Author Topic: The Big Dance  (Read 55787 times)

Offline 4231CenterBack

  • Second-stringer
  • **
  • Posts: 65
  • Karma: +4/-3
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2018, 08:45:44 pm »
Curious how much of the NESCAC ugliness can be blamed on Serpone and Amherst?  Success breeds imitation.  Was the NESCAC always this aesthetically challenged back when Williams was the class of the league?

Offline Mr.Right

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 4155
  • Karma: +197/-134
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2018, 08:55:38 pm »
Curious how much of the NESCAC ugliness can be blamed on Serpone and Amherst?  Success breeds imitation.  Was the NESCAC always this aesthetically challenged back when Williams was the class of the league?


NO.....Williams played some fantastic futbol and no I am not just being a total homer but TBH they never Won the whole thing playing futbol they always bowed out to teams that were very defensive and not as talented. It was extremely frustrating...When they had all the Jamaicans they were playing like Arsenal circa 2004...It was so fun to watch and you know what they would draw like 1000 fans to the game because it was so entertaining. Fun times...Now everything is so conservative/ugly that Nescac teams do not draw fans like they used to about 10-15 years ago....


Midd was always UGLY in style but successful so Serpone entered the league in 2007 and saw Midd win the National Championship UGLY and he made it worse...Williams was still trying to play futbol and countering during this transition but by 2009 all of a sudden Bowdoin recruited some monsters and they started going long throws/set pieces mixed with some skill and by 2012 the league had changed completely. It has gotten worse every year IMO and I have watched a ton of games..That being said I still love watching the league just get frustrated sometimes...

Offline Mr.Right

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 4155
  • Karma: +197/-134
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2018, 08:59:26 pm »
I am sorry the committee did its job for the most part based on the criteria. How are they supposed to leave Williams out with 5 RANKED Wins? I could see leaving them out if they had 1 more loss BUT at 10-5-2 its enough.

Their criteria has been applied wildly inconsistently. Southwestern over CMS? Augsburg or St. Thomas over St Norbert/North Park? Hard to justify a team with a winning percentage of roughly .600 when there are teams that have far better metrics.


There is always 1 head scratch BUT I truly believe they did want to fly CMS to Texas....St.Thomas IMO is a worthy pick and I gave you my spin on St.Norbert. I think North PArk got screwed being "stuck" behind Hope because Hope was not coming off the board. If you look at Hope's non-conference schedule compared to Calvin's it is not even close as they had to many cupcakes IMO.

Offline 4231CenterBack

  • Second-stringer
  • **
  • Posts: 65
  • Karma: +4/-3
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2018, 09:07:44 pm »
Curious how much of the NESCAC ugliness can be blamed on Serpone and Amherst?  Success breeds imitation.  Was the NESCAC always this aesthetically challenged back when Williams was the class of the league?


NO.....Williams played some fantastic futbol and no I am not just being a total homer but TBH they never Won the whole thing playing futbol they always bowed out to teams that were very defensive and not as talented. It was extremely frustrating...When they had all the Jamaicans they were playing like Arsenal circa 2004...It was so fun to watch and you know what they would draw like 1000 fans to the game because it was so entertaining. Fun times...Now everything is so conservative/ugly that Nescac teams do not draw fans like they used to about 10-15 years ago....


Midd was always UGLY in style but successful so Serpone entered the league in 2007 and saw Midd win the National Championship UGLY and he made it worse...Williams was still trying to play futbol and countering during this transition but by 2009 all of a sudden Bowdoin recruited some monsters and they started going long throws/set pieces mixed with some skill and by 2012 the league had changed completely. It has gotten worse every year IMO and I have watched a ton of games..That being said I still love watching the league just get frustrated sometimes...

Thank you! nice summary. 

Offline blooter442

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 2324
  • Karma: +93/-13
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2018, 11:02:34 pm »
I'm sorry, but I have to agree. Outside of Tufts, the Nescac style of play - while undoubtedly successful - is so primitive. Many high level high school teams and all academy teams play a much more aesthetically appealing brand of soccer. I love this sport, even at the d3 level, but I simply can't bring myself to watch Nescac games. I say this all while recognizing that the goal isn't to make things entertaining for myself or others. The goal is to win and be successful, which Nescac sides have achieved.

