November 6, 2011

At-large berth analysis and predictions

By Christan Shirk

PART I

The last of the conference tournaments wrapped up today and 41 of the 61 berths in the NCAA men's tournament have been claimed via automatic qualification (AQ).  That leaves 20 at-large berths for the men's committee to award by selecting one team from Pool B and 19 from Pool A.  (For a full explanation of the Pool B and Pool C classifications and the allocation of berths see the column So what's this talk about AQ's, Pool B and Pool C?.)  So who's in the running for the 19 Pool C and 1 Pool B at-large berths? Who will be dancing and who's season has come to a close?

Selection Criteria

Well, first let's quickly review the criteria the committee uses to evaluate teams and make the at-large selections.  The selection criteria are found in Section 2.4 of the Pre-Championship Manual (pgs. 24-25) and is divided between primary criteria which only consider regional competition and secondary criteria that introduce out-of-region and non-Division III competition, the later only being considered if the former does not enable a distinction to be made between schools.

Primary Criteria (not listed in priority order)

  • Win-loss percentage against regional opponents
  • Strength-of-schedule (only contests versus regional competition)
  • In-region head-to-head competition
  • In-region results versus common regional opponents
  • In-region results versus regionally ranked teams

Beyond the selection criteria, note the following principles concerning at-large selections.  

  • Teams are selected on a national basis, using in-region selection criteria.
  • There will be be no predetermined regional allocations for Pools B and C.
  • There will be no maximum or minimum number of berths from one region.

Background: Observations from the Past

I will use the third and final NCAA weekly regional rankings as the starting point to evaluate the Pool B and Pool C landscape.  The reason for this is that these rankings are done by the same national and regional committees which will make the at-large selections and are done by applying the same criteria which is used for making the at-large selections.  Therefore, by design, the NCAA regional rankings are a direct foreshadowing of the at-large selections providing a certain level of transparency to the at-large selection process.  It is for this reason that these rankings are so important and insightful.

Furthermore, a comparison of the at-large selections and regional rankings over the past several years yields the following observations.  

  • In the past four years (2007-08-09-10) no team that was unranked in the third weekly regional rankings (those released the Wednesday before the selections) got selected.
  • There have usually been more than twice as many Pool C candidates in the rankings as available Pool C berths.  Last year for example, there were 40 Pool C teams in the final rankings and 17 Pool C at-large berths
  • Regions generally have 2 to 4 ranked teams not selected, maybe more or less for the weakest and strongest regions.
  • Within a region, rarely does a lower ranked team in the third rankings get selected ahead of a higher ranked team.  For example, in 2009, no Pool C candidate that was not selected had been above one who was selected in the third rankings.
  • Most of the at-large selections come from the top half of each region's rankings.
  • There has been no indication that that conference tournament results aren't weighted extra for being most recent and/or for being conference tournament results, and they shouldn't as the primary and secondary selection criteria makes no such allowance.  

This leads to the following conclusions:  

  • A team that is not ranked in the third and final regional rankings has virtually no shot at a Pool C berth.
  • Many ranked teams will not be participating in the tournament.  It isn't good enough to simply be ranked to gain an at-large berth.
  • In fact, a team usually needs to be in the top half of their regional rankings to be selected for an at-large berth.
  • Do not expect big jumps or falls due to the final week's results (mostly conference tournaments), which makes sense as one week only represents about 10% of the total schedule and conference tournament results are not weighted extra.

This Year's At-Large Berths Harder to Predict?

However, all that said, I do think this year might be less predictable than in recent years.  I think the "bubble" is much bigger than usual, or, in other words, I think there is much less separating the ranked teams (and those just missing out) than we usually see.  Typically you can safely predict about two-thirds of the committee's Pool C selections based on their rankings and the final week's results.  However, I think this year only about half the Pool C selections can be safely predicted.  But that is just my personally sense of the situation that has developed this year.  

