The Reverb: Cheat Day
(Photo by Jodi Vosika)
by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – Family flew in from Boston. Third son’s first communion.
Time is short. Cheat column.
My projected brackets as of March 20:
RESULTS: FRIDAY | SATURDAY | SUNDAY
Extrapolating out the season obviously shifts rankings that don’t seem logical at this point. Yes, I did factor in Concordia’s loss to ASU yesterday, but if the Eagles grab the conference AQ (as I project now), they will have run a pretty strong gamut.
The pendulum will be swinging between the SLC and SELC for the remainder of the season in terms of who is getting the bulk of the at-large bids. I’ve got it slightly in favor of the SELC now, but that could change. The four one-bid leagues are still a complete toss-up in terms of the AQ, which will be fun to follow.
No. 16 Boise State (PNCLL AQ) vs. No. 1 Georgia Tech (SELC AQ)
No. 15 Minnesota (UMLC AQ) vs. No. 2 Virginia Tech (ALC AQ)
No. 14 Southern Methodist (LSA AQ) vs. No. 3 Liberty (ALC AL)
No. 13 UC Santa Barbara (WCLL AQ) vs. No. 4 Concordia (SLC AQ)
No. 12 San Diego State (SLC AL) vs. No. 5 Utah Valley (RMLC AQ)
No. 11 Florida State (SELC AL) vs. No. 6 Boston College (CLC AQ)
No. 10 Northeastern (CLC AL) vs. No. 7 Brigham Young (RMLC AL)
No. 9 Georgia (SELC AL) vs. No. 8 Chapman (SLC AL)
The last at-large is a complete coin flip at this point. I put the Johnnies in there, but there are five or six other teams who could come up with the juice to fill that spot.
Both Montana and St. Thomas have the potential to push URI off the top spot with their strength of schedule, but will ride with the Rams for now.
No. 16 UC Davis (WCLL AQ) vs. No. 1 Rhode Island (CLC AQ)
No. 15 St. John’s (UMLC AL) vs. No. 2 Montana (PNCLL AQ)
No. 14 Wake Forest (ALC AL) vs. No. 3 St. Thomas (UMLC AQ)
No. 13 Florida Gulf Coast (SELC AL) vs. No. 4 Montana State (RMLC AQ)
No. 12 Dayton (UMLC AL) vs. No. 5 Kennesaw State (SELC AQ)
No. 11 UC San Diego (SLC AL) vs. No. 6 UNC-Charlotte (ALC AQ)
No. 10 Missouri State (LSA AQ) vs. No. 7 Utah State (RMLC AL)
No. 9 Cal State San Marcos (SLC AQ) vs. No. 8 Grand Valley State (UMLC AL)
(AQ = automatic qualifier; AL = at-large)
Tigers tallying up the “W” column for the 7th time this year #Family #GasPedalDown pic.twitter.com/ocQpS0IPPu
— Mizzou Men’s Lacrosse (@MizClubMLax) March 20, 2023
MY TOP FIVES
1. Liberty (7-1) – Ranked, one-goal wins two time zones away are big money.
2. Florida (8-1) – The Gators get a favor from UGA this week, climbing the ladder.
3. Georgia (8-1) – There’s no denying the Dawgs are legit. GT is the benchmark.
4. Georgia Tech (9-1) – Slow clap for the D-II win. Now it gets real.
5. San Diego State (6-0) – So much on the line for this team in the next month.
1. Rhode Island (6-1) – We’ll see if the Rams can hold on through the CLC lull.
2. Montana State (5-1) – Utah State is probably the last hurdle.
3. Montana (9-1) – If the Griz clean up the rest of the week, they might be No. 1.
4. Cal State San Marcos (5-1) – The Cougars are bulldozing teams. Are the Griz next?
5. Florida Gulf Coast (4-0) – The last undefeated team in D-II Top 25 gets the nod.
PEEK AT NEXT WEEK
The week starts early with a monster game in SoCal as Montana continues its spring break against San Marcos on Tuesday. This is a really important contest.
After spending the first four games on the road, Grand Valley State gets some home cooking and a couple of dates in Allendale as Dayton and NDSU come calling. Bridgewater State heads to the Queen City for a dance with Charlotte and FGCU.
The trophy game between Stanford and Cal has lost a little shine, but it will always be of note.
Utah and Oregon head to desert in hopes of burnishing their at-large credentials.
SLIDES & RIDES
- The finish to the SLC is going to be amazing. So many crucial conference games left to determine which four teams make it to the league tournament. While missing out on the conference playoffs isn’t necessarily a nationals death sentence, it’s a huge obstacle to overcome.
Arizona State beating Concordia was the latest example of what can happen on any given Sunday, but there is a whole month of this remaining. Can’t wait.
- As I wrote in the Weekend Watch, it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk for top-ranked Virginia Tech in the Palmetto State. Cornered animals are the most dangerous, and the Hokies found that out on Sunday when South Carolina snapped its seven-game losing streak with a 14-10 triumph.
Virginia Tech is still in fine shape, and remains the favorite in the ALC. The Gamecocks win, however, makes everyone in the SELC a little nervous. Carolina probably needs to win the conference AQ – wins over Bama and Vandy next weekend get them in the SELC playoffs – but if they figured some things out against the Hokies, look out.
- Big win for Montana against UCSD on Sunday. The Grizzlies sturdy defense and balanced offense make for a brutal combo…nice business trip to the Sunshine State for Duluth. Lost a heartbreaker to FGCU before handling FAU and Miami…curious to see how Florida State handles its first setback. The last three games are not easy.