I don't disagree that it is tough to watch, so in that sense yes it is Championship-esque. If the original request was for a pure stylistic critique (I can't remember the exact request) then 100% agree. However, while NESCAC teams can compete for (and do win) NCAA titles (competing against the UAA/NEWMAC/etc.), Championship teams can't qualify for and compete in a cup competition (the CL) against other top leagues; teams from the PL/La Liga/Bundesliga, however, can. That's why I picked the PL and La Liga, for comparison's sake. ;)

It's worth noting that a lot of long-ball teams spend time in both the Championship and Premier League (e.g. Stoke, WBA, etc.), so I don't think it's unreasonable to say that the PL has some of the long-ball approach in it.
He's our center half, he's our number four, watch him defend, and we watch him score, he'll pass the ball, calm as you like, he's Virgil van Dijk, he's Virgil van Dijk.

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 9938
  • Karma: +704/-425
  • Broadcaster, Announcer, Analyst, and Fan!
    • View Profile
    • Hoopsville
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2018, 11:45:01 pm »
Couple of notes about the final regional rankings, selections, bracketing, etc.

First off...

Thanks. The regional rankings have changed since the brackets were released. This morning, CMS was ranked 1 and SW was 5. That's a pretty big jump for SW in one week.

The rankings did not "change." What you saw posted (where you saw them) was from the previous week. The final regional rankings are not posted until AFTER the brackets are announced for one simple reason - they don't want people guessing at the selections and bracketing ahead of time. They want the element of surprise still for bracket shows and whatnot. I do appreciate that aspect.

I just want to make sure people don't think the rankings were "changed" to explain the selections and bracketing. That didn't happen and I'm quite positive in saying that. Previous rankings stay posted until new rankings are released.

Others will remember, it took a lot of fighting and arguing to even get the final regional rankings published in the first place. I am happy to explain how it all transpired if anyone is interested, because the story is both fascinating and frustrating ... but we now get to see these things when just a couple of years ago they were nonexistent.

But to clarify the point ... the rankings were not "changed" after the bracket came out. You were looking at last week's rankings and what was released today (now linkable) is the new rankings at the end of the season.

No ... I'm not going to get into why CMS wasn't picked or whatnot, because I haven't talked to enough people to understand what did or didn't happen. I can only save that energy, right now, for football, basketball, and lacrosse. Maybe someday soccer can get that attention from me. (Though, I have dabbled the last few years since I have contacts close to the committees.) :)

As for the theory that selections were made to avoid travel ... if that did happen, then the committee would have committed malpractice. I have spoken to a number of committees in a number of sports and they emphasis that they select their teams and don't consider the ramifications of the bracket until they get to bracketing. We actually had a case in basketball last year where some theorized that ... well, until the committee chair explained what happened with the bracketing and then it all made more sense (though, many then argued they should have made one more pick in Texas to help it all get solved ... it was a funny reversal of thinking/theorizing).

Yes, from an outsider's point of view, it appears CMS was left out to avoid flights and what not ... that just isn't how this plays out. If that did happen, it won't be held a secret and not only would the committee be in trouble, but so would the committee's NCAA liaison. There are protocols and that one is followed very well from what I've been told. Even a liaison isn't allowed to utter, "if you don't pick them it saves money." Ultimately, the committees want to spend as much money as they can, so leaving CMS out would be opposite of that thinking. :)

Per the bye not going to Messiah - the explanation I read was pretty good. Byes aren't designed in DIII to go to the best teams, they are designed to go to the most logical teams geographically speaking when it comes to bracketing. That does not mean they can't go to the best teams if conditions allow, it just isn't the best idea for a committee trying to work in the confines they have when bracketing.

As for the criteria, selections, etc. ... again, can't speak to that. Not sure if the d3soccer guys have the same type of relationships with the committees those of us at d3football, d3hoops, d3baseball, etc. have with our respective committees (and I'm developing also with lacrosse). We have found it invaluable not only in educating and informing fans and the public ... but for the committees understanding there are people watching other than coaches who have a vested interest and will question what we believe to be mistakes. It also gives the committees (primarily the chairs) the opportunity to discuss their selections. People may not like the answers for a variety of reasons (usually personal or misinformed), but the committee at least explains things at the very least.

OK... I think that's enough from me. Time to start studying these brackets ... I've got to be ready, after-all (hint, hint).
Host of Hoopsville. USBWA Executive Board member. Broadcast Director for D3sports.com. Broadcaster for NCAA.com & several colleges. PA Announcer for Gophers & Brigade. Follow me on Twitter: @davemchugh or @d3hoopsville.

