Morning Jac: Mock MCLA-II Tourney Seeds
The good news is the Junior Circuit should be very exciting – probably more exciting than D-I ranks. The bad news it is going to be a nightmare to seed. At least at this point with as many moving parts as there are.
It's been a couple of weeks since I've taken a crack at the MCLA Division II tournament field with a mock seeding, so let's give it a roll. I've tried to erase any of my preconceived notions about teams and look as objectively at the field as possible before seeding it. It wasn't easy.
Here's what I have so far:
1. Grand Valley State – If you crunch the numbers, GVSU could take a loss along the way and still be tough to keep out of the top spot. Alas, it's difficult finding a loss on the remaining schedule.
2. St. Thomas – The Tommies will be tested by St. John's two more times, and North Dakota State will keep UST's attention for a half, but the champs appear settled in at No. 2.
3. Davenport – The inconsistency of the Panthers makes them very hard to slot. Just look at last weekend with a win over St. John's and a loss to North Dakato State. The Panthers have played just about everybody out there, however, and I think the committee will give them the benefit of the doubt because of it. I could see them anywhere as low as No. 6, as well.
4. St. John's – You figure the Johnnies are going to lose twice St. Thomas in the upcoming weeks, which won't hurt them too badly. So if St. John's can take care of North Dakota State, they should sit down at No. 4.
5. Western Oregon – They Wolves are the best team in the West with wins over quality teams, and that still stands for something. Depending what happens above them, WOU could bump up a spot.
6. Briarcliffe – Are the Bulldogs a good team. Absolutely. Have they proven they deserve anything higher than No. 6. Absolutely not. Briarcliffe has one quality game on its schedule and the Dawgs won it, but the expectations for a higher seed include a tougher schedule.
7. Dayton – This spot actually surprised me a little bit, but the Flyers best win is over Elon, or maybe Missouri Baptist. If they lose to Grand Valley State this weekend, there's little potential for them to move too much higher.
8. SCAD – I have the Bees winning the SELC, beating out Elon and Kennesaw Valley.
9. Westminster – The schedule is there, but none of the wins. While the Griffins won't have to sweat a berth like they did last year and work out of the No. 10 spot, they won't have a premium seed, either. Westminny fits here because I have them winning the RMLC over Utah Valley.
10. North Dakota State – The impressive Pacific Northwest swing plus last weekend's sweep has shown that the Bison are a serious bunch with talent to spare.
11. Utah Valley – The schedule is weak -- on par with Briarcliffe's -- with the only difference being the Wolverines lost their only marquee match-up (Western Oregon). If a lot of other teams had this schedule, including a predicted loss to Westminster, they wouldn't be in contention, but you know UVU is going to get the runner-up discount.
12. Elon – The Phoenix appear here on the assumption they advance to the conference championship game and lose to SCAD. I'm not sure how the SELC tourney works, or if that's even possible, but that's what I'm basing this on.
13. Kennesaw State – The final at-large selection is going to be extremely difficult to sort out. I've tentatively put the Owls in here, but Hope, Fullerton and St. Mary's all have a chance of snatching this last spot. KSU gets the nod just because it has the best shot at locking down a bid with a win over SCAD on Saturday. I'm not married to this pick at all.
14. Concordia – We've been operating under the assumption that Cal State Fullerton was the team to beat in the SLC -- and they still could be -- but the Eagles grab this placeholder via their win over the Titans last week.
15. Missouri State – The Bears are the placeholders for this spot by virtue of getting it last year, but Missouri Baptist will be here if they win the GRLC.
16. Sam Houston State – Talent-wise, Sam Houston State is probably better than (at least) three other teams on the list, but you've got to make the effort. For reasons of their own doing, and others, the Bearkats were forced to mail it in. That's the ticket to a 16th-seed.
Best & Worst
Best thing about today: I've got a pair of stories I'm looking forward to writing, one on Salisbury attackman Tony Mendes and the other on Limestone's Riley Leowen & Shayne Jackson.
Worst thing about today: Heading back to Boston in mid-June, necessitating another plane ticket. Those suckers ain't cheap.