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DIII Nation: 2012 Open Seeding

by | May 8, 2012, 8:20pm 72

So, in DI land everybody is suffering over seeding, but it isn’t even close to as hard as DIII. At least they have head-to-head games to take into account. Also, apparently seeding considerations are being accepted tomorrow at 4:00 PM, so we can’t wait for the new USAU rankings to come out. Long story short, seeding DIII this year is very hard. Here’s what I have:

  1. St. John’s
  2. Kenyon
  3. Puget Sound
  4. Bentley
  5. Claremont
  6. Bowdoin
  7. Carleton GoP
  8. St. Olaf
  9. Rice
  10. Wake Forest
  11. North Park
  12. RPI
  13. Georgia College & State
  14. Reed
  15. Lewis & Clark
  16. Stevens

My starting point is the April 25 DIII rankings (I’m a pretty big believer in the algorithm). This seeding chart was also helpful, but it goes by RRI, so the rankings aren’t great. Seeing the side-by-side schedules was really helpful though.

My biggest difficulty was seeding the New England teams. Both have great USAU rankings, but both have exclusively played games against New England and Metro East teams, and the algorithm is bad at dealing with separate “bubbles” of play. (See the QCTU from earlier this year in D1)  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen either team play, but I know that NE didn’t put up a great showing at nationals last year. All said, they could go anywhere from 2/3 to 6/7, but 4/6 seemed most natural (6 so that they’re not in the same pool).  This is the seeding I am most unsure of, so feel free to chime in. This put St. John’s, Kenyon and Puget Sound firmly at 1, 2 and 3.

Claremont came in at 5, slightly ahead of our USAU ranking. We are just getting healthy (yours truly was out with hamstring pull for Pres Day Qualifier and Trouble in Vegas), and I think the nationals experience from last year bumps us up a bit. (I know it’s getting to the point where it’s awkward that I’m seeding my own team, but I promise I’m trying to stay as objective as possible.)

The next question for me was the issue of GoP’s regionals finish ahead of St. Olaf. The big question was whether to move St. Olaf down to GoP, or to move GoP up to St. Olaf.  I opted to move St.Olaf down because of inconsistent play for both teams across tournaments. St. Olaf lost a game to Milwaukee Engineering at Regionals, and GoP lost 6-13 to St. Olaf at Conference Championships. Not to say that either team is bad, but both certainly have losses to teams that aren’t great or blow out losses to teams that they should have played it close with. Every team in 1-6, on the other hand, is very consistent.

Next, I put Rice. It’s always weird to seed the huge upset team, and this is no exception. An argument can be made for Rice to go in at essentially any seeding, and they absolutely deserve some credit for knocking off the one seed. However, I watched their finals game against Harding online, and while they looked good, they didn’t seem quite as polished as the top teams.

Next, I had to decide between Wake Forest and North Park. North Park dominated their region like no other team, but they had some really inconsistent Fall results. Wake Forest similarly dominated their Conference, and, after a slow start, their region. They too had some inconsistent Fall results results. After it all, I just deferred to rankings and put Wake ahead.

The last part was mostly dominated by regionals results. RPI played really well during the series, and is just getting healthy, so they are next. After that Georgia College & State, because of some decent results, and a close game against GoP. Next, we have Reed, who hasn’t played any games outside of NW, but did well at Regionals, then Lewis & Clark, again on ranking. I finished it up with Stevens based on rankings. This makes the pools:

Pool A: St. John’s, St. Olaf, Rice, Stevens
Pool B: Kenyon, GoP, Wake Forest, Lewis & Clark
Pool C: Puget Sound, Bowdoin, North Park, Reed
Pool D: Bentley, Claremont, RPI, Georgia College & State

I messed up the reverse-snake at the bottom, so here are the pools for the way I seeded it initially (see comments for other alternates)

Pool A: St. John’s, St. Olaf, RPI, Georgia College & State
Pool B: Kenyon, GoP, North Park, Reed
Pool C: Puget Sound, Bowdoin, Wake Forest, Lewis & Clark
Pool D: Bentley, Claremont, Rice, Stevens

I know there is a lot to talk about here, and a lot that can be shifted around, so please discuss! I am particularly interested in people’s thoughts about Bowdoin/Bentley vs. the rest of the country.

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