Author Topic: The Big Dance  (Read 50875 times)

Offline Flying Weasel

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2017, 04:29:11 pm »
When Etown was (a) better than they are lately and (b) in the Commonwealth Conference, sometimes Messiah & Etown would have to play 3 times. That wasn't good: too much familiarity on both sides, and it meant essentially (since both schools are very close geographically) that a third game would take place fairly early in the tournament. I don't recall that it actually happened often (perhaps just once or twice), but in theory it could have happened fairly often.

It happened just once--Messiah and E-town meeting three times in a season, that is.  People often talk like it occurred multiple times in the mid-80's to mid-90's time period, but it was only in 1993 that it actually happened.

E-town won the regular season match at Messiah, 1-0, and then beat the Falcons again in the MAC final that the Blue Jays hosted, this time by a 2-1 score. Then in the second round of the NCAA tournament, again at E-town, the Messiah exacted their revenge in a 1-0, triple overtime, sudden-death thriller.

What prevented them from meeting three times wasn't so much the NCAA tournament but the MAC conference.  From 1980 through 1999, they only met in the conference playoffs three times.  Yes, three times only, while during the same 20-year period they met  seven times in the NCAA's. In fact, up until 1993 when the conference shrunk due to a large contingent of schools breaking away to form the Centennial Conference, the only way to meet two times in a season was the NCAA tournament. 

Up until 1992 the MAC was huge, consisting of four total divisions.  Only the four division leaders made the MAC semifinals and since Messiah and E-town were in the same division after Messiah went D-III and joined the MAC, it was impossible for both be in the conference playoffs. Then from 1993 to 1999, it was just two divisions before being allowed to break into two separate conferences for automatic berth purposes. During that two-division period, two teams from each division made the playoffs and could meet in the final if both won their semifinals.  That happened just three times in seven years.

Once each division became it's own conference in 2000, each with its own four-team playoffs, Messiah and E-town start meeting regularly in the conference tournament, but at that point E-town was struggling to make the NCAA's with only 4 or 5 at-large berths before the tournament field expanded significantly in the mid-2000s.  So meeting in the NCAA's wasn't happening. And by the time the tournament field expanded E-town had truly faded from national prominence and were rarely close to nabbing one of the 15+ at-large berths.

So 1993 stands alone.  The only time one of the D-III soccer's greatest rivalries was played out three times in one season.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 04:32:51 pm by Flying Weasel »

Offline Flying Weasel

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2017, 04:40:54 pm »
My first observations.

(1) Very glad to see that Lycoming & Messiah don't have to play for a third time for a long time, if they both win out to that point. If that happens, it would be a national semi-final. When Etown was (a) better than they are lately and (b) in the Commonwealth Conference, sometimes Messiah & Etown would have to play 3 times. That wasn't good: too much familiarity on both sides, and it meant essentially (since both schools are very close geographically) that a third game would take place fairly early in the tournament. I don't recall that it actually happened often (perhaps just once or twice), but in theory it could have happened fairly often.

(2) Calvin and Chicago could be meeting in the Sweet Sixteen. That seems harsh, both ways.

(3) Somewhat surprised that NPU got one of the two byes. I wonder: would Messiah have been given one, if they'd beaten Lycoming Saturday night? Or, should one have gone to Trinity? I have no argument with Tufts getting one. However, if Midd had scored on that close play in the second half and tied Tufts, perhaps winning the AQ on PKs, would Tufts have gotten a bye?

(4) We could see a Sweet Sixteen with the nearly flawless Tufts defense against the high scoring Rowan offense. If that happens, it should be fun to watch--and certainly another harsh draw, though Tufts obviously has an easier path to that point. I assume that if Rowan had beaten RU-N, they wouldn't be lined up to face Tufts that early.

(5) Lycoming vs Drew in the second round? That's also pretty harsh both ways. If it transpires, it will be interesting to see that battle.

Lyco in Tufts side of bracket too. I think Messiah has the easier path to final 4.  Messiah probably can't host because women's team is hosting first round.

I agree Messiah has an easier draw than Lycoming. I don't know if that means they are still rated higher, but perhaps they are. The men can't host b/c the women are. Last year they both hosted, but only b/c the women had a bye. Otherwise the women would have traveled the first weekend. The good news here (for the men) is that they should host the second weekend, if they take care of business this weekend in Buffalo.

Typically, if both the men's and women's teams are eligible to host, the men get the even years and the women get the odd (unless one team has a bye).  That usually goes for the second weekend as well.

