The biggest change to the 2014 NCAA Tournament is the addition of two play in games. These games will feature the four lowest ranked automatic qualifiers (AQs) as determined by Nike Lebron 11 Colorways RPI.
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The 2014 season will mark the first time in which 18 teams make the NCAA Tournament. Of these 18 teams, 10 of them will be selected through conference tournaments.
Check back weekly between now and Selection Sunday for multiple updates (there were six last season).
(Inside Lacrosse Photo: Rich Barnes)
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First Look April 3
In addition, the remaining eight teams will be at large bids, picked by the NCAA DI MLAX Championship Committee based on several criteria, including RPI, SOS, win loss record vs. RPI Top 5, win loss record vs. RPI Top 20, and losses to opponents outside of the Top 20.
For these games, the lowest ranked AQ will face the fourth lowest, while the second lowest will face the third lowest. The winner of the "one vs. four" matchup will advance to play the No. 2 seed in the first round of the tournament, while the winner of the other play in game will face the No. 1 seed.
this point. Denver gets the nod at the moment for their RPI and presumed conference championship vs. Carolina's two additional quality wins. Carolina's schedule ramps up while Denver's loses steam. Yale, with wins over No. 21 Bryant and No. 22 St. John's, could potentially benefit the most from gaining two quality wins. Princeton looks like the first team out, at the moment. ">Brian Coughlin lends his expertise to the bracket analysis by providing the structure of the DI NCAA Tournament this season, with his RPI calculations based on the NCAA's formula and his take on the bracket.
Here's IL's debut Bracketology of 2014. There are a lot of Top 5 wins on the board for this point in the season because Syracuse, Penn and Duke have combined for eight losses. However, that doesn't wreak major havoc on the bracket because there aren't many top five upsets further down the RPI charts. Like in years past, the major hinge points are top five and top 20 flections. However, in years past the distinction between top 10 and top 20 wins seems to have diminished, so that delineation has been removed from the at large resumes. As a result of that, keep an eye on Nos. 14 21 Notre Dame's and Bryant's RPI is separated by 19 thousands of a point, so as their schedules ramp up or down moving forward, there's potential for movement across that threshold. Cornell's resume is very strong and has significant potential to get stronger. Loyola's, on the other hand, will struggle to maintain its current status. Maryland, Virignia and Duke's resumes are in a three team tier with the Terps getting the edge thanks to head to head results. Syracuse and Penn are in a next tier, and the Orange clearly have a slim edge in each category. Denver and North Carolina are in the next tier, with one likely getting a home game at Nike Metcon 2 Blue Yellow
How is the Bracket Determined?
After the first eight seeds are selected, the remaining teams are assigned matchups based on geographical locations. These first round matchups are played at the seeded team's campus location.
The four lowest ranked teams of these 10 AQs will play two play in games that will be featured at campus sites on May 7.
Up Next: IL's Unofficial RPI
Terry Foy provides his at large resumes, thoughts on the RPI and what it means for likely future changes to the tournament field and his take on the bracket, as well.
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