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A conversation with selection committee chair Tim Pavlechko

Just talked to Tim Pavlechko, who chairs the selection committee for the NCAA tournament, and he laid out the panel’s process for selecting Brown over Loyola for the ninth and final at-large bid.

Essentially, both teams had impressive records. Although the Greyhounds’ strength of schedule was superior to Brown’s (No. 3 for Loyola compared to No. 32 for the Bears, according to laxpower.com), the gap in their RPIs wasn’t as dramatic (No. 9 for the Greyhounds compared to No. 12 for Brown, according to the NCAA).

The clincher was that the Bears had wins against two tournament teams in Cornell and Massachusetts, while Loyola did not.

"Loyola played a very strong schedule. They had a great year," Pavlechko said. "But they had some losses. They lost to a common opponent – UMass – with Brown. There are some of those other quality wins as you mentioned. There was a quality win [against Cornell] that wasn’t on Loyola’s resume. I’m not saying that’s the ultimate thing. It was the total breadth of work, scope of the season, and all the selection tools of trying to differentiate teams for that last slot."

There seemed to be some consternation that quality wins were being given as much value as strength of schedule and RPI, but Pavlechko pointed out that significant wins are as much a part of the criteria as strength of schedule, RPI, won-loss record and other factors.

"The RPI is certainly a tool for the committee to look at," Pavlechko said. "Strength of schedule is a tool and quality wins and what’s your record against those ranked teams. ... It’s not one thing. They’re all tools that we don’t have in priority order on purpose because otherwise, we could just run the computer and that’s who’s in. I don’t think that’s fair to student-athletes who are on the positive side or negative side of some very tough decisions."

A little later, Pavlechko said, "I think what you found was there were a lot of similarities in terms of strength of schedule for a lot of teams, and so there was a lot more criteria going into play that were differentiating teams. I will say this: that RPI and strength of schedule was certainly a factor, but it was also not the quantitative [end]. You’re looking at the whole picture, what a team has done throughout the year."

Posted by Edward Lee at 5:08 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Loyola
        

Comments

I can't believe it!! It was the right choice, to leave Loyola out of the dance, but you can't tell me that Siena is gonna give 'Cuse a better game than Loyola did!! Cuse is gonna paste 'em in the first half and it won't even be interesting in the second. We need to get rid of this AQ!!! I know it's good for the sport, but c'mon. Who wants to see Cuse against Siena?!?? I would rather watch a Cuse intra-squad scrimmage than that game!! Let the teams that deserve to be in there play. Who did Siena beat that was extemely impressive this year??? NO ONE! Sure, they beat Albany, but they had a down year and Siena got lucky! Unbelievable!

If Loyola beats Syracuse instead of choking down the strech, they are in. They had a great season, but when it came to the big games, they did not get the job done. You can't take away Aq's even though they may not be good games. It helps the growth of the sport and it gives the underdog a chance. If you had no aq's, it would be the same 12 teams every year, pretty boring!

The automatic qualifiers are there because the selection committee has proven they favor the big names over the smaller conferences.

Remember the year that Bucknell went undefeated, beat three tournament teams and didn't get an invite to the tournament. That is why we now have automatic qualifiers in Lacrosse.

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About Faceoff
Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.
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