I also agree that Messiah has the easier path, at least on paper.  Lycoming v Drew (should they make it) will be a tough test.

In even numbered years, men have hosting priority for the 1st/2nd Rounds and women have hosting priority for Sectionals.

In odd numbered years, like this year, that flip-flops: women have hosting priority for the 1st/2nd Rounds and men have hosting priority for Sectionals.

So if the Messiah men were seeded high enough to host, they couldn't have hosted this coming weekend (barring lack of other options or maybe getting one of the two 1st Round byes).  But if both Messiah men and women advance to sections and would both be the highest seed, the men would get to host over the women.

I hope that is true (that the men would get the second weekend), but last year the men hosted the 1st and 2nd weekend and the women traveled the whole way to the Final 4.  Maybe the women weren't the highest remaining seed for sectionals?

The Messiah women were not the top seed in their Sectional, undefeated and defending champion Williams was.  So their travelling to Williamstown had nothing to do with the men and hosting priorities. The men were able to host Sectionals last year, because the women weren't the top seed in theirs.  Otherwise the men would have been on the road to F&M or Cortland.

Offline 2xfaux

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2017, 04:51:02 pm »
I am confused.  The Messiah Women are hosting this weekend?? No?

Offline Dave B

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2017, 05:38:23 pm »
I am confused.  The Messiah Women are hosting this weekend?? No?

Yes, the Messiah women are hosting this year.  Flying Weasel was answering my question which concerned last year's tournament.

Offline Dave B

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2017, 05:46:06 pm »
The Messiah women were not the top seed in their Sectional, undefeated and defending champion Williams was.  So their travelling to Williamstown had nothing to do with the men and hosting priorities. The men were able to host Sectionals last year, because the women weren't the top seed in theirs.  Otherwise the men would have been on the road to F&M or Cortland.

Thanks.

Offline bestfancle

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2017, 05:48:47 pm »
Okay so what is everyone's Final Four Predictions?

1. Washington & Lee
2. Tufts
3. Messiah
4. JCU (I want to go with Chicago here, but don't want to take all top seeds)

Offline jknezek

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2017, 06:20:22 pm »
Okay so what is everyone's Final Four Predictions?

1. Washington & Lee
2. Tufts
3. Messiah
4. JCU (I want to go with Chicago here, but don't want to take all top seeds)

I like your pick, but I'll fall over backward if W&L makes it that far. They have struggled against quality teams all year. See 2 losses to Lynchburg, 1 to Roanoke, and the tie against F&M. Never blown out, but never quite getting over the hump. I do think winning the two home games is my low expectation.

Offline EB2319

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2017, 06:35:10 pm »
early prediction, before giving it a ton of thought:
W&L
Lynchburg
Rowan
Oneonta

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2017, 09:21:57 pm »
early prediction, before giving it a ton of thought:
W&L
Lynchburg
Rowan
Oneonta


I will take any odds you give me that none of those teams are in the Final 4

Offline EB2319

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2017, 09:36:21 pm »
early prediction, before giving it a ton of thought:
W&L
Lynchburg
Rowan
Oneonta


I will take any odds you give me that none of those teams are in the Final 4

Let me guess, you're going out on a limb and picking a Tufts v. Messiah semi-final?

Offline Mid-Atlantic Fan

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2017, 08:32:59 am »
Are we going to do a tournament challenge again? I forget who kept score last year? I believe it was LastGuy who has unfortunately been quiet on the boards this season.

Offline D3soccerwatcher

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2017, 09:43:45 am »
My early prediction for the Final Four:
North Park
Calvin
Rowan
Messiah

Offline Shooter McGavin

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2017, 09:51:32 am »
My early prediction for the Final Four:
North Park
Calvin
Rowan
Messiah

Rowan couldn't even win the NJAC...what makes you think they will survive the toughest quadrant of the bracket?  ???

Offline Shooter McGavin

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2017, 09:58:09 am »
Shooter's Final 4:
St. Thomas
Calvin
Lycoming
Amherst

Offline Shooter McGavin

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2017, 09:59:48 am »
early prediction, before giving it a ton of thought:
W&L
Lynchburg
Rowan
Oneonta


I will take any odds you give me that none of those teams are in the Final 4

Let me guess, you're going out on a limb and picking a Tufts v. Messiah semi-final?

I don't mind the Oneonta pick but having both W&L and Lynchburg in the Final 4, from the same conference, is a head scratcher but we will see what happens. Don't think Rowan gets out of the Sweet 16 let alone the entire quadrant.