Coyne's Division II Projected Bracket
After posting a 16-1 season with just one overtime loss to Dowling, C.W. Post will get a chance to go for three straight championships. The rest of the MD2 field looks relatively obvious, as well.
If there is one consolation during the craziness of Selection Sunday, it is the projection of the NCAA Division II field. The bracket consists of four teams from three regions, and that's it. Admittedly, this exercise was a tad easier two days ago than it is today.
Let's establish the relatively easy stuff first. First, Limestone will be the representative from the South region. The Saints ran the table in their region, beating all of the top teams from both Conference Carolinas and the Deep South Conference. Second, C.W. Post will be the Central region's qualifier. The Pioneers only have the one overtime loss to Dowling, and that's it.
Mercyhurst's stunning loss to Chestnut Hill early in the season had the Lakers reeling, but they rallied nicely, winning the key contest with Dowling on April 2. That is what will ultimately get Chris Ryan's team into the tourney as the Wild Card. The win over Limestone – the Saints only loss of the season – and the one-goal loss to Post tells us that Mercyhurst is going to be tough out.
The format of MD2 mandates that that the Wild Card square off with the qualifier from their regions. This means that the Lakers are heading back to the Island to face C.W. Post in one of the national semifinals.
So who is coming out of the North region? It sure would have been easy if the Northeast-10's top seed, Le Moyne, had won the tournament, but, alas, the Dolphins lost in the semifinals to Merrimack. The Warriors aren't in the mix, but Adelphi, which ended up winning the conference title on Sunday, certainly is. With a record of 15-2, the Panthers can't be ignored.
I think, however, that Le Moyne's loss in the semifinals could actually benefit them because they deprived Adelphi the opportunity to make up for the 9-8 loss to the Dolphins on April 20. With the head-to-head win trumping the conference title (which is worthless in Division II), I see Le Moyne getting the nod. They'll be on the road, hower, and Gaffney S.C., is their destination.
Here's what I've got for the national semifinal match-ups.
The official release for the NCAA Division II men's bracket will take place at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Check back with LaxMagazine.com for the announcement, as well as a bracket breakdown.