NCAA’s 2011 regional rankings, Week 2

The second men’s and women’s regional rankings of the 2010-11 season have been released. For women’s rankings, scroll down.

More about what regional rankings mean
The basics on the NCAA Tournament
Week 1 regional rankings

The first record is overall record, followed by in-region record. Through games of Feb. 6.

Men’s rankings
Atlantic Region

1 Ramapo 17-4 16-2
2 Kean 15-7 14-5
3 Mount Saint Mary 15-5 15-5
4 SUNY-Purchase 16-4 16-4
5 Montclair State 17-5 11-5
1 Oswego State 16-3 16-3
2 Rochester 16-4 15-3
3 Hobart 16-4 16-3
4 Stevens 15-5 15-5
5 Ithaca 15-5 14-5
6 Plattsburgh State 14-6 13-4
Great Lakes
1 Wooster 20-1 17-1
2 Hope 16-5 12-1
3 Wabash 17-4 16-4
4 Marietta 19-2 16-2
5 Penn State-Behrend 18-2 18-1
6 Thiel 15-6 12-3
Middle Atlantic
1 La Roche 19-2 18-2
2 Wesley 15-6 14-2
3 St. Mary’s (Md.) 18-4 15-2
4 Elizabethtown 16-4 15-4
5 Cabrini 16-4 16-4
6 Keystone 16-4 16-4
7 DeSales 16-5 14-5
8 Gwynedd-Mercy 16-4 15-3
9 Franklin and Marshall 17-4 15-4
1 Augustana (Ill.) 20-1 19-1
2 Concordia (Wis.) 17-3 15-2
3 Hanover 15-5 15-5
4 Illinois Wesleyan 15-5 14-5
5 Edgewood 14-7 14-5
6 Manchester 15-6 14-5
7 Milwaukee School of Engineering 15-5 14-5
8 St. Norbert 16-4 16-4
1 Williams 21-1 19-1
2 Middlebury 18-1 16-1
3 Amherst 20-0 19-0
4 Western Connecticut State 19-2 18-2
5 WPI 18-3 18-2
6 Becker 17-3 17-3
7 Elms 15-6 13-5
8 Rhode Island College 13-7 13-7
9 Brandeis 13-6 13-6
10 Bowdoin 13-7 13-7
11 MIT 15-6 15-5
1 Virginia Wesleyan 19-1 16-1
2 Randolph-Macon 19-3 17-3
3 Ferrum 19-2 16-2
4 Mary Hardin-Baylor 17-4 17-4
5 Texas-Dallas 16-5 15-4
6 Emory 16-4 15-4
7 Centre 15-4 13-4
8 North Carolina Wesleyan 15-6 10-4
1 Whitworth 21-0 21-0
2 St. Thomas 18-2 17-2
3 UW-River Falls 19-3 17-2
4 UW-Stevens Point 18-3 17-3
5 Chapman 18-3 14-1
6 Carleton 13-7 13-5
7 Whitman 15-6 10-4
8 Lewis and Clark 15-6 9-4
9 St. Olaf 15-6 14-6

Women’s rankings
Women’s rankings have in-region record first, followed by overall record.

1. Kean 16-1 19-3
2. Mount Saint Mary (New York) 18-2 18-2
3. William Paterson 17-3 18-3
4. Gallaudet 17-0 19-0
5. Richard Stockton 14-6 15-7
6. Baruch 16-3 17-3

1. Illinois Wesleyan 13-3 16-4
2. UW-Stevens Point 19-2 19-2
3. UW-La Crosse 16-5 17-5
4. UW-Whitewater 13-5 16-5
5. Chicago 17-3 17-3
6. Washington U. 14-2 17-3

1. Medaille 19-2 19-2
2. Rochester 14-4 16-4
3. Geneseo State 16-1 18-2
4. Cortland State 14-4 14-4
5. Ithaca 14-3 15-5
6. Oneonta State 15-4 16-5

Great Lakes
1. Thomas More 20-0 21-0
2. Hope 17-1 20-1
3. Calvin 14-1 18-4
4. Denison 19-0 21-0
5. Hanover 18-1 19-1
6. DePauw 14-1 18-3

1. Lebanon Valley 19-1 20-1
2. Juniata 16-3 16-6
3. Johns Hopkins 17-4 17-4
4. Gettysburg 15-5 16-5
5. Messiah 12-4 13-6
6. Widener 14-5 15-6

1. Amherst 21-1 21-1
2. Bowdoin 18-3 18-4
3. Babson 19-0 21-0
4. Colby 15-4 17-4
5. Williams 17-3 19-3
6. Western Connecticut 15-2 17-3
7. Bates 15-5 17-6
8. Southern Maine 14-5 14-7
9. Eastern Connecticut 15-4 15-6
10. Tufts 14-5 15-5

1. Greensboro 20-0 21-0
2. Christopher Newport 17-2 19-2
3. Louisiana College 16-1 18-1
4. Randolph-Macon 17-2 17-4
5. Bridgewater (Va.) 15-3 17-3
6. Texas-Dallas 16-4 17-4

1. Coe 18-2 19-2
2. Chapman 12-3 18-4
3. Simpson 15-3 17-4
4. Lewis and Clark 12-3 16-5
5. Wartburg 18-3 19-3
6. Puget Sound 14-3 17-4

Playoff primer: Pool B, Pool C

From now until the end of the regular season you may well see a lot of Division III buzzwords floating about on our front page, here in the Daily Dose and on our message boards. Pool A, Pool B, Pool C, OWP, OOWP … what do those all mean?

  • First weekly NCAA regional rankings posted
  • Pool A, Pool B and Pool C are the labels given to groups (also known as Pools) of bids awarded to the playoffs. The field is 61 men’s teams and 64 women’s teams culminating in the Final Four and national title games in Salem, Va. (men) and Bloomington, Ill. (women).

    Understanding Pool A is fairly simple — let’s just pretend that ‘A’ stands for automatic. Those are the automatic bids that are awarded. There are 42 conferences with men’s automatic bids and 43 conferences with women’s automatic bids. Every conference other than the UAA awards its automatic bid to the winner of a conference tournament.

    If you are not in one of those conferences, there is one bid set aside for you, which is what’s referred to as Pool B. The best team out of that group, which includes independents and (for men only) the Great South Athletic Conference teams, gets a bid as well.

    Every eligible team not already selected is dropped into Pool C, which consists of 18 men’s and 20 women’s at-large bids. At-large bids are determined using the NCAA’s criteria, which includes regional winning percentage, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, results against common opponents and results against regionally ranked teams.

    If your conference has an automatic bid and your team doesn’t win it, then you are only eligible for Pool C bids. If your conference doesn’t have an automatic bid, you are eligible for Pool B or, if you don’t make that cut, Pool C.

    Q: Why is the women’s tournament 64 but the men’s only 61?
    There are more schools with women’s basketball teams than men’s basketball teams. As more schools join Division III (or more women’s-only schools go co-ed), the men’s tournament will grow to 64. In fact, we only need one more eligible team to get a 62-team men’s basketball NCAA Tournament field.

    Q: How can my team guarantee it will get into the playoffs?
    Win your conference’s automatic bid. There’s no guarantees otherwise.

    Q: If the two best teams are in the same region, will they be placed in separate brackets?
    This is at least possible, but highly unlikely. They don’t seed this tournament like a D-I tournament, unfortunately. Teams are placed in groups according to geography and seeded, though keeping teams from having to travel 500 miles in the first round is more important to the NCAA than maintaining proper matchups. We can expect from history that the women’s basketball committee will do its best to separate the top teams. The history in men’s basketball is mixed at best.

    Q: There are a lot of criteria to go through. How can I tell where my team stands?
    The NCAA releases regional rankings over the final weeks of the regular season, starting today. However, being No. 6 in one region doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ahead of a team that’s No. 7 in one of the other seven.

    Q: So if I’m ranked seventh in these rankings, I’m in the playoffs?
    No. There are still the 42/43 automatic bids. They’ll all get in first. Take the automatic bids out of the rankings (and keep in mind some conferences don’t have anyone in these rankings) and one Pool B team, then the remaining 18/20 get in.

    Q: We’re ranked in the Top 25. Sin
    ce the bracket has more than 60 teams, we should be in, right?
    Unfortunately, no. We would love to be able to say that’s the case, but remember that there are still all those automatic bids. Plus, the NCAA doesn’t agree with us as to who the best at-large teams are.

    Q: Can you explain more about the various playoff selection/regional ranking criteria?
    Absolutely. We have a whole section of our FAQ devoted to the NCAA Tournament, with that and game dates and the list of conferences with automatic bids.

    Q: I have a question you haven’t answered. What do I do?
    E-mail and/or post below in the comments section.

    A memorable one

    Throughout the recently completed season, Chapman junior forward Justin Riley blogged about the Panthers’ historic run. His final entry recounts the Panthers’ tournament experience and offers thoughts on the special bond he had with this year’s teammates.

    We thank Justin for his thoughtful, well written entries throughout this season. And he was just as good on the court, picking up All Independent Player of Year honors. He’ll be back for his senior season at Chapman this fall, and we hope he’ll chronicle it for us.

    On October 15, a group of guys entered the gym with one thing on their minds: getting the chance to prove himself on the big stage. Practices, games and teammates came and went, but the passion to take Chapman to the postseason for the first time in 26 years burned on.

