May 6, 2012

True to Form: NCAA D-II Brackets Follow Numbers

by Jac Coyne | | Coyne Archive | Twitter | Full Bracket (PDF)

Le Moyne head coach Dan Sheehan said he "felt like we had the rug pulled out from undereath us last year." The Dolphins made sure that didn't happen again with a 17-0 record.
© Greg Wall

NCAA Brackets: MD1 | WD1 | MD2 | WD2 | MD3 | WD3
Analysis: MD1 | WD1 | MD2 | WD2 | MD3 | WD3

A year after the selection committee stunned the NCAA Division II world with an unexpected bracket, things played out according to plan for the 2012 championships, which will culminate May 27 in Foxborough, Mass.

Mercyhurst, which won the East Coast Conference title outright for the first (and last) time in school history, was the recipient of the Central region bid. The Lakers will host conference rival Dowling – the recipient of the lone 'Wild Card' (aka, at-large) – in the first round.

These two teams met on March 24 with Mercyhurst taking a 7-6 road victory over the Lions in which the Lakers had to rally from a two-goal, second-half deficit to remain perfect.

'Hurst enters the game after posting the first undefeated season in school history in any sport, while Dowling will have to regroup from a 15-7 loss to Limestone in the season finale.

"We turned the ball over too many times to my liking in that game," said Dowling head coach Tim Boyle about the first meeting with Mercyhurst. "We have to shoot better and possess the ball better. We can't turn the ball over as much as we did."

The other semifinal features Le Moyne, which rolled to a 17-0 record and a perfect performance in the Northeast-10 (i.e., North region), against Limestone, the South region representative.

The Dolphins found themselves on the outside looking in last year as Adelphi earned the North bid, but Le Moyne took all of the mystery out of the process, even though they had a completely revamped team from '11.

"We felt like we had the rug pulled out from underneath us last year and we learned from that," said Le Moyne head coach Dan Sheehan. "We had a group of guys who worked really hard all year to make sure we didn't have that happen again."

Limestone met every challenge in the South, and heads into the tournament on a nine-game win streak.

Both semifinals of the NCAA Division II tournament will be played on Saturday, May 19 at times to be determined.

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