Update: Rutgers fell short of earning an NCAA bid for the third straight season.
After Thursday’s Big Ten semifinals loss to Maryland, it left the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team on the wrong side of the bubble ahead of Sunday night’s NCAA Tournament selection show. However, the Scarlet Knights (9-6) still had a chance based on what could still unfold in the many conference tournaments still taking place this weekend. The short of it is Rutgers needs the favorites to win out and secure the automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments, preventing other bubble teams from leaping ahead.
Our friends at SB Nation’s College Crosse have been all over the many scenarios remaining and until today, they listed Rutgers as one of the last four teams projected to miss the NCAA Tournament. However, Chris Jastrzembski unveiled his latest bracketology prediction and has Rutgers IN AS OF SATURDAY MORNING. Bracket below:
In Jastrzembski’s article, here is what he says about Rutgers and the current outlook for them to make the NCAA Tournament:
And now, the battle between Rutgers and Cornell for my final spot. It was really tough to decide who was in and who was out. Cornell has the better record, but Rutgers has better RPI and SOS numbers. They’re both 0-2 against teams in the top 5 in RPI, have a win against Syracuse in the top 10, and have wins over Penn State in the top 20, but the Big Red have a win against Penn as well. They both lost to Princeton, who has an RPI of 28, along with an additional early season loss. RU’s was to Army West Point, who has an RPI of 29. Cornell lost to Colgate, who has an RPI of 40. Both of those teams play later today.
You’re pulling hairs here, but there’s an argument for why one team should be in over the other. In the end, the RPI and SOS were deciding factors for including Rutgers.
But unlike the Scarlet Knights, the Big Red still have a chance for an AQ if they beat Yale Sunday afternoon. But beware of bid stealers like Vermont and Georgetown. The Hoyas have a better chance of spoiling one team’s hopes today.
I recommend reading the entire article here, as all of the bubble team contenders are thoroughly analyzed. As for the teams Chris mentioned as potential threats to Rutgers’ chances, Vermont plays #3 Albany at noon on ESPNU. The 12-3 Catamounts lost to the Great Danes 21-5 this season, but anything can happen.
Update: Albany defeated Vermont 14-4 to earn the automatic bid which is a good thing for Rutgers.
As for #18 Georgetown (11-4) take on #4 Denver (12-2) in the Big East Championship on Saturday afternoon. The Hoyas lost 6-5 in their regular season meeting in Washington D.C.
Update: Georgetown upset Denver 8-3 to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. this is bad news for Rutgers.
For a full rundown of today’s conference tournament games, click here.
As for #9 Cornell (10-4) they will face #1 Yale (12-2) on Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m. in the Ivy Championship game. Yale beat Cornell 13-11 in Ithaca during the regular season.
Update: Cornell upset Yale which is even more bad news to Rutgers. They still have a chance but this made it less likely.
The wait will be long this weekend for Rutgers fans, but at least there is still a punchers chance that the Scarlet Knights could qualify for its first NCAA Tournament since 2004.
The NCAA Tournament draw will be announced 9 p.m. on Sunday. We will continue to update the outlook for Rutgers throughout the weekend.