    After concluding the season with a 23-2 record, some positive thoughts filtered through my head:

    1. We were ranked in the D3 Hoops Top 25 Poll for all 13 weeks.
    2. We had a 17-1 in-region record.
    3. We defeated NCAA Division II opponent BYU-Hawaii (ranked 18th at the time).
    4. We ended the season on a 13-game winning streak (23.7 scoring margin during streak).

    On the other hand, some negative thoughts filtered through as well:

    1. Our strength of schedule was weak (no surprise), 392 out of 407.
    2. We didn’t have any standout Division III wins, losing to our one real test: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
    3. We hadn’t played a team with a winning percentage above .500 since December.
    4. And of course, Chapman hadn’t made the tourney since moving to Division III in 1994.

    Once all of these thoughts made their way in and out, I still wasn’t sure if we were going to make it. As an avid board reader, it looked like we were very likely to get a Pool B bid, but I couldn’t convince myself for certain; setting myself up for heartbreak was a pain I wanted to avoid. On Monday morning, five of us met at a teammate’s house to watch the selection show hoping that we would see our name in the bracket for the first time. The show started…we waited…we waited…and then, history happened.

    WE MADE IT!!

    If just making it to the tourney wasn’t good enough, finding out we were hosting Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the first round was the cherry on top. Going in to this game, we knew it was going to be a 40-minute battle. CMS is a well coached, hard nosed team that prides itself on toughness and defense. The practices leading up to the game were very physical and competitive.

    At 7:00 PM on March 4, the battle began. The environment was incredible with almost 2000 people in attendance; the Chapman student body covered the entire west side of the gym in white, while roughly 100 CMS students stood across cheering in their respective school colors. CMS jumped out quickly, but we were able to close the gap and fight back-and-forth for the remainder of the first half. Just before halftime, Griffin Ramme hit a buzzer beater three-pointer in the corner to give us a three point advantage going into the locker room.

    The second half started similar to the first with CMS jumping out quickly. Once again, we were able to battle back and seize the lead for the final six minutes of the game and capture the victory 58-47. When the buzzer sounded, the gym erupted and the students stormed the court. Words cannot express how I immediately felt, but it was a moment that I will never forget. After the game, the CMS coaching staff and players showed tremendous sportsmanship and wished us well against Whitworth.

    The next morning we were up at 4:00 AM to head to the airport to catch a flight to Spokane, Washington. Waking up that early after a physical game didn’t lead to a very comfortable flight, but when we arrived at our hotel, I had no problem taking advantage of the five-hour window to sleep before our evening practice. At practice, we broke down our scouting report and prepared ourselves for another battle Saturday night.

    When we arrived to the gym Saturday night, we were very focused and determined to upset Whitworth on their home court. Prior to the game, our coach emphasized that if we came out slow, it would be a long and hard battle back. And that it was. Whitworth came out firing as we found ourselves down 21-6 with 10 minutes to play in the first half. We were able to battle back and close the gap heading into the break trailing 32-26.

    The second half mirrored the first as Whitworth expanded the lead to double digits in the opening minutes. We fought hard to close the gap, but were unsuccessful at getting any closer than six points the remainder of the game. Nate Montgomery and Eric Beal did an outstanding job on both ends of the court leading them to a 21-point victory.

    Silence filled the locker room as all of us realized that our historic season had come to an end. As players changed and left the locker room, the four guys that started alongside of me every game for the past two seasons—Dan Aguilar, Jared Kaiser, Griffin Ramme and Kyle Wood—sat there in silence. Tears immediately streamed down our eyes as we embraced each other in the locker room for one last time. Though Griffin and I have one more year of eligibility, the camaraderie the five of us shared is something special. I am grateful I had the opportunity to help Chapman make the postseason tournament for the first time in 26 years, but I am more grateful that I was able to share it with this group of guys.

    To Dan, Jared and Kyle: thank you for a memorable year.

    Madness before March

    Justin Riley, forward for No. 13 Chapman, has been blogging for us throughout the Panthers season. This week he discusses the scheduling difficulties of being an island on an island. The only Division III conference within driving distance is the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) of which Chapman isn’t a member.


    What comes to mind when you hear about this school? Location…academics…enrollment size…women…athletics?



    Enrollment size…maybe.

    Women…strong maybe.

    Athletics…of course not.

    Why would you think about athletics when thinking of Chapman? Why would ANY athlete choose a school that is not affiliated with a conference? In fact, why do athletes even go to Chapman when they know the chances of making the post-season aren’t very high?

    These questions were the exact ones that circled my mind when deciding to attend Chapman, yet I still decided to come here.

    Did the location of the school influence my decision? Yes.

