Blogs and Commentary

posted 09.26.2013 at 11.04 a.m. by Jac Coyne

Living In A Fantasy (Bracket) World

With the announcement yesterday that the Division I men's bracket was expanding by two teams to 18, I did some calculations and came up with the fact that if the Division III men were afforded the same tournament participation ratio as the big boys – 18 of 67 teams, or 26.7 percent – D-III would have a 57-team bracket this spring instead of the 30 it's actually getting. In addition, if that ratio was applied to Division II, it would have a 15-team tournament.

The numbers pretty well paint the picture of what is going on in NCAA lacrosse and where the value is placed, but let's ratchet up the point, shall we? Here's a look at what last year's brackets might have looked like if D-II and D-III were afforded the same participation rates as Division I is getting this spring.

2013 NCAA Division II Fantasy 15-Team Bracket

First Round - North
Adelphi vs. Bye
Merrimack at NYIT

Dowling at LIU Post
St. Michael's at Le Moyne

First Round - South
Dominican (Calif.) at Mercyhurst
Pfeiffer at Lake Erie

Mars Hill at Limestone
Wheeling Jesuit at Seton Hill

2013 NCAA Division III Fantasy 57-Team Bracket

Dickinson Regional
Widener at Hampden-Sydney winner vs. Dickinson
Sewanee at Franklin & Marshall winner vs. Christopher Newport at Cabrini winner

Washington & Lee Regional
Albright at York winner vs. Berry at Washington & Lee winner
Aurora at Ohio Wesleyan winner vs. Eastern vs. Salisbury winner

Roanoke Regional
Colorado College at Denison winner vs. Roanoke
Susquehanna at St. Mary's winner vs. Carthage at Lynchburg winner

Stevenson Regional
Adrian at Ursinus winner vs. Stevenson
Otterbein at Gettysburg winner vs. Centre at Washington College winner

Cortland Regional
Eastern Connecticut at Springfield winner vs. Cortland
Roger Williams at Conn. College winner vs. Kean at Western N.E. winner

Nazareth Regional
Keene State at Ithaca winner vs. Nazareth
Keuka vs. Stevens winner vs. Hamilton at Endicott winner

RIT Regional
Montclair State at Wesleyan winner vs. RIT
St. John Fisher at Clarkson winner vs. Castleton at Plattsburgh winner

Tufts Regional
Union at Bowdoin winner vs. Tufts
Babson at St. Lawrence winner vs. Norwich at Middlebury winner

Does Division II and Division III deserve to have the same proportional representation as Division I? It's an interesting question. I certainly don't begrudge D-I expanding its tournament. The more student-athletes included in anything, the better. However, there is no question that the bulk of lacrosse-playing student-athletes participate at the Division III level. What are the mitigating factors when the NCAA makes a decision to offer more proportional opportunities to one subset of student-athletes than another?