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  • Chris Jastrzembski

2023 College Lacrosse Bracketology 7.0: The Final Countdown

There's two regular season games left. That's sad.

But there's nine conference tournaments being played this week. That's glad.

And then we get to Selection Sunday to cap off the weekend. Buckle up for some May lacrosse. And make sure you check out the composite schedule Google Sheet to stay up to date throughout the postseason.

Out of 75 teams in Division I lacrosse, 36 of them are currently playing in conference tournaments. Notables that aren't are Rutgers (15th in RPI) and Jacksonville (30th in RPI). The Scarlet Knights could have a slim chance of reaching the NCAA Tournament as an at-large.

Other notables are the five schools from the ACC (Duke, Virginia, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Syracuse). All of them except Syracuse are in the top 20 in RPI. North Carolina is 14th and plays Notre Dame once again on Saturday. A loss pretty much ends any chance of making the dance.

Out of the nine conference tournaments, six of them are automatic qualifier or bust. Three of them have potential bid stealers for the AQ. The Big East has Providence, with Denver and Villanova on the bubble. The Big Ten has Michigan. The Ivy League has Princeton, with Penn and Yale on the bubble.

We also saw the Selection Committee's final top 10, entering the prior weekend. It's listed below:

  1. Notre Dame

  2. Duke

  3. Virginia

  4. Penn State

  5. Johns Hopkins

  6. Maryland

  7. Cornell

  8. Georgetown

  9. Yale

  10. Denver

Since then, Notre Dame lost to Virginia. Everything else looks pretty much expected. Looking at the current RPI top 10, Penn is 10th and is not on the list. Denver is 11th.

Depending on availability (I do have a full-time job at TNT, people forget that), there might be another Bracketology prediction later in the week. It would occur after Friday's semifinal games in the ASUN, Ivy League, and Patriot League.

Take a look at what I forecasted last week to compare with what you're about to see. And as a reminder to check out the primer I wrote back in March.

Nine out of the 10 Division I men's lacrosse conferences have automatic qualification status, down from 10 AQ conferences last season. Due to having fewer than the minimum six teams, the ACC does not have an AQ and also does not have a conference tournament. The latter will change next season however, but the tournament winner won't have an AQ.

We'll also return to one preliminary round game between the two lowest-ranked, automatic qualifying teams as determined by the Division I National Committee, regardless of conference RPI. The winner will take on the number one overall seed.

Automatic Qualifiers 7.0

We'll give the conference AQ to the first place team in each qualified conference. RPI and Strength of Schedule data comes courtesy of Lacrosse Reference (all data entering May 4).

AQ Changes: Boston University takes over the Patriot league AQ from Army West Point

At-Large Candidates 7.0

Eight more teams will be picked to join the nine automatic qualifiers. Those teams must have a record of .500 or better. Those eight teams will more than likely come from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, and the Ivy League.

Bracketology Prediction 7.0

Before unveiling this week's prediction, here's the selection criteria directly from the Pre-Championship manual:

  • Eligibility and availability of student-athletes for NCAA championship

  • Win-loss record (must be at least .500 and have played at least 10 games against Division I opponents)

  • Strength-of-schedule index

  • Results of the RPI:

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

  • Average RPI win (average RPI of all wins)

  • Average RPI loss (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 and losses against teams ranked lower in the RPI)

  • Locations of contests

Additionally, input is provided by the regional advisory committee for consideration by the Division I Men’s Lacrosse Committee. Coaches’ polls and/or any other outside polls or rankings are not used by the committee for selection purposes.

For another week, and potentially the final time this year, here we go...

Last Three In: Penn, Yale, Denver First Three Out: Villanova, North Carolina, Rutgers

Nothing changes from last week in terms of the last three in and first three out.

The top three shifts as Duke takes the top spot and Virginia moves up to number two. Notre Dame lands as the #3 seed.

Also with Delaware's loss to Towson, they're now in the Opening Round game. Saint Joseph's shifts to play Virginia.

Villanova has the best chance of getting in still. They can make it easy and win the Big East. But a win over Denver could make it very intriguing come Selection Sunday. North Carolina can also make it interesting with a win over Notre Dame this weekend. Unless metrics shift in their favor (and I doubt they will), Rutgers is done.

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