Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The NorPac?

For those of you playing close attention to the field hockey team, you may have noticed that by clinching the Ivy League Championship, the Tigers have also secured a spot in an NCAA Tournament Play-In game against the champion of the NorPac Conference next Tuesday. The winner of that game will advance to the NCAA Tournament five days later.

So, what’s the NorPac? Well good question. The Nor stands for Northern and the Pac for Pacific. The seven-team league is comprised of three schools from California (California, Pacific, Stanford), two from Virginia (Longwood, Radford) and two from North Carolina (Appalachian State, Davidson). An eighth team, UC Davis, will join the NorPac next season.

Each team plays six league games, one against each team and California was the regular season champion at 5-1. Stanford and Pacific were each 4-2, with Radford and Longwood at 3-3. Davidson and Appalachian State were both 1-5. At No. 16, California is the only NorPac team appearing in the polls and it has an RPI that ranks 24th. By comparison, Princeton is eighth in the RPI.

While California did win the regular season, the right to the Play-In game will belong to the champion of the conference tournament, which will be played Thursday through Saturday at Longwood in Farmville, Va. The Championship game will be played on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Click here to keep an eye on what’s going on in Farmville.


Anonymous said...

If Princeton is ranked 8th in the RPI, why is the Ivy League's NCAA tournament representative being relegated to the Play-In Game? I don't know how many schools are in the main field of the tournament but I assume that it's not less than 8.

Was the Ivy League designated for the Play-In Game before the tournament participants were even known?

Princeton OAC said...

The decisions are made prior to the season begins based on conference RPIs from the previous season. In this case, the conference champions from the five best conference RPIs from last season (ACC, Big East, Big 10, America East and CAA in no particluar order) receive automatic bids, while the six remaining conference champions are placed in the three play-in games. The three games are being hosted by the Ivy, Patriot and A-10 champions, which means that their conference rankings from last season ranked sixth, seventh and eighth.

There are 16 teams in the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament.