|The birthplace of basketball got a rebirth on Monday with a tournament berth. Springfield will play Albertus Magnus at Dickinson.|
In the end, just as it worked out in our mock projection, the East Region at-large teams sat on the board all night and never got selected, four NESCAC teams got in the field and three from the NEWMAC, including WPI with seemingly one of the last bids.
In all, of the 19 at-large bids in this tournament, D3hoops.com and the NCAA committee agreed on all 19, meaning the bubble popped on teams such as North Central (Ill.), Plattsburgh State, Bowdoin, Franklin and Marshall, Brooklyn and Centre.
Byes go to Augustana and Randolph-Macon, and because of the teams that got into the tournament, there were no byes this year handed out solely on a geographic basis. Augustana awaits the winner of DePauw and Washington U., who will play on Thursday night; while Randolph-Macon hosts the winner of Thursday night's game between Catholic and Alvernia.
Why didn't Plattsburgh get in? Probably because of its lackluster record vs. D-III opponents, just 19-8, and not having a sufficient strength of schedule to carry it forward. For example, Elmhurst, which got selected, was 19-7 with a .551 SOS and Plattsburgh was 19-8 with a .531.
Their bubble popped
Here's who we think may have been left on the table when the final team was selected. All records vs. D-III opponents:
Northeast: Bowdoin (18-8, .571,
1-6 vs. RRO)
The at-large teams: Virginia Wesleyan, UW-Stevens Point, Marietta, Washington U., Johns Hopkins, Illinois Wesleyan, Amherst, William Paterson, Trinity (Conn.), Ohio Wesleyan, Wooster, Bates, Eastern Connecticut, Springfield, Elmhurst, John Carroll, St. Olaf, Catholic, WPI.
Here was our projected bracket, for comparison's sake.
On the other hand, while North Central had a great strength of schedule, they had a record that was just 16-8 in Division III action. Brooklyn sat on the board a long time and wasn't selected most likely because of a strength of schedule that was just .507. The word is that Bethel never even got to the board because they were blocked behind Buena Vista. And Buena Vista had defeated Bethel head to head.
We'll have more feature stories as the week continues, a complete tournament preview with our upset picks, and you can also join d3photography.com's Bracket Challenge.