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The good folks over at Lax Power took the RPI, the SOS and the vs. RPI data, assigned a value to each based on importance to the committee's process and have essentially done the job for them. Here's the result in a poll format:

1 Duke

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2 Virginia

3 Syracuse

4 North Carolina

5 Notre Dame

6 Cornell

7 Johns Hopkins

8 Ohio State

9 Colgate

10 Maryland

11 Denver

12 UMBC

13 Hofstra

14 Navy

15 Drexel

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16 Brown

17 Army

18 Bucknell

19 Princeton

20 Georgetown

21 Loyola

22 Albany

The first 8 seeds will look very much like the first eight in the poll:

1 Duke

2 Virginia

3 Syracuse

4 North Carolina

5 Notre Dame

6 Cornell

7 Johns Hopkins

8 Ohio State

But then we have to insert the automatic qualifiers before we figure the rest. Some of the automatic bids go to teams that have already been seeded like Notre Dame and Cornell. Here are the rest of the 16 teams that would be next but for the remaining automatic bids to be awarded. The RPI ranks Hofstra and Colgate in the top 16 so their huge upset conference wins do not burst any bubbles. This makes it easier for the committee.

9 Colgate

10 Maryland

11 Denver

12 UMBC

13 Hofstra

14 Navy

15 Drexel

16 Brown

AND

21 Loyola

36 Canisius

So, with Colgate, Hofstra and UMBC in this next 9-16 group anyway, they don't bump deserving teams. Only Loyola and Canisius, ranked 21 and 36 according to the NCAA criteria, will take the place of teams in this group. But who will be voted off the island? And is there room for others like Army, Bucknell, Georgetown or even Princeton to sneak their way into this process? I think, using their criteria, that these four teams have played their last games of the season. I think they are joined on the sidelines by Drexel and either Navy or Denver.

In my opinion, Brown should beat out Navy, Drexel and Denver for inclusion. The hard decision for me would be choosing between Drexel, Navy and Denver for the last spot once Brown is welcomed in for the great team it is. Brown has not lost since the beginning of the season. Like UMBC, the RPI ranking for Brown is as bogus as a ranking could be. It accounts for no team improvement, and these are two of the hottest teams in the nation. If team improvement is not important, then why have coaches at all? Good teams get better. Any system where the first game of the season is as valuable as the last is ridiculous. If Brown is left out, the system is broken. The other three are fair game. They each had their chances to lock up a postseason berth.

So the last eight teams in will be (in no order):

Colgate

Maryland

UMBC

Hofstra

Loyola

Canisius

Brown

Navy, Denver, or Drexel

Remember the placement of the teams is based on criteria other than fairness, like travel (budget) constraints, so we won't be able to tell you where these final eight teams will play their first games. We'll have to wait for the committee's announcement tonight. This should have been a relatively easy year for the committee based on the criteria. They could have finished their work early as today's game between Ohio State and Notre Dame and should not have changed much regardless of the outcome and the Canisius v. VMI MAAC final winner.

OK, so that's the way I think it will go down tonight based on the criteria used by the committee. As you might expect, I think that criteria, for the most part, is slanted. So here's how the RRRR system would seed the teams and my analysis of the RRRR based seedings.

First, here's our final RRRR Rankings alongside the NCAA criteria:

As you can see, games represented as numbers crunched in a vacuum have a completely different value than those analyzed by our experts. The UMBC team is a great example. Early thrashings by Delaware and Rutgers make this the most improved team in the nation when you see the winning streak since a two-point loss to Hopkins, also very early on. That's their three losses. Add the two unbelievable comeback wins to take the America East conference title and we stand by them as the No. 4 team in the country, right now. NOW as opposed to the beginning of the season before national Coach of the Year favorite Don Zimmerman worked his magic on them. Who cares about the beginning of the season? The RPI is rife with these misinterpretations of data and the committee's results will likely be too.

That said, it is difficult to make some of the last decisions in any seeding process. We had some difficulty eliminating Bucknell and Albany for our alternative, the RRREACT. The Responsible, Reliable, Reasonable E-Lacrosse Alternative College Tournament seedings is hypothetical, of course, and has no bearing on the actual seedings or the committee's discussion.

The following bracket is NOT REAL. It is based on the RRREACT, taken from the RRRR rankings and placing the teams where they belong, based on merit instead of bus fare.

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