If my sense is correct, this year we may have more selections that are counter to the observations and conclusions from the past several years.  I expect to see more cases than usual of a team being selected over another team that had been ranked higher in the region a week ago.  And while unlikely, we may see a unranked team last week get selected for the first time since 2006. 

PART II

Using the Regional Rankings as a Guide

Well, that was quite the introduction.  Let's finally take a look at the third week of the NCAA regional rankings to see where things stand.  I have taken the rankings and color-coded the teams according to their Pool:  Pool A (AQ), Pool B, and Pool C.  A couple of notes to properly understand the data in the table.  The Strength-of-Schedule (SOS) value is from last week's rankings and I will not be trying to update it for this past week's results.  However, I have updated the other information (overall record, in-region record, record versus ranked teams).  I list a team's ranking in each of the three weekly releases with the order based on the third ranking.  I have included any teams ranked in any of the three weekly rankings as these are the teams to be included in the "record versus ranked teams."

Classification of teams: AQ (Pool A)   Pool B   Pool C
NEW ENGLAND REGION 11/2 in-region data sheet (for results thru 10/30)
Rank School
(with overall record)
In-Region Past Week's Results
(only in-region games listed)
1st 2nd 3rd  Record    SOS   vs.Rnk'd
1 1 1 Amherst (14-1-2) 14-1-2 0.584 5-0-2 W2-1 vs. Middlebury, W2-0 Trinity (CT)
2 3 2 Babson (15-2-3) 15-1-3 0.569 4-1-1 W2-1 MIT, T1-1 Springfield
3 2 3 Wesleyan (10-2-3) 10-2-3 0.588 3-2-3 DNP
5 4 4 Western New Eng. (18-3-1) 18-3-1 0.546 3-2-0 W2-1 Roger Williams, W1-0 Nichols
8 6 5 Williams (9-4-3) 9-4-3 0.615 1-4-3 L0-1 Trinity (Conn.)
10 9 6 Trinity (Conn.) (10-5-2) 10-5-2 0.585 4-3-1 W1-0 Williams, L0-2 Amherst
10 7 Middlebury (8-4-4) 8-4-4 0.581 1-3-3 L1-2 Amherst
9 7 8 Brandeis (12-5-1) 12-5-1 0.578 1-3-1 W2-0 NYU
4 5 9 Tufts (9-4-2) 9-4-2 0.573 2-3-1 DNP
6 8 10 Roger Williams (11-4-5) 11-4-5 0.545 1-2-0 L1-2 WNEC
7 11 11 Springfield (10-4-4) 10-4-4 0.539 1-2-2 W2-1 Wheaton (Mass.), T1-1 Babson
EAST REGION 11/2 in-region data sheet (for results thru 10/30)
Rank School
(with overall record)
In-Region Past Week's Results
(only in-region games listed)
1st 2nd 3rd  Record    SOS   vs.Rnk'd
1 1 1 St. Lawrence (16-0-1) 14-0-1 0.592 6-0-1 T0-0 Vassar
3 3 2 Hobart (16-3-0) 14-3-0 0.562 5-2-0 L0-2 Rochester Tech
2 2 3 Stevens (16-2-0) 15-2-0 0.579 4-1-0 W2-1 Ithaca, W2-1 Elmira
