2014 DIII College Championships Seeding Predictions (Men’s)

The 2014 USA Ultimate DIII College Championships logo.Here are Ultiworld’s predictions for the 2014 Men’s DIII College Championships seeding. There are many factors that go into play with Nationals seeding and no one can be sure exactly what USA Ultimate values most.

Also, the lack of head-to-head matchups and mutual opponents in the DIII community makes things a bit tough to predict — as does the wonkiness of the DIII algorithm this season. This is my take on how things fall.

  1. Bentley: #1 in NE. #1 in regular season rankings. Unchallenged in the region. 20-1 on the season with one loss to Brown. They’re the top overall seed.

  2. Lehigh: #1 in OV. #2 in regular season rankings. No real argument for them to be #1 and with St. Olaf, Elon, and Cedarville not options here, Lehigh is the reasonable bet. No reason Claremont or Richmond should jump them.

  3. Claremont: #1 in SW. #6 in regular season rankings.  Though they’ve essentially played only two significant games in the past 3 months and their best showing came before teams around the country had started practicing, their brief resume is impressive nonetheless. Brains is 4-1 against Nationals opponents including nice wins over a suddenly scary St. John’s team and a sleeper in Lewis and Clark. I don’t think they finish this high, but I think they’ll be seeded here.

  4. Richmond: #1 in AC. #8 in regular season rankings. Here’s where things start to get a little tough. In a case like this, where a good team upsets a favorite at regionals, USAU tends to underseed the losing favorite instead of rewarding the winning underdog. However, there’s not really a great case for anyone else in this spot. The Spidermonkeys finished better in the regular season and have the head-to-head win over Geneseo, so it’s tough to imagine the SUNY school slipping ahead of them. Lewis and Clark has an outside shot but I don’t see how L&C (#15 end of season) could jump Richmond (#8) given their Regionals performances.

  5. SUNY Geneseo: #1 in ME. #10 in regular season rankings. They played well at Easterns and came out of one of the most top-heavy regions in the country. Snail also finished 1st in a good region and beat down 2013 semifinalist Stevens Tech twice. I suspect they’d be top 5 if USAU pumped out some post-regionals algorithm numbers. Elon did finish higher than Geneseo at Easterns and they are 3-1 against #4 Richmond, but I think it’s close enough that for the sake of avoiding a fifth game this season between Richmond and Elon, Geneseo will find themselves here. It’s can’t see them awarding a one-seed to a team that didn’t win their region either.

  6. Elon: #2 in AC. #7 in regular season rankings. I had a lot of trouble choosing between Elon and Lewis and Clark here. They’re both 1-0 against Brandeis though L&C won by six and Elon won by two. Aside from that, they have no other common opponents. Lewis and Clark got hurt by the algorithm because of a few consolation (throwaway) games despite their strong season. However, I think Elon had a tougher strength of schedule overall and one loss to Richmond (after three wins) shouldn’t sully their seeding immensely. L&C did play close with UPS all year, but Elon came up with the wins (three against Richmond, five against Davidson, two against Wake Forest, two against UNC-A) when it counted.

  7. Lewis and Clark: #1 in NW. #15 in regular season rankings. They have the head to head win over St. John’s so I don’t think BAM* will end up ahead of them. Cedarville finished the season ranked 5th overall but lost to non-qualifiers Franciscan and Dickinson during the series, and are just 1-0 against Nationals competition (compared to 2-2 for L&C). Cedarville and Bacchus don’t have a mutual opponent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cedarville here but I’ll value Bacchus’ SOS and close losses over Cedarville’s shaky showing during the series.

  8. Cedarville: #2 in OV. #5 in regular season rankings. Their loss to Lehigh on Sunday of regionals should be mostly overlooked, but faltering in pool-play to Dickinson and losing to non-qualifier Franciscan at Conferences hurts a little bit. Their regular season was excellent, however they only played one game against a Nationals-level opponent (Kenyon) up until regionals. Cedarville beat Parkside and finished higher than IWU at Midwestern Invite, both teams that St. John’s fell to this season, so I’ll give them the nod over St. John’s. Can’t really justify Bryant or Georgia College here either.