    Did academics influence my decision? Yes.

    Did enrollment size influence my decision? Yes.

    Did the women influence my decision? Yes.

    Did choosing a school that had a basketball program that never made a post-season appearance influence my decision? Yes.

    I decided to come to Chapman on all these accords, but there was nothing more important to me than having the opportunity to be part of a team that had the chance to make school history and earn the first ever post-season bid for the men’s basketball program. Upon my arrival, I quickly learned that earning a post-season bid wasn’t very easy to come by. After a 20-7 campaign my freshman year, we were left sitting on the couch reading who was doing what. Honestly, I didn’t feel that we truly deserved a bid due to key losses against La Verne and Redlands. I accepted it and moved on.

    Sophomore year, we wanted to shake off another boring March and improve upon our record. With a starting group of three juniors and two sophomores, we finished the season 24-3, yet we still found ourselves sitting on the couch again. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around why we didn’t get the bid, so I decided to do some research to find out why we weren’t “good” enough to make the post-season. After reading through various board postings, blogs and other articles, I found out how important the strength of schedule is in the selection process. After finding this information out, I looked up our strength of schedule numbers based upon our opponents winning percentage (OWP) and opponents opponents winning percentage (OOWP) and found Chapman had the third easiest schedule in Division III. Frustrated about this statistic, I threw my hands up and accepted that with such an easy schedule and three in-region losses to Whitman, Whitworth, and UDallas, we probably weren’t the most deserving team of a Pool B bid.

    But then I started to think: why was our strength of schedule so weak? There wasn’t much difference in the teams we played from the year before to now, so why was there such a disparity?

    Answer: It’s simple—Chapman is left with very slim pickings of teams who are willing to play them once conference play starts. Since there are only two other Division III opponents in California that aren’t in the SCIAC, we are forced to play UC Santa Cruz and La Sierra multiple times. Unfortunately, UC Santa Cruz and La Sierra haven’t had the most successful seasons over the past years, which has lead to a decrease in our strength of schedule numbers.

    Now we are left with the ultimate question: Why not stop scheduling La Sierra and UC Santa Cruz so much, and play better west region teams?

    Answer: WE WANT TO!

    Problem: Once conference play starts, we are left with those two teams and other meaningless, in terms of a post-season bid, games against NAIA and NCCAA opponents. Of course we would like to play all the SCIAC schools twice a year, but the reality is, they don’t want to play us. Can you blame them? If I were a coach, why would I play a non-conference game during the midst of conference play to help out another team? What if a player gets injured? What if we lose? Will our team morale be affected? Yes, playing us will increase their strength of schedule and give them another west region game, but at the same time, focusing a team’s energy on a non-conference opponent during conference play might not be the best idea. Some may agree with this statement while others will disagree, but the reality is come conference time, teams do not want to play us, PERIOD.

    So what is the solution? I wish I had the magic potion to sprinkle on the heads of the SCIAC to let us in or to at least schedule us during conference play, but the truth is, I don’t. Knowing these statistics, should we fill up our November and December schedule with tougher opponents? Maybe. Should we try and compete in tournaments that feature these opponents? Maybe. Should we stop complaining when year after year we find ourselves not playing in March? Maybe. There are many questions that are left unanswered, but one thing I am confident about is that Chapman is a strong force in not only the West, but in all of Division III. Our schedule may not match up with other top teams in America, but once again, I am confident that we have the talent to compete with any team. I only have one more year of eligibility after this season, but I promise I will not be satisfied until we get the opportunity to shine in March.

    To everyone who mocks our schedule, doubts our abilities, or just downright doesn’t like us…thank you!

    The more you doubt, the more motivated we become!

    60 teams: That’s progress

    I know that there is some debate as to how many Pool B teams there should really be in this year’s NCAA Tournament and thankfully, we have some time for the NCAA to resolve that, in what seems to be an annual occurrence in every sport we cover.

    But I, for one, was glad to see the tournament field expand, even by just a little.

    This so-called incremental expansion has been skipped in previous years. Remember the 48 teams the men’s tournament was stuck at for a long time? That was based on one playoff spot for every 7.5 NCAA teams, the old ratio before expansion came a few years back. Except by the time the last 48-team tournament came around, we were actually getting shorted by the NCAA because more teams had joined Division III without new teams getting added to the postseason.

    Sadly, one person close to the committee said they couldn’t figure out how to construct a 49-team field, as if it had to be seven brackets of seven teams. Not a high point!

    So I was afraid that we would have to wait until we got all the way to 416 Division III men’s teams, a full 64-team field, before they bothered to expand it. We will probably get to 64 eventually, but the field isn’t likely to grow any larger, since ESPN has no interest in broadcasting a D-III play-in game.