6 4 4 Brockport State (12-4-1) 12-3-1 0.569 2-3-0 W2-0 Geneseo St., L0-1 Oneonta St.
4 6 5 Rochester (9-5-2) 8-5-1 0.600 2-3-1 L0-1 Case Western
5 5 6 Oneonta State (14-2-2) 14-2-1 0.534 2-1-0 W4-2 Plattsburgh St., W1-0 Brockport St.
7 Nazareth (10-6-3) 9-6-1 0.578 2-4-0 T2-2 Elmira
7 7 8 Rochester Tech (11-7-2) 10-7-2 0.553 4-6-0 W1-0 Hobart, L2-3 Vassar
9 9 Vassar (11-5-3) 11-4-2 0.546 2-4-1 T0-0 St. Lawrence, W3-2 Rochester Tech
8 8 Union (11-5-1) 10-5-1 0.535 2-4-0 DNP
9 Utica (11-7-0) 10-7-0 0.528 1-3-0 DNP
MID-ATLANTIC REGION 11/2 in-region data sheet (for results thru 10/30)
Rank School
(with overall record)
In-Region Past Week's Results
(only in-region games listed)
1st 2nd 3rd  Record    SOS   vs.Rnk'd
1 1 1 Messiah (18-0-1) 17-0-0 0.585 5-0-0 W2-0 & W-3-0 Elizabethtown, W4-1 Alvernia
2 2 2 DeSales (14-4-2) 13-4-1 0.546 3-2-0 T0-0 FDU-Florham, L0-3 Eastern
4 3 3 Manhattanville (15-3-1) 14-3-1 0.541 3-3-1 T1-1 Misericordia
3 4 4 Swarthmore (11-6-0) 11-6-0 0.542 3-3-0 L1-2 Haverford
5 Johns Hopkins (10-5-3) 10-5-3 0.537 2-2-0 L1-2 Haverford
5 6 Catholic (14-4-1) 14-4-1 0.523 0-3-0 W3-1 Susquehanna, L0-1 Merchant Marine
7 Dickinson (10-4-5) 10-4-5 0.530 4-1-1 W2-0 Muhlenberg, T1-1 Haverford
6 5 Alvernia (15-4-1) 14-4-1 0.518 0-4-0 W1-0 Arcadia, W2-1(ot) Leb. Valley, L1-4 Messiah
7 7 Misericordia (13-2-4) 13-2-4 0.506 0-2-2 T1-1 Manhattanville, W1-0 Eastern
6 Muhlenberg (10-6-1) 10-6-1 0.540 1-5-0 W3-1 Ursinus, L0-2 Dickinson
SOUTH ATLANTIC REGION 11/2 in-region data sheet (for results thru 10/30)
Rank School
(with overall record)
In-Region Past Week's Results
(only in-region games listed)
1st 2nd 3rd  Record    SOS   vs.Rnk'd
1 1 1 Chris. Newport (17-0-1) 16-0-0 0.538 2-0-0 W4-2 Averett, W1-0 N.C. Wesleyan
2 2 2 Rutgers-Camden (16-2-2) 16-2-2 0.562 4-1-0 W1-0 Rowan, W1-0 Montclair St.
5 3 3 Montclair State (15-3-3) 14-2-3 0.533 3-2-0 W2-0 Wm. Paterson, L0-1 Rutgers-Camden
4 4 4 Oglethorpe (17-3-0) 17-3-0 0.504 2-0-0 W2-0 Southwestern, W1-0 Centre
6 7 5 William Paterson (13-4-3) 13-4-3 0.538 0-3-0 W2-1 Rutgers-Newark, L0-2 Montclair St.
7 6 6 Salisbury (13-3-3) 12-3-3 0.531 1-1-0 W3-0 Frostburg St., L0-1 York (Pa.)
3 5 7 Roanoke (12-6-1) 12-5-1 0.530 0-0-0 DNP
GREAT LAKES REGION 11/2 in-region data sheet (for results thru 10/30)
Rank School
(with overall record)
In-Region Past Week's Results
(only in-region games listed)
1st 2nd 3rd  Record    SOS   vs.Rnk'd
1 1 1 Ohio Wesleyan (18-2-0) 16-1-0 0.574 5-1-0 W4-1 Allegheny, L2-4 DePauw
2 2 2 Ohio Northern (18-2-2) 17-2-2 0.538 2-1-0 W6-0 Mount Union, W5-0 John Carroll
3 3 3 Baldwin-Wallace (16-5-0) 16-4-0 0.510 3-1-0 W4-1 Capital, L0-2 John Carroll
6 5 4 Case Western (14-4-0) 14-4-0 0.552 3-2-0 W1-0 Rochester
4 4 5 DePauw (16-2-1) 16-2-0 0.507 2-2-0 W2-1 Hiram, W4-2 Ohio Wesleyan
7 6 6 Allegheny (11-7-1) 11-7-1 0.575 1-4-0 L1-4 Ohio Wesleyan
7 7 Centre (13-6-2) 12-6-2 0.533 1-5-1 W2-1 Birmingham-Southern, W1-0(ot)Trinity (Tx.), L0-1 Oglethorpe
5 Thomas More (16-1-1) 15-1-1 0.471 0-1-1 W3-1 Bethany, W3-2(ot) Geneva
CENTRAL REGION 11/2 in-region data sheet (for results thru 10/30)
Rank School
(with overall record)
In-Region Past Week's Results
(only in-region games listed)
1st 2nd 3rd  Record    SOS   vs.Rnk'd
3 3 1 Dominican (18-2-0) 18-2-0 0.550 3-2-0 W4-0 Aurora, W4-0 Milwaukee Engr.
1 1 2 Washington U. (14-3-1) 13-3-1 0.602 1-3-1 W2-0 Chicago
2 2 3 North Park (11-3-3) 10-3-3 0.569 2-0-0 W2-1 Wheaton (Ill.), L2-3(ot) Carthage
4 4 4 Calvin (15-5-1) 13-4-1 0.564 3-2-0 W4-0 Alma, L0-1 Olivet
6 5 5 Hope (15-4-3) 14-4-3 0.547 2-3-1 W2-0 Albion, W2-0 Trine, W4-1 Olivet
5 6 6 Trine (13-5-2) 13-5-2 0.535 2-3-1 W2-1 Kalamazoo, L0-2 Hope
NORTH REGION 11/2 in-region data sheet (for results thru 10/30)
Rank School
(with overall record)
In-Region Past Week's Results
(only in-region games listed)
1st 2nd 3rd  Record    SOS   vs.Rnk'd
2 1 1 St. Olaf (16-3-1) 16-3-1 0.557 6-1-0 W2-1 Augsburg, W3-2(2ot) Carleton
1 3 2 Loras (16-2-3) 16-2-2 0.544 4-1-1 W2-0 Central, W1-0 Luther
4 2 3 Luther (15-3-2) 13-3-2 0.530 2-2-1 W2-0 Wartburg, L0-1 Loras
6 6 4 Augsburg (10-5-3) 10-5-3 0.582 1-5-1 L1-2 St. Olaf
5 5 5 Carleton (12-6-2) 12-6-2 0.543 3-3-1 W1-0 Gustavus Adolphus, L2-3(2ot) St. Olaf
6 UW-Whitewater (12-7-0) 12-7-0 0.571 0-3-0 W1-0 UW-Oshkosh
3 4 7 Gust. Adolphus (14-2-3) 13-2-3 0.485 2-2-1 L0-1 Carleton
7 7 St. John's (Minn.) (9-8-0) 9-6-0 0.571 1-3-0 L0-1 Jamestown (NAIA)
WEST REGION 11/2 in-region data sheet (for results thru 10/30)
Rank School
(with overall record)
In-Region Past Week's Results
(only in-region games listed)
1st 2nd 3rd  Record    SOS   vs.Rnk'd
1 1 1 Trinity (Texas) (14-1-2) 14-1-2 0.571 4-1-2 L0-1(ot) Centre
3 2 2 Redlands (18-3-1) 18-2-1 0.527 2-2-1 W3-0 Pomona-Pitzer, T1-1(2ot) Claremont-M-S
5 3 3 Texas-Tyler (15-2-2) 12-2-2 0.512 2-2-1 T1-1 Mary Hardin-Baylor, W3-0 Hardin-Simmons
4 4 4 Texas-Dallas (13-4-2) 13-4-2 0.504 1-2-1 W3-0 LeTourneau, L1-2 Hardin-Simmons
2 5 5 Chapman (11-4-3) 10-2-2 0.555 2-1-0 DNP
6 Hardin-Simmons (11-5-3) 11-4-2 0.509 2-3-1 W2-1 Texas-Dallas, L0-3 Texas-Tyler
6 Mary Hardin-Baylor (11-4-3) 11-3-3 0.482 2-1-1 T1-1 Mississippi, T1-1 Texas-Tyler
6 Claremont-M-S (13-5-2) 13-4-2 0.483 0-2-1 W4-0 Whittier, T1-1 Redlands