  9. St. John’s: #1 in NC. #34 in regular season rankings. A lot of people want to see St. John’s a bit higher but I don’t think it’s going to happen. The fact of the matter is that Regionals was their one good tournament this season. BAM* was 0-1 against Lewis and Clark, 0-1 against Claremont, 0-2 against Brandeis, and 0-1 against GoP until beating them twice at Regionals. Even their game-to-go against St. Olaf loses something with the Zerks’ collapse at regionals. I certainly think they can finish higher than ninth, it’s just hard to justify seeding them any higher.

  10. Georgia College: #1 in SE. #16 in regular season rankings. Georgia College beat GoP and Wake Forest; GoP lost to Georgia College and Wake Forest. Georgia College was 1-0 against Nationals-level opponents whereas GoP was 3-3. Still, it’s hard to fault GCSU for not being able to get to high-level tournaments. They handled their business otherwise and while GoP has the (much) bigger reputation, Disconnected quietly finished 9th at Nationals last season. It might not seem accurate, but even the algorithm only saw them 7 spots apart before the series- a series where GoP may have dropped their stock.

  11. Carleton GoP: #2 in NC.  #9 in regular season rankings. The Gods fell to St. John’s twice at regionals but along the way they took down BAM* and St. Olaf. GoP had a pretty typical GoP regular season with close wins and losses across the board. Their head to head with GCSU hurts their cause as does finishing behind a BAM* team that had an underwhelming regular season.

  12. Bryant: #2 in NE. #26 in regular season rankings. Despite losing to Bates and Amherst (two non-qualifiers) at regionals, Craze made nationals. Before the series, Bryant didn’t have any glaring losses and they played Penn and close and beat Middlebury. Fortunately for them, their biggest win of the season was in a game-to-go against Bowdoin. Given the resumes of the remaining four teams and the fact that Bryant did finish ahead of Brandeis, they’ll sit at 12th.

  13. Kenyon: #3 in OV. #35 in regular season rankings. Brandeis may belong here but if USAU puts TRON 13th, Pool A will have all three New England teams and no one wants that. The argument can be made for Kenyon to be ahead of them either way. Though Kenyon was 0-2 against Nationals-level competition, they played tough games in both affairs. Kenyon dealt with injuries early on but came on late, beating Franciscan twice, Ohio Wesleyan, and Messiah. SERF did lose to Fredonia, who Brandeis beat, but it would just be bad for the tournament to have all three regional opponents in the same pool.

  14. Brandeis: #3 in NE. #18 in regular season rankings. Brandeis isn’t a bad team, but they received the short end of the point-diff stick and were forced to play Bentley, Middlebury, and Bowdoin on Sunday. TRON played a very tough schedule this season going 2-10 against Nationals teams. Still, their record is worse than their play. Brandeis played very well at Easterns and even played Bentley to four points at conferences. They’re underseeded, but that’s the nature of finishing 3rd in your region.

  15. John Brown: #1 in SC. #25 in regular season rankings. A steady regular season, but without any key wins until the game-to-go at regionals, JBU doesn’t have much of a case for a higher seed. Even beating 12th-ranked Truman State is not overwhelmingly impressive, since TSU felt a bit too high all season. They haven’t played a game against a Nationals-level opponent and they don’t really have any wins that jump off of the page. Also, if you haven’t seen Andrew Goode’s Greatest in the game-to-go, you really should.

  16. Olivet Nazarene: #1 in GL. #41 in regular season rankings. Olivet should definitely be the 16 seed — which isn’t the worst thing! 16’s have gone 2-1 in pool play each of the past three seasons. Still, I don’t see them winning too many games this tourney.

This seeding yields the following pools:

POOL APOOL BPOOL CPOOL D
Bentley (1)Lehigh (2)Claremont (3)Richmond (4)
Cedarville (8)Lewis & Clark (7)Elon (6)SUNY Geneseo (5)
Bryant (12)Carleton GOP (11)Georgia College (10)St. John's (9)
Kenyon (13)Brandeis (14)John Brown (15)Olivet Nazarene (16)
  1. Jesse Moskowitz
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    Jesse Moskowitz is the DIII editor for Ultiworld. Born and raised in Queens, New York, he started playing Ultimate at the Bronx High School of Science in 2008. He captained Connecticut College Dasein and currently plays Mixed Club with 7 Express (NYC). You can reach him by email at jesse@movoli.com.

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