Inside Lacrosse Bracketology 2022 Sixth Look: Objectively Subjective

Welcome to the sixth and last look at Bracketology. The Selection Show is tonight at 9 pm on ESPNU, with a joint bracket between the men’s and women’s DI Tournament fields.

A refresher on how we got here.

For more than a decade, I’ve called the NCAA Tournament selection “subjectively objective” or “objectively subjective” because the committee has used a set of objective criteria to select and seed the field but there is no proscribed system of how to. Do so, which allows for inconsistent choices from year to year, or even within one bracket. How are the Top 5 wins valuable vs. Top 10 vs. Bulls Top 20 vs. Bulls Non-Top 20 losses vs. RPI vs. SOS? It’s the committee’s job to make that choice and, given that the five-person group rotates each year and individual choices are nuanced and different from one year to the next.

From 2017 to 2019, the Committee was more consistent than they had been at any point since I started forecasting the field a decade prior. But with no tournaments in 2020 and altered criteria due to the inability to utilize RPI in 2021, it’s hard to predict how this five-person will decide this year.

Let’s go pick by pick to justify the thought process around each selection.

No. 1

Maryland is an easy no. 1 pick. The Terps have the No. 1 RPI, Rutgers jumping into the RPI Top 5 gives Maryland two more Top 5 wins than they had recently, and they haven’t lost.

No. 2

Georgetown moved into RPI No. 2 since our last bracket update, which makes it easier to move them ahead of Princeton, who had been no. 2 in RPI and have a head-to-head win over the Tigers (the Hoyas’ lone loss of the season).

Opening Round Games

The Committee picks the four participants for the Opening Round games (often referred to as play-in games) the same way as every other decision – based on total resume. Among the four lowest-rated resumes AQ recipients will play Wednesday, with the winners going to the top two seeds. Geography can play a factor in these decisions, as well – as the Committee expects to avoid sending opposition teams more than 400 miles away.

I expect Delaware (CAA, RPI 25), Robert Morris (ASUN, RPI 29), Vermont (America East, RPI 35) and Manhattan (MAAC, RPI 48). Robert Morris can drive to Delaware and Manhattan can drive to Vermont, so that’s what I expect to see, though with proper matchups by bracket integrity would probably send the Catamounts to Robert Morris.

With the winners going to each of the top two seeds and, with Maryland and Georgetown being as close to each other as any other two teams in the field, I expect the winner of Vermont-Manhattan to go to College Park (likely to set up a rematch). The Terps’ first round matchup vs. the Catamounts last year) and the winner of Delaware-Robert Morris heading to Georgetown.

Seeds 3, 4, 5

I now think Penn, Yale and Princeton are in a group together. Given Penn, which won the Ivy League AQ on Sunday, it has upped its RPI to No. 4 and they now hold a head-to-head win vs. Yale, I think it ‘s justifiable to make the Quakers the No. 3 seeds. Yale, with seven Top 20 wins to Princeton’s five and a head-to-head win over the Tigers, gets a slight edge at the fourth seed, though Princeton’s three-spot RPI advantage and one non-top 20 loss could justify Matt Madalon’s The group is getting the edge over the Bulldogs.

Likely this group will play three automatic qualifiers: St. Joseph’s (NEC, RPI 16), Boston U (Patriot League, RPI 13) and Richmond (SoCon, RPI 12). Penn-Saint Joseph’s and Yale-Bu are both regular-season rematches, but the committee has been willing to select non-conference rematches in the first round; They work out geographically and they are justifiable from a bracket-integrity standpoint.

Seeds 6, 7, 8

This is arguably the most closely packed group and the hardest to parse. Rutgers has the RPI advantage; Cornell has the top 5 wins advantage; Brown has the quantity of total wins advantage. I don’t feel confident in how this group will be ordered, so I’m deferring to the RPI order.

The Bubble

The last three at-large selections will play at seeds no. 6, 7 and 8, and it was possible that geography could play a bigger role in how they were ordered.

How they are selected may be significantly impacted by how many teams are considered for how many spots. Five for three? Three for two? Two for one?

