Paul Carcaterra's take on the NCAA tournament field
During halftime of the Syracuse-Massachusetts contest Saturday, former Syracuse All-America midfielder and current CBS college sports analyst Paul Carcaterra offered his take on the projected 16-team field for the NCAA tournament.
That field underwent some changes Monday after Navy beat Bucknell for the Patriot League tournament crown and automatic qualifier. During an extensive conversation that I have broken up into two posts, Carcaterra thinks Bucknell is out and a local school is the most immediate beneficiary.
"I think that opens the door for Maryland as that last at-large bid," Carcaterra said. "I don’t think there are too many of those other bubble teams. I don’t think you can say with a straight face that Georgetown has a shot because Loyola beat them head to head. There aren’t too many others that are on the fence."
While some conference championships won’t be decided until this weekend, Carcaterra’s projected field includes what he believes will be the automatic qualifiers in Brown (Ivy League), Hofstra (Colonial Athletic Association), Massachusetts (Eastern College Athletic Conference), Navy (Patriot League), Notre Dame (Great Western Lacrosse League), Siena (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) and UMBC (America East).
His at-large teams include Syracuse, Duke, Virginia, Cornell, Princeton, North Carolina, Johns Hopkins, Loyola and Maryland.
But this field will be recast if Hofstra and UMBC don’t win their respective conference tournaments this week, Carcaterra said.
"That’s going to throw a huge wrinkle into things because that would mean another team is taking their spot in the field as an automatic qualifier," he said. "We know Hofstra’s getting in as an at-large if they don’t get the automatic qualifier, and the same has got to be said for UMBC. The teams that got the last spots certainly want Hofstra and UMBC to take care of business."