Friday, May 29, 2015

MIAA State Lacrosse Tournament Brackets Released

Chase Kapuscienski and Grafton are gearing up for a deep run in Division 3 Central/West.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

It's playoff time for Massachusetts lacrosse, and 18 Central Mass squads will soon begin their quests for district championships, and beyond.

I'll have a more thorough playoff preview up in the next few days, but here are some quick thoughts on the three brackets that CMass teams will compete in.

Division 2 Central/West

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As expected, Longmeadow and Westfield from Western Mass take the top two seeds, followed by the Top-3 teams from CMass. Algonquin gets the top spot of that group, and they'll face a South Hadley team they beat in the first round last year. Shrewsbury and St. John's could again be on a collision course for a postseason classic, and each would have to face heavy favorite Longmeadow should they make the semis. The Colonials would have to get past an overachieving Leominster team to face their old rivals again.

Tantasqua was rewarded for its outstanding season with a user friendly draw, starting with Chicopee, while Westboro faces a Minnechaug team that hasn't fared well against CMass competition this year. Worcester (listed as Doherty here) will face Marlboro in a rematch of a classic one-goal game the teams played earlier this season.


Division 3 Central/West
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This bracket had an interesting conundrum on the 2/3 line, where Assabet came in undefeated (and really, never even challenged) against a Voke school schedule, while Grafton came in with some blemishes, but a brutal schedule and impressive wins over the likes of Algonquin and Tantasqua.

Assabet ended up getting the 2-seed, which means they'll draw the winner of BVT and Lee next Friday, while Grafton will host league foe Northbridge on Thursday. Hard to say if the difference in seed will matter too much, except that Assabet will get to host a potential matchup between these two in the district semis, and both will still likely have to face a potential juggernaut in Mt. Greylock to win it all.

St. Bernard's was dealt a tough draw, with a competitive Wahconah team in the first round, then a mountain to climb against Mt. Greylock in the second, should they win. Ultimately, all teams seem to be in the right ballpark, so give the committee credit for getting this region about right.

Division 3 Central/East
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Tyngsboro takes the highest seed among CMass teams, and with good reason. The Tigers are 17-1 and scored a payback win against rival Groton-Dunstable, but don't sleep on the Crusaders who could face a solid Watertown team in the second round.

Littleton and Oakmont, like St. B's in D3 CE, have the misfortune of facing the top seed in the second round if they advance, which could be trouble against state title contender Dover-Sherborn.

With the way the draw is set up, Tyngsboro has to feel good, but those on the left side of the bracket all have the potential to pull off an upset.


Anonymous said...

Really kind of confused as to how Assabet drew a two seed ! They barely beat AMSA, and Grafton played there usual brutal non-league schedule. Can anyone explain that. Also please try to explain how Assabet was seeded ahead of Springfield Cathedral. Grafton was ranked higher than all of them in LaxPower

Anonymous said...

People also need to remember Grafton beat Algonquin and Wachusett, took Westboro to overtime, and lead Shrewsbury headed into the final stanza, as well as two seed Weston. The more I look at it, it seems as though Assabet and BVT should play in

Anonymous said...

can someone explain to me what bellingham is doing in this bracket ? is that a typo ?

Anonymous said...

Bellingham is D3 Central East and for this and last year have qualified for the tourney under the "Sullivan Rule". Long story short, Sullivan rule says that if you play most of your games against larger division teams, you can qualify by winning 50% your games from your division.

A good example of the is GD. They play in Mid Wach A, which is all D2 schools and then play OOC games against St Johns and Tewksbury and Sheapard Hill who are also D2. They then play a few games against D 3 opponents....usually close by "rivals" such as 1 against Littleton and 2 against Tyngsborough. Once they had beaten Little ton Early on and beat Tyngsboro in their first meeting they had qualified for the tourney even if they lost all of their other games.

It is a controversial rule of course but it does encourage smaller teams to play up.

Like last year, Bellingham will be traveling to GD for the preliminary round. Like last year GD should take care of business, but GD can be inconsistent and anything can happen on any given day in High School lacrosse.

Anonymous said...

Seeding is based on a mathematical formula (which works out well in most cases). It's the ranking of playoff teams by wining percentage, PLUS their ranking based on strength of schedule (which is another math thingy that includes wins vs tournament bound teams, games vs tournament teams and even some goal differential calculations) PLUS their ranking in the coaches poll. Like golf the lowest total score is the higher seed team.

So, for example if a team with the 2nd ranking in win %' the 4th ranking in SOS , and are 5th in the coaches poll, that gives them a total of 11. That total would be compare with the other teams in the pool and seeded accordingly.

Assabet has the gaudy 100% winning record, which, undoubtedly put them in the #1 spot there. So I am sure that bumped up their seeding quite high. I am not familiar with their records against tourney teams and do not even want to guess what the coaches of that section thought of them, but it got them the #2 seed. Good for them. Seems like they have done great things there and got business done on the fields

Joe Parello said...

These last two comments are spot on and great explanations of the Sullivan Rule and the seeding process. Assabet going undefeated, regardless of schedule, put them in a great position to grab a high seed. Now the Aztecs have a chance to prove on the field that they belong. I'm curious to see how they fare.

Anonymous said...

bellingham and asset both lose big in first round .. sorry… sullivan rule or undefeated .. doesn't matter ..

Anonymous said...

sorry ,, quarters for assabet ,, forgot they had a bye,,, wow…

Anonymous said...

does anyone else think that with all these first round "byes" .. the math and process for making the tournament should be changed and have more teams playing post season ? there are so many good teams out there ...

Anonymous said...

Ashland also made it under the Sully Rule, but they play in a very good league and do mostly play up.

I am not sure how to get more teams in. Not winning 50% of your games doesn't really look good for getting into the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

take away the sullivan rule ,, you have bellingham and ashland that are 5-13 teams… that's not even close to 50% of total games ..

strength of schedule should come into this more . look at nashoba for example .. certainly a quality team that plays a tough schedule. so under your theory of " not winning 50% of your games doesn't really look good…"

which record and strength of schedule looks better? 8-10 or 5-13?

Anonymous said...

Apple to oranges there. Perhaps we make an "wicked Sullivan Rule" that if enough people think you are good you get in? Undoubtedly Nashoba and Wachusett play a brutal schedule in Mid Wach A and can, and do hang with a lot of the playoff teams but you have to cut it off somewhere (btw both are D2 teams and size wise are caparible to EMass D1 school sizes) . Ashland and Bellingham are D3 (and legit D3) and play 75% of their games against larger schools. Nash and Wach play n their "weight division" 75%+ of the time and play down the rest as there are not many larger than they. .If everyone gets a prize just for showing up then the regular season is meaningless. So win 50% of your schedule, or 50% your divisional games and make the playoffs. I don't know what else could be done to get a team in. A point system like football where if you win a few games you get in under the wire I have spoken to coaches and some have wondered if they could turn down a tourney invite if they made it through the Sullivan Rule, ie... Going 4-14 or even 1 less tha .500 does your team deserve to be rewarded?

Anonymous said...

again ,. don't follow you … belllingham beat milford twice .. ( milford was 2-17 ) beat norton twice ( norton was 1-12) and then beat hopedale

they are in the mass central east conference and were 0-3 in conference play ???? where is there 50% of their games won?
ashland was 4-1 in the same conference .

Anonymous said...

Are you looking at laxpower? Some of those teams are mis represented as D2. Look at Central Mass on Laxpower. Everybody is Listed as D2.

Bellingham is the reason the Sullivan Rule causes many to hate it, on the other hand don't be surprised if Ashland beats a team that "legitimately" made the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

15-0 groton over bellingham … nuff said

Anonymous said...

GD and other teams are capable of doing similar damage to teams that made the playoff by the traditional means. Why add more of them. Are you proposing getting rid of some teams or adding more? Which D3Central East teams do you think belong in the place of Ashland or Bellingham? What criteria do you suggest to let/get them in if they can not go .500 in their overall schedule or at least .500 vs like division teams?