For some time now, Wash U graduate Patrick Abegg has been collecting data on Division III basketball, running his own computer rating and the like. In recent years his projections of the NCAA’s regional rankings have been impressively accurate. So, rather than duplicate his efforts, we’ve decided to recognize him as the Joe Lunardi of Division III.
From his rankings, we’re projecting out who the at-large men’s basketball candidates are, which conference leaders are currently upset proof (if they take one loss) and who’s on the bubble.
As a refresher, 60 teams make the NCAA Tournament in Division III men’s basketball, with 39 automatic bids, three Pool B bids for teams not in those conferences and 18 at-large bids (Pool C).
For the purposes of this projection, one team in each conference has to be the presumed automatic bid.
These are teams that have clinched automatic bids
Washington University-St. Louis, UAA champion
These are teams that would get in even with a loss in the conference finals, no matter what. There can only really be nine locks if there are 18 at-large bids.
Franklin and Marshall
For each team above which wins its conference tournament and automatic bid, a team from this list joins the ranks of the safe.
Rhode Island College
Pool B ranking
No other Pool B team appears in Abegg’s regional rankings, encompassing 82 teams. The next team would likely be Maryville (Tenn.).
Safe Pool C teams
These teams are relatively safe even with the one expected loss.
1. UW-Stevens Point
5. John Carroll
8. North Central
9. Salem State
Pool C bubble teams
These teams need a lot of things to go right ahead of them.
13. Carnegie Mellon (Note, no conference tournament.)
14. St. Joseph’s (L.I.)
15. William Paterson
16. Ohio Wesleyan
17. Mississippi College
A-begging to get in
Better win out.
19. Montclair State
26. Ohio Northern
28. Brandeis (Note, no conference tournament.)
I’ve gotten questions about Cornell and Mary Hardin-Baylor this week. They stand at No. 30 and 36 on Abegg’s Pool C list.
All other conference leaders not listed need to win out, as currently projected.