 

PART III

The Pool C Candidates

So, counting we find that there are 40 Pool C teams that were ranked in the third regional rankings, just over twice as many as the 19 available berths.  Which 19 of the 40 teams in blue will get selected by the committee?  Who will be left out? 

Let's start by throwing all the ranked Pool C team together in one table.

Rank School
(with overall record)
In-Region Past Week's Results
(only in-region games listed)
1st 2nd 3rd  Record    SOS   vs.Rnk'd
7 6 6 Allegheny (11-7-1) 11-7-1 0.575 1-4-0 L1-4 Ohio Wesleyan
6 5 Alvernia (15-4-1) 14-4-1 0.518 0-4-0 W1-0 Arcadia, W2-1(ot) Leb. Valley, L1-4 Messiah
6 6 4 Augsburg (10-5-3) 10-5-3 0.582 1-5-1 L1-2 St. Olaf
2 3 2 Babson (15-2-3) 15-1-3 0.569 4-1-1 W2-1 MIT, T1-1 Springfield
3 3 3 Baldwin-Wallace (16-5-0) 16-4-0 0.510 3-1-0 W4-1 Capital, L0-2 John Carroll
9 7 8 Brandeis (12-5-1) 12-5-1 0.578 1-3-1 W2-0 NYU
6 4 4 Brockport State (12-4-1) 12-3-1 0.569 2-3-0 W2-0 Geneseo St., L0-1 Oneonta St.
4 4 4 Calvin (15-5-1) 13-4-1 0.564 3-2-0 W4-0 Alma, L0-1 Olivet
5 5 5 Carleton (12-6-2) 12-6-2 0.543 3-3-1 W1-0 Gustavus Adolphus, L2-3(2ot) St. Olaf
5 6 Catholic (14-4-1) 14-4-1 0.523 0-3-0 W3-1 Susquehanna, L0-1 Merchant Marine
7 7 Centre (13-6-2) 12-6-2 0.533 1-5-1 W2-1 Birmingham-Southern, W1-0(ot)Trinity (Tx.), L0-1 Oglethorpe
2 5 5 Chapman (11-4-3) 10-2-2 0.555 2-1-0 DNP
2 2 2 DeSales (14-4-2) 13-4-1 0.546 3-2-0 T0-0 FDU-Florham, L0-3 Eastern
3 4 7 Gust. Adolphus (14-2-3) 13-2-3 0.485 2-2-1 L0-1 Carleton
6 Hardin-Simmons (11-5-3) 11-4-2 0.509 2-3-1 W2-1 Texas-Dallas, L0-3 Texas-Tyler
3 3 2 Hobart (16-3-0) 14-3-0 0.562 5-2-0 L0-2 Rochester Tech
5 Johns Hopkins (10-5-3) 10-5-3 0.537 2-2-0 L1-2 Haverford
4 2 3 Luther (15-3-2) 13-3-2 0.530 2-2-1 W2-0 Wartburg, L0-1 Loras
4 3 3 Manhattanville (15-3-1) 14-3-1 0.541 3-3-1 T1-1 Misericordia