Offline PaulNewman

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 3034
  • Karma: +167/-123
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2018, 10:16:30 am »
I second worst draw among potential "deep run" contenders goes to W&L AND Johns Hopkins.  That's look like a toss-up game and IMO both had decent to good chances for a nice run if the prize for coming out of that game wasn't Messiah.  Also presents a very challenging 2nd round game for the Falcons.

Offline Falconer

  • Starter
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
  • Karma: +20/-15
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2018, 10:19:21 am »
It's been raining in Grantham for a full day and a half, with no end in sight. Current forecast has no rain tomorrow or Thursday, but 100% on Friday.

It's a good bet that the opening rounds in Grantham will be played on turf, not grass. That would seem to help JHU quite a bit. On the other hand, last year the Falcons played simply terrific soccer the second weekend (vs Stevens and Rochester) on that same surface. They utterly dominated possession against a really good Rochester team that took out Amherst the day before. If they play nearly as well this coming weekend, none of the other teams will have a chance. It's up to them, frankly, to take care of business, regardless of which surface is in play.

Offline PaulNewman

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 3034
  • Karma: +167/-123
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2018, 10:25:12 am »
I said before that I think having played Messiah is a help in terms of preparation, what to expect in terms of level of effort required to stay in the game deep into the 2nd half where you still have a chance, and minimizing the intimidation of the opposing jersey/atmosphere factor.  JHU has played Messiah this year and actually had a 2-0 lead.  I thought W&L played Messiah last year but it was 2 years ago, but that is still recent enough for the coaching staff and some of the players to have an idea about what would be facing them (and Messiah blitzed W&L 4-0 two years ago I believe at W&L).

Offline PaulNewman

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 3034
  • Karma: +167/-123
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2018, 11:20:56 am »
Bracket musings....

I agree that at first blush at least Chicago looks to have the easiest path among the "big four."  That said, I'm guessing that impression is largely influenced by looking at the bottom half of Chicago quad where there does not appear to be any major challenge in an Elite 8 game.  They have to get there, and assuming they get Carleton and then Trinity (or maybe MHB), those could be tricky games (and of course Trinity is familiar with the Maroons from their early season 3-3 draw).  The bottom half of the quad also presents a great opportunity for several teams (Luther, GAC, St Thomas, Augsburg, Knox, etc) to have a nice run and then take a swing at Chicago or whoever get to the Elite 8 from the top.

Calvin's quad has some good teams but I don't see anyone that would worry them a ton, especially at their place.  A CWRU-Capital 2nd round game would be interesting as I believe they had a 1 goal OT game earlier.  A big question is whether Chewy Gordon will even play or be effective if he does.  A Kenyon-CMU game would be a very good 2nd round dogfight but Centre also is on a roll.  Lyco versus John Carroll would be a very competitive 2nd round game.  Kenyon, CMU, Lyco and John Carroll would all have a chance against Calvin but Calvin would be pretty clearly favored in each scenario.

Some of the best 1st rounds games are on the other half of the bracket.....Midd vs St. Joe's, Montclair-Colby should be fascinating, Haverford-NYU, definitely W&L and Hopkins, SLU versus Brockport, Eastern and Mary Washington, and even F&M versus high-octane Western Conn. 

Messiah will have a good 2nd round game with either W&L or JHU, and then could face the winner of a Cortland St-Williams clash.  I could see several teams emerging from the bottom half, so while that lower half has several very good teams (UR, SLU, F&M, Eastern, MW, etc) Messiah will only have to face one of them.  Hard to predict which team that will be.

I don't see Tufts having too much trouble with Stevens or Gordon, especially at home.  The Sweet 16 game, though, with either Midd, St Joe's or Amherst will pose a significant challenge.  I like Conn College's draw in the bottom half of that quad at least to the Sweet 16 (although Fala from Ramapo might be a problem especially if Conn can't score).  Then again, Ramapo might not get by Springfield.  The winner of a projected Haverford-Montclair beauty would like their chances getting all the way to the Final Four, especially if Tufts is not there to meet one of them in the Elite 8.


Offline rudy

  • Starter
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
  • Karma: +15/-5
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2018, 11:36:54 am »
Bracket musings....