First, how likely is it that the two-time defending champions are left out of the Tournament field? Virginia’s RPI is No. 9, they have three top 20 wins and no bad losses. Competing with the Cavaliers is a spot for Duke (No. 7 RPI, 5 top 20 wins, 3 bad losses), Notre Dame (No. 11 RPI, 3 Top 20 wins, 0 bad losses), Ohio State (No. 14 RPI). , 3 Top 20 wins, 0 Bad Losses) and Harvard (No. 15 RPI, 1 Top 5 Win, 2 Top 20 wins, 0 Bad Losses).

Since at least 2011, no team with a Top 10 RPI has been left out of an NCAA Tournament. While it seemed like Duke’s season would be losing to Notre Dame on Saturday, examining their resume alongside Notre Dame’s, its strength comes down to a comparison between RPI and bad losses. It’s hard to imagine the Blue Devils getting in the Irish given ND has beaten Duke twice. If that eliminates consideration from the Irish and puts Duke For Ohio State and Harvard last at-large spot, it’s hard to imagine the seven and eight-spot RPI gap being overcome. (One historic instance: 2009, when Hopkins was No. 1 in RPI but seeded No. 8, while RPI No. 9 Cornell was seeded No. 6.) Within that group, Harvard’s lone team had a Top 5 win – if the The committee favors that, which they did at the beginning of the last decade, then shades toward the Crimson.

In the absence of better data on recent choices, however, it is prudent to defer to RPI, which is why I settled on Virginia, Notre Dame and Duke being selected, in that order because of their head-to-head results. The first team out of a shade ahead of Harvard as their head-to-head and slightly better RPI position trumps the Crimson’s Top 5 win.

Automatic Qualifiers

  • America East: Vermont
  • ASUN: Robert Morris
  • Big East: Georgetown
  • Big Ten: Maryland
  • CAA: Delaware
  • Ivy: Penn
  • MAAC: Manhattan
  • NEC: Saint Joseph’s
  • Patriot: Boston U
  • SoCon: Richmond

At-Large Resumes

1. Maryland (14-0)
RPI: 1
Top 5 Wins: 3
Top 6-20 Wins: 3
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

2. Georgetown (15-1)
RPI: 2
Top 5 Wins: 1
Top 6-20 Wins: 5
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

3. Penn (10-4)
RPI: 4
Top 5 Wins: 0
Top 6-20 Wins: 7
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

4. Yale (11-4)
RPI: 6
Top 5 Wins: 2
Top 6-20 Wins: 5
Non Top-20 Losses: 1

5. Princeton (9-4)
RPI: 3
Top 5 Wins: 3
Top 6-20 Wins: 2
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

6. Rutgers (13-3)
RPI: 5
Top 5 Wins: 0
Top 6-20 Wins: 3
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

7. Cornell (12-4)
RPI: 8
Top 5 Wins: 2
Top 6-20 Wins: 2
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

8. Brown (10-5)
RPI: 10
Top 5 Wins: 1
Top 6-20 Wins: 4
Non Top-20 Losses: 1

9. Virginia (11-3)
RPI: 9
Top 5 Wins: 0
Top 6-20 Wins: 3
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

10. Notre Dame (8-4)
RPI: 11
Top 5 Wins: 0
Top 6-20 Wins: 3
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

11. Duke (11-6)
RPI: 7
Top 5 Wins: 0
Top 6-20 Wins: 5
Non Top-20 Losses: 3

12. Ohio State (10-5)
RPI: 14
Top 5 Wins: 0
Top 6-20 Wins: 3
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

13. Harvard (8-4)
RPI: 15
Top 5 Wins: 1
Top 6-20 Wins: 3
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

14. Boston U (12-4)
RPI: 12
Top 5 Wins: 0
Top 6-20 Wins: 1
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

15. North Carolina (8-6)
RPI: 17
Top 5 Wins: 0
Top 6-20 Wins: 3
Non Top-20 Losses: 0

16. Richmond (11-4)
RPI: 13
Top 5 Wins: 0
Top 6-20 Wins: 1
Non Top-20 Losses: 1

17. Army (12-4)
RPI: 18
Top 5 Wins: 0
Top 6-20 Wins: 2
Non Top-20 Losses: 2

18. Jacksonville (14-3)
RPI: 24
Top 5 Wins: 0
Top 6-20 Wins: 3
Non Top-20 Losses: 2

Click the graphic below to enlarge.

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