmouth (4) Canisius
Out: Siena, Detroit, Manhattan
What needs to happen: Just like last week, win and you’re in. Nobody in this league has a strong enough resume to get an at-large NCAA bid. Marist is looking to make it to two NCAA tournament in a row, where they even won their pay-in game a season ago over Bryant. Quinnipiac as the top seed only has one non-conference win over a team with a winning record, which was an overtime win over Hartford. Marist had an overtime win over Stony Brook, which is the best win the conference had as a whole. It was also one of six overtime games for the Red Foxes, which is just silly. Expectations are low, so the only place for the MAAC to go is up!