Sunday, November 9, 2008

Field Hockey Bracketology #2

With all the field hockey conference tournaments now completed and three NCAA tournament Play-In games schedule for Tuesday, it’s time for TigerBlog’s latest best guess at the field for the upcoming NCAA Division I field hockey championship. Once again, remember this is just a shot in the dark, but we had fun writing it and hopefully you'll have fun reading it. Also, if you want to see last week’s bracket, scroll down a few posts on the blog.

We start with the automatic bids, which go to the conference tournament winners, and we will project winners in the three play-in games.

Projected Automatics Bids
ACC: Maryland
America East: Albany
Big East: Syracuse
Big 10: Iowa
CAA: James Madison

Projected Play-In Games and Winners
American (Patriot) over Lock Haven (NEC)
Princeton (Ivy) over Stanford (NorPac) – once again, it's our blog; we can hope for the best
Massachusetts (A10) over Kent State (MAC)

So, we now have eight teams in the tournament and need eight more. We will add the next best eight teams from the RPI. They, in order, are Wake Forest, Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina, Penn State, Michigan State, Virginia and Louisville. You’ll notice that it’s the same 16 teams this week as it was last week.

We now have a field of 16 teams and we will seed them from 1-16 by RPI and pair the 1 and 16 seeds, 2-15, 3-14 and so on. There current RPI ranking in parenthesis). This gives us the following bracket. We will add sites in the next round.

Regional 1
No. 1 Maryland (ACC) vs. No. 16 Albany (A-East)
No. 8 Duke vs. No. 9 North Carolina

Regional 2
No. 2 Syracuse (Big East) vs. No. 15 Massachusetts (PI)
No. 7 Connecticut vs. No. 10 Penn State

Regional 3
No. 3 Wake Forest vs. No. 4 James Madison (CAA)
No. 6 Iowa (Big 10) vs. No. 11 Michigan State

Regional 4
No. 4 James Madison vs. No. 13 Louisville
No. 5 Princeton vs. No. 12 Virginia

This gives us a perfect bracket in terms of ranking, but we must remember that the NCAA also takes region and travel into account when placing teams in regionals and the NCAA wants to avoid league matchups in the first round wherever possible. This gives up problems in the first and third regional. At the same time, we do not want to ruin the bands of seeding. For example, the top four teams must be 1 seeds. It is not fair to move them down to a 2 seed for travel purposes. Likewise it is not fair to take a bottom-four ranked team and make them a 3 seed in a region.

For travel purposes and to avoid two league teams playing in the first round, we will adjust the bracket as follows and insert sites. Just a note regarding sites, only the NCAA knows what schools have submitted bids to host. These are just our best guesses based on those who deserve to host and region.

Regional 1 (at Maryland)
No. 1 Maryland vs. No. 15 Massachusetts
No. 7 Connecticut vs. No. 10 Penn State

Regional 2 (at Syracuse)
No. 2 Syracuse vs. No. 16 Albany
No. 5 Princeton vs. No. 11 Michigan State

Regional 3 (at Wake)
No. 3 Wake Forest vs. No. 14 American
No. 8 Duke vs. No. 13 Louisville

Regional 4 (at JMU)
No. 4 James Madison vs. No. 12 Virginia
No. 6 Iowa vs. No. 9 North Carolina

So that's our bracket. It's not perfect, but what is? Don’t forget there are three play-in games on Tuesday, including one at Class of ’52 Stadium between Princeton and Stanford at 1 p.m. We hope to see you there, and we will see the bracket when it is announced on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on

1 comment:

Alli said...

well done, I think your bracket looks great. Maybe someone should send it over to the NCAA, they usually have trouble creating a bracket that makes any sense. good luck to everyone this week and weekend!