6 Mary Hardin-Baylor (11-4-3) 11-3-3 0.482 2-1-1 T1-1 Mississippi, T1-1 Texas-Tyler
10 7 Middlebury (8-4-4) 8-4-4 0.581 1-3-3 L1-2 Amherst
5 3 3 Montclair State (15-3-3) 14-2-3 0.533 3-2-0 W2-0 Wm. Paterson, L0-1 Rutgers-Camden
6 Muhlenberg (10-6-1) 10-6-1 0.540 1-5-0 W3-1 Ursinus, L0-2 Dickinson
7 Nazareth (10-6-3) 9-6-1 0.578 2-4-0 T2-2 Elmira
2 2 3 North Park (11-3-3) 10-3-3 0.569 2-0-0 W2-1 Wheaton (Ill.), L2-3(ot) Carthage
1 1 1 Ohio Wesleyan (18-2-0) 16-1-0 0.574 5-1-0 W4-1 Allegheny, L2-4 DePauw
3 2 2 Redlands (18-3-1) 18-2-1 0.527 2-2-1 W3-0 Pomona-Pitzer, T1-1(2ot) Claremont-M-S
3 5 7 Roanoke (12-6-1) 12-5-1 0.530 0-0-0 DNP
4 6 5 Rochester (9-5-2) 8-5-1 0.600 2-3-1 L0-1 Case Western
7 7 8 Rochester Tech (11-7-2) 10-7-2 0.553 4-6-0 W1-0 Hobart, L2-3 Vassar
6 8 10 Roger Williams (11-4-5) 11-4-5 0.545 1-2-0 L1-2 WNEC
7 6 6 Salisbury (13-3-3) 12-3-3 0.531 1-1-0 W3-0 Frostburg St., L0-1 York (Pa.)
7 7 St. John's (Minn.) (9-8-0) 9-6-0 0.571 1-3-0 L0-1 Jamestown (NAIA)
1 1 1 St. Lawrence (16-0-1) 14-0-1 0.592 6-0-1 T0-0 Vassar
3 4 4 Swarthmore (11-6-0) 11-6-0 0.542 3-3-0 L1-2 Haverford
4 4 4 Texas-Dallas (13-4-2) 13-4-2 0.504 1-2-1 W3-0 LeTourneau, L1-2 Hardin-Simmons
5 6 6 Trine (13-5-2) 13-5-2 0.535 2-3-1 W2-1 Kalamazoo, L0-2 Hope
10 9 6 Trinity (Conn.) (10-5-2) 10-5-2 0.585 4-3-1 W1-0 Williams, L0-2 Amherst
1 1 1 Trinity (Texas) (14-1-2) 14-1-2 0.571 4-1-2 L0-1(ot) Centre
4 5 9 Tufts (9-4-2) 9-4-2 0.573 2-3-1 DNP
8 8 Union (11-5-1) 10-5-1 0.535 2-4-0 DNP
9 Utica (11-7-0) 10-7-0 0.528 1-3-0 DNP
1 1 2 Washington U. (14-3-1) 13-3-1 0.602 1-3-1 W2-0 Chicago
3 2 3 Wesleyan (10-2-3) 10-2-3 0.588 3-2-3 DNP
6 7 5 William Paterson (13-4-3) 13-4-3 0.538 0-3-0 W2-1 Rutgers-Newark, L0-2 Montclair St.
8 6 5 Williams (9-4-3) 9-4-3 0.615 1-4-3 L0-1 Trinity (Conn.)