I agree that at first blush at least Chicago looks to have the easiest path among the "big four."  That said, I'm guessing that impression is largely influenced by looking at the bottom half of Chicago quad where there does not appear to be any major challenge in an Elite 8 game.  They have to get there, and assuming they get Carleton and then Trinity (or maybe MHB), those could be tricky games (and of course Trinity is familiar with the Maroons from their early season 3-3 draw).  The bottom half of the quad also presents a great opportunity for several teams (Luther, GAC, St Thomas, Augsburg, Knox, etc) to have a nice run and then take a swing at Chicago or whoever get to the Elite 8 from the top.

Calvin's quad has some good teams but I don't see anyone that would worry them a ton, especially at their place.  A CWRU-Capital 2nd round game would be interesting as I believe they had a 1 goal OT game earlier.  A big question is whether Chewy Gordon will even play or be effective if he does.  A Kenyon-CMU game would be a very good 2nd round dogfight but Centre also is on a roll.  Lyco versus John Carroll would be a very competitive 2nd round game.  Kenyon, CMU, Lyco and John Carroll would all have a chance against Calvin but Calvin would be pretty clearly favored in each scenario.

Some of the best 1st rounds games are on the other half of the bracket.....Midd vs St. Joe's, Montclair-Colby should be fascinating, Haverford-NYU, definitely W&L and Hopkins, SLU versus Brockport, Eastern and Mary Washington, and even F&M versus high-octane Western Conn. 

Messiah will have a good 2nd round game with either W&L or JHU, and then could face the winner of a Cortland St-Williams clash.  I could see several teams emerging from the bottom half, so while that lower half has several very good teams (UR, SLU, F&M, Eastern, MW, etc) Messiah will only have to face one of them.  Hard to predict which team that will be.

I don't see Tufts having too much trouble with Stevens or Gordon, especially at home.  The Sweet 16 game, though, with either Midd, St Joe's or Amherst will pose a significant challenge.  I like Conn College's draw in the bottom half of that quad at least to the Sweet 16 (although Fala from Ramapo might be a problem especially if Conn can't score).  Then again, Ramapo might not get by Springfield.  The winner of a projected Haverford-Montclair beauty would like their chances getting all the way to the Final Four, especially if Tufts is not there to meet one of them in the Elite 8.

Good summary. I think Stevens Institute could give Tufts a game. They beat Haverford. They were not a cakewalk last year at Messiah.  I wouldn't underestimate them if they get by first game against Gordon.

Offline EB2319

  • Starter
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
  • Karma: +18/-3
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2018, 12:24:28 pm »
I don't completely understand all the love for Colby, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if Montclair hammers them 3-0.  That's not necessarily my prediction, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least bit. 

Offline blooter442

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 2324
  • Karma: +93/-13
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2018, 12:29:06 pm »
I don't completely understand all the love for Colby, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if Montclair hammers them 3-0.  That's not necessarily my prediction, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least bit.

I donít know if itís enthusiasm for their chances as much as just general enthusiasm among the NESCAC that theyíre doing things. They have traditionally been towards the bottom of their conference, so to see them go on the road as the eighth seed and win a NESCAC title has certainly gotten people talking. That being said, I do think Montclair will have its way with them.
He's our center half, he's our number four, watch him defend, and we watch him score, he'll pass the ball, calm as you like, he's Virgil van Dijk, he's Virgil van Dijk.

Offline EB2319

  • Starter
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
  • Karma: +18/-3
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2018, 12:34:25 pm »
On second thought, I will say Montclair hammers Colby, who haven't even won half their games played and statistically were dominated in their last three:
Outshot by Williams 9-3 - advance on PKs
Outshot by Amherst 7-3 - scored on all 3 shots
Outshot by Tufts 10-2 - advance on PKs


Offline lastguyoffthebench

  • All-Region
  • *****
  • Posts: 1638
  • Karma: +63/-33
    • View Profile
Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2018, 12:53:14 pm »
Williams... 10-5-3 (5 wins vs Ranked, but two vs Hamilton) who snuck in the 3rd NCAA release.    Take that away and you have team well on the outside of the bubble.   Is a .638 WP the lowest of a Pool C in recent years?   

Middlebury hasn't played anyone outside of the NESCAC this year.   I'd love for St. Joe's to knock them off, although I just don't see it.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 12:56:52 pm by lastguyoffthebench »