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  • Chris Jastrzembski

2023 College Lacrosse Bracketology 8.0: WHAT CHAOS!

There's 11 games left until Selection Sunday. Nine of them are conference championship games.

Six of those nine (nice) conference title games don't have their top seeds playing in it. Two of the remaining three have the top two teams playing (ASUN and Big East). And we thought February was wild.

So pretty much things have changed. A lot. Michigan could win the Big Ten. Cornell won't win the Ivy League. Denver could still win the Big East. Penn is going to be sweating.

Follow along this weekend with the Composite Schedule. It's your bible for your lacrosse needs.

Enough small talk, let's go.

Take a look at what I forecasted earlier this 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 8.0

We'll give the conference AQ to the team with the better RPI in each conference championship game. RPI and Strength of Schedule data comes courtesy of Lacrosse Reference (all data entering May 6).

AQ Changes: Maryland takes over the Big Ten AQ, Yale takes over the Ivy League AQ, Army West Point takes over the Patriot League AQ, Bryant takes over the America East AQ, Richmond takes over the Atlantic 10 AQ, Marist takes over the MAAC AQ

I thought about giving the Ivy League AQ to Princeton over Yale and do the traditional method of awarding it to the higher seed. But since there's a major RPI differential (18 for Princeton and 7 for Yale), it would be better for this projection to go with the Yale.

At-Large Candidates 8.0

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 8.0

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.

Typically, I've tried to fire off one final projection on my Twitter after the Ivy League and Patriot League titles have been given out. I'll try to do that once more on Sunday afternoon. But again, I'll be working hockey on TBS.

Either way, for the final time in a formal post, here we go...

Last Three In (aka rooting HARD for Michigan, Princeton, Denver [unless you're Denver], and maybe even North Carolina to lose): Penn State, Denver, Penn First Three Out: Michigan, Rutgers, North Carolina

I think Penn State is in the best shape out of those last three teams in. I don't expect all three of Michigan, Princeton, and even North Carolina to win this weekend. Remember, the Tar Heels have Notre Dame in a rematch from a couple of weeks ago.

But given how this weekend and season has gone, I don't think Saturday and Sunday will be tame. Expect something wild.

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