 

Pool C Analysis and Predictions

So, out of that group, who are the locks, the good bets, and the "bubble" teams?

POOL C LOCKS I - WITHOUT DISCUSSION (3)

1. St. Lawrence

2. Ohio Wesleyan

3. Trinity (Texas)

POOL C LOCKS II - RUBBER-STAMPING DISCUSSION (8)

4. Babson - Great in-region record and 4-1-1 against ranked teams with high SOS.  No. 2 or 3 all three weeks.  

5. Hobart - 5-2-0 against ranked teams with high SOS so three in-region losses is not a problem at all. 

6. Wesleyan - Fifth highest SOS in the pool and 3-2-3 record against ranked teams.  Despite not finishing strong were still No. 3 in New England last week and did not play this week.

7. Redlands - Great record compensates for SOS on the low end. 2-2-1 vs. ranked teams.  No. 2 in the West the last two weeks.

8. Washington U. - Second highest SOS in the pool with no blemishes to unranked teams, compensates for 1-3-1 record against ranked teams. Was No. 1 or No. 2 every week and won this week.

9. Montclair St. - Only two in-region losses, three wins vs. ranked teams, and last two weeks at No. 3 in the South Atlantic overcomes an SOS on the low side.

10. North Park - Decent SOS, good in-region winning pct. and 2-0-0 record against ranked teams and three weeks in Central top three.

11. Luther - Top three in North region every week with a good winning pct. and two wins against ranked teams. Split two games with Loras and shouldn't have anything to worry about.

IN GOOD SHAPE (2)

12. Trinity (Conn.) - I have to think the NESCAC gets at least three teams in and Trinity moved ahead of Williams this past week with the head-to-head victory and a much better record against ranked teams (4-3-1 vs. 1-4-3).

13. Chapman - I think the dearth of good options in the West helps Chapman who does have a decent SOS and in-region win pct. They also beat Redlands.

RIGHT SIDE OF THE "BUBBLE" (5)

14. Brockport State - Pretty high SOS, good in-region winning pct., no losses to unranked teams and two wins against ranked teams. I would upgrade them to "In Good Shape" if not for a losing record against ranked teams.

15. Calvin - Pretty high SOS and three wins over ranked teams is enough in this field despite four in-region losses.

16. Manhattanville - Neck and neck with conference rival DeSales. Decent SOS with .805 in-region win pct. If only one of them gets in, I think they get the edge as their SOS is helped more in tie to ranked Misericordia than DeSales in loss to Eastern in conference semifinals.

17. Rochester - Very high SOS with two wins against ranked teams likely to convince the committee to excuse the five in-region losses.

18. DeSales - Hard to pick between them and Manhattanville, but maybe you don't have to. Decent in-region win pct., SOS, and wins against ranked teams and three weeks at No. 2 in the Mid-Atlantic probably gets them in despite a disappointing semifinal conference loss.

FINAL BERTH PICK 'EM (1)

19. Baldwin-Wallace - Could get in having been steady at No. 3 in the Great Lakes for three weeks and with 3 wins against ranked teams against just one loss.  They did lose three times to unranked teams, and their considerably low SOS could be what ends their season.

or

19. Carleton - Five MIAC teams were ranked and I think the conference might get a second team in, but it will be very close. Carleton is ahead of Augsburg due to 3 wins versus ranked teams versus just one, despite Augsburg's significantly higher SOS, but their six in-region losses would give many unselected teams grist for complaint.

WRONG SIDE OF THE "BUBBLE"

Williams - 1-4-3 versus ranked teams is not a convincing argument. With the highest SOS around, they could still get in, but 7 in-region blemishes against only one win over a ranked team might be too much to overcome and definitely has them fourth in line out of the NESCAC.  Their resume probably isn't good enough to convince the committee to go four deep in the conference.

Augsburg - 1-5-1 against ranked teams is hard to get past. They played a strong schedule according to their SOS, but didn’t prove they can hang with the good teams (or rather, proved they can't hang with the big boys).  If the MIAC gets a second team, I think Carleton would have the edge (see above).

Nazareth - I include them here because they do have a pretty high SOS, which the committee likes, and picked up two wins against ranked teams. But six in-region losses gives them too low of a winning pct. And why they weren't ranked until last week.

Swarthmore - I wouldn't have thought I'd be mentioning Swarthmore here after their late season nose-dive, but not sure the committee cares too much when the losses occur. They have 3 wins versus ranked teams and a decent SOS, and there's other teams in the discussion, some of which will probably be selected, with as many blemishes if not losses (see Carleton, Williams, Augsburg, Trinity-CT).

Pool B Analysis and Predictions

Coming soon!

 


Comments or feedback for the author?  Email Christan Shirk.

Want to discuss this article with other fans?  Opine here.



