The Division II postseason landscape is expanding for 2013, easing the win-or-die nature of the regular season and encouraging more of the rapid growth that D-II has seen in recent years.
In 2013, eight teams will make the postseason, up from four. The selection will be split into two regions — North and South — with four teams from each region making the playoffs. North and South will be split into separate brackets and seeded within their region. The winner of each bracket will face each other in the national championship game, meaning it will always be a North vs. South championship. Next year's title game is in Philadelphia.
Also new for 2013, Rating Percentage Index will be a part of the selection process, giving the overall selection a more similar feel to Division I and hopefully providing a more complete picture of a team's season.
Previously, four teams made the NCAA tournament: the winner of each region (North, Central and South) with one at-large bid from any region. The region with two teams would play each other in the semis, with the other teams meeting in the other bracket. There was discussion of D-II postseason games being held at the site of the Division I quarterfinals, but that discussion fizzled during the process.
In the South, home to much of the game's recent growth at the D-II level, the tournament expansion means more opportunity for rising programs to grow. In the North, there will still be a battle to get into the postseason (and likely a few unhappy teams after the selection show), and conference play in the tough East Coast Conference and Northeast-10 Conference will be extremely important.
The new model will thus give an additional bid to a Northern team that might not have made the tournament in the past 10 years, but it will more so open up bids to teams in the South that were overshadowed by the recent dominance of Limestone, which has had the South's bid every year since 2001.
In the past five years, Division II growth has skyrocketed. In 2007-08, D-II had only 34 teams, but it will sponsor 50 in the upcoming season. There's more on the horizon: The South Atlantic Athletic Conference is slated to sponsor lacrosse for 2014, and the Sunshine State Conference in Florida (composed of teams currently in the Deep South) is meeting in November with adding men's lacrosse on the agenda.
Bayhawks owner to be honored by JDRF
Chesapeake Bayhawks owner Brendan Kelly will be the honoree when the Maryland chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation holds its Night of Hope Gala on Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore.
More than 450 guests, including many of Maryland's elite philanthropists and businesspeople, will gather for cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions, and live entertainment starting at 6 p.m. For more information, call 410-636-8080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun