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  • Chris Jastrzembski

Bracketology 7.0: This is it!

The regular season is complete! Kinda! Duke and Notre Dame play on Saturday to officially complete the regular season, and that's a huge game for potential at-large bid.

Other than that, this week is conference championship week. 10 bids will be given out to the conference champions who will look to make a deep run this month. It's the first time since 2016 that we've had double-digit AQs.

Here are those teams that are participating in this week's conference tournaments, ordered by seed:

  • America East: Vermont, Binghamton, UMBC, UAlbany

  • ASUN: Utah, Robert Morris, Air Force, Bellarmine

  • Big East: Georgetown, Denver, Villanova, Marquette

  • Big Ten: Maryland, Rutgers, Ohio State, Johns Hopkins (Penn State and Michigan were eliminated Saturday)

  • CAA: Delaware, Towson, UMass, Drexel

  • Ivy League: Brown, Cornell, Yale, Penn

  • MAAC: St. Bonaventure, Marist, Manhattan, Siena

  • NEC: Saint Joseph's, Bryant, Hobart, LIU

  • Patriot League: Boston University, Army West Point, Loyola, Lehigh, Navy, Bucknell

  • SoCon: Jacksonville, Richmond, High Point, VMI

With five teams, the ACC does not have an automatic qualifier and have bypassed having a conference tournament for the second consecutive year.

We also got the committee's top 10 entering last week's games. Those are as follows:

  1. Maryland

  2. Georgetown

  3. Princeton

  4. Yale

  5. Rutgers

  6. Brown

  7. Virginia

  8. Penn

  9. Cornell

  10. Ohio State

Jacksonville was 10th in their first rankings a couple of weeks ago and were the only team that did not make the top 10 this time.

We're back to having two play-in games featuring the four lowest ranked automatic qualifiers as determined by the selection committee, regardless of conference RPI. The winner of one matchup will take on the #1 overall seed, while the winner of the other matchup will take on the #2 overall seed.

Maryland has separated themselves from the pack and look to be the first team to complete an undefeated season since the 2006 Virginia Cavaliers. Georgetown and Virginia are some of the teams that could stop the Terps come May.

Automatic Qualifiers 7.0

We'll take the top seed in each qualifying conference and call them our AQ. RPI comes from the latest official release from the NCAA (games played through Sunday). SOS data comes courtesy of Lacrosse Reference (all data prior to May 3).

Due to their upcoming move to the CAA in July, Stony Brook is ineligible to compete in the America East Tournament. They have the best RPI in the conference at 36 and finished 2nd in the regular season.

At-Large Candidates 7.0

Eight more teams will be picked to join the 10 automatic qualifiers and have to finish above .500. Those eight teams will probably come all from the ACC, Big Ten, and the Ivy League.

What's the Bubble?

It feels like five Ivy League teams will make the NCAA Tournament, the four in the Ivy League Tournament and Princeton. Harvard is looking outside for now.

Rutgers and Ohio State play each other in the Big Ten semifinals on Thursday. The winner could be in for a seed, while the loser could be sweating it out a bit on Sunday. But it doesn't seem like the loser will be out entirely. Rutgers' strength of schedule (24) is eye-popping.

We move on to the ACC, where Duke has the best RPI in the conference over Virginia. That's partially because UVA played against Quinnipiac (RPI of 64) and Lafayette (RPI of 57) in two of their last three games, lowering their own RPI. Notre Dame is behind Harvard in RPI and SOS and could potentially finish without a top five win, which Harvard has.

Seven of the eight at-large spots are probably secured. The last one could come down to either Duke, Notre Dame, or Harvard. I would not rule out the Crimson just yet.

In terms of common opponents, Duke and Harvard both lost to Penn. Harvard and Notre Dame both lost to Ohio State and defeated Michigan.

Bracketology Prediction 7.0

Before I unveil what I have for another week, here's the official pre-championship manual from the NCAA. The cliff-notes from the NCAA are below:

  • Strength-of-schedule index

  • Results of the RPI:

  • Record against ranked teams 1-5; 6-10; 11-15; 16-20; 21+

  • Average RPI of all wins

  • Average RPI of all losses

  • Head-to-head competition:

  • Results versus common opponents

  • Significant wins and losses (wins against teams ranked higher in the RPI, losses against teams ranked lower in the RPI)

  • Locations of contests

  • Input is provided by the regional advisory committee for consideration by the Division I Men’s Lacrosse Committee

  • Coaches’ polls, media polls, and/or any other outside polls or rankings are not used by the committee

For yet another week, and perhaps the final time this year as my full-time job as hockey researcher ramps up, here...we...go.

Last Two In: Ohio State, Duke First Four Out: Harvard, Notre Dame, Denver, Army West Point

For the time being, Duke is in and Harvard is out. Duke should be in the tournament with a win over Notre Dame. There might be a chance that Harvard gets in with a Notre Dame in. The Irish should be the leader for that final spot if they beat Duke again.

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