CHRISTAN SHIRK

Christan Shirk

 

Christan Shirk is a Messiah College graduate (1993, Civil Engineering) and has been a keen and passionate observer of D-III soccer for over a decade and a half. Never more than a rec-league player himself, Chris brings an analytical approach and nationwide perspective to D3soccer.com. He loves D-III soccer history, statistical number-crunching, and off-the-radar action, all of which he gladly shares with his readers when he's able to find time to write. [see full bio]

Questions or comments?

»  E-mail Christan Shirk
Previous
Nov 8: 2018 Tournament Field Factoids
Nov 4: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Oct 27: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Oct 13: Coming Wednesday: the rankings that matter
Sep 6: Letting go . . . of unfinished business
Sep 3: What's new in 2018
Nov 10: 2017 Tournament Field Factoids
Nov 5: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 3: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Oct 15: Coming Wednesday: the rankings that matter
Nov 12: 2016 Tournament Field Factoids
Nov 6: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Oct 30: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Oct 15: Coming Wednesday: the rankings that matter
Sep 10: Week 1 Flybys
Sep 1: What's new in 2016? - Part 2: Rules Changes
Aug 25: What's new in 2016? - Part 1
Nov 11: 2015 Tournament Field Factoids
Nov 8: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 5: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Oct 15: The rankings that matter are coming next week
Oct 9: 2015 Midseason Flyovers
Oct 4: D3soccer.com Year Nine: State of the Website
Sep 28: Kelsey Graham is named a finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year
Sep 4: D-III soccer represented among Top 30 honorees for NCAA Woman of the Year
Sep 1: Kyle Goodwin, Natalie Caney net season's first goals
Aug 20: What's new for 2015 season?
Jul 23: Division III soccer players get conference nod for NCAA Woman of the Year
Jul 14: Lillie Toaspern pursues pro career with the Chicago Red Stars
Jun 19: Thirty-one Division III soccer players nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year
Apr 30: Alumni game scheduled for Saturday in effort to save Titan soccer
Apr 22: Curtains on UW-Oshkosh men’s soccer?
Nov 20: Getting to know the 2014 men's Sweet 16
Nov 9: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 8: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Oct 15: The rankings that count are coming next week
Aug 27: What's new in 2014? - Part 2: Rules Changes
Aug 22: What's new in 2014? - Part 1
Nov 22: Getting to know the 2013 men's Sweet 16
Nov 10: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 7: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Nov 6: The most important rankings of the year
Oct 23: New criteria debuts in today's NCAA Regional Rankings
Sep 28: Two streaks end while another one continues
Sep 15: Week 3 Flybys, weekend edition
Sep 15: Week 3 Flybys, weekend edition
Aug 29: What's new in 2013?
Nov 14: Welcome to the Sweet 16, Part 2: the Men
Nov 13: Welcome to the Sweet 16, Part 1: the Women
Nov 4: At-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 3: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Oct 1: Dear Men's Top 25 Voters
Sep 22: Week 4 Flybys, weekend edition
Sep 21: Week 4 Flybys, midweek edition
Sep 17: Week 3 Flybys
Sep 4: Labor Day Weekend Flybys
Sep 3: New rules, new conference, name changes
Aug 31: 2012 Preseason Flybys (INCOMPLETE)
Nov 14: Hellooooo Neumann!
Nov 13: A Super Saturday to like and dislike
Nov 6: At-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 4: So what's this talk about AQ's, Pool B and Pool C?
Oct 24: Week 8 Flyby Distractions
Oct 19: NCAA Regional Rankings (aka 'The Rankings that Matter')
Oct 17: Week 7 Flybys, Conference Edition
Oct 14: Midseason stars and surprises
Oct 8: Week 6 Flybys, weekend edition
Oct 6: Week 6 Flybys, midweek edition
Oct 1: Week 5 Flybys, weekend edition
Sep 29: Week 5 Flybys, midweek edition
Sep 26: Did you know?
Sep 19: Who's top dog after 3 weeks?
Sep 10: Friday Notes, Weekend Questions
Sep 2: Off with a bang!
Sep 1: Preseason perspectives
Sep 1: After 17 years, trailblazer calls it a day