D3, Season 61 Topic

Regular season wrapup, be sure to check out the Wisconsin for what is, in my opinion, THE story of the regular season. Preseason predictions won 22 of the 32 conferences...

ASC — Hardin-Simmons (sublightd) scored a 63-55 win over Texas Lutheran (blapo21) in a clash of conference unbeatens to lift the overall trophy at 24-2, 16-0. That’s four straight conference titles for the program that’s made the Final Four in three of the last four years.

Capital — Hood (SimAI) finishes 20-6, 13-3 to edge out my preseason fave Baptist Bible by a game. That’s five consecutive conference titles, four of which have been achieved as a Sim. With a projection ranking of 75 currently, they’re not a lock for the NT without a conference tourney title.

Centennial — Dickinson (mfnmyers) is 17-9, 15-1 and wins the league by a game over Ursinus (barjaz). This is six straight years of 15-1 or better in league play for Dickinson, all of them under the current coach, who is hoisting his 11th straight conference banner.

CUNY — York(NY) (SimAI) goes 21-5, 13-3 to edge Lehman, New York City Tech and Polytechnic (egijr) by one game in a spirited race. It’s the first conference title since Season 49, but it’ll take a CT victory to get the school’s first NT appearance since season 30.

CCIW — Martin Luther (kap_the_cub) reportedly has a search party looking for its coach, but managed to glide to a 20-6, 16-0 record and a two-game margin of victory in the league. Back-to-back titles for Martin Luther.

Coast — Wentworth (chewchad) finishes 24-2, 16-0 and three games clear of the Coast competition. It’s the first unbeaten conference campaign for the school since its streak of 10 consecutive 16-0’s was snapped in Season 58.

Commonwealth — Penn St. Altoona (frankgrimes1) survives unbeaten in league play and heads to the postseason at 25-1, 16-0. PSA is looking to improve on back-to-back Sweet Sixteen showings. An interesting aside, the north division of the Commonwealth was a four-way tie at 10-6 in league play.

Empire — Vassar (theriddler) was two games better than the field after sweeping his way to 25-1, 16-0. Vassar was a perfect 17-0 in road games, its only loss coming at home to Rivier.

Freedom — Scranton (artie40) finishes 21-5, 14-2 and wins the league by two games. Thats back-to-back conference banners, but with a projection ranking of 50 still needs some more W’s to reach the NT for the first time since Season 38.

GNE — Two-time defending national champ Johnson and Wales (spacticity) keeps rolling along at 24-2, 16-0. The sweep of GNE play is impressive and gave JW a two-game margin of victory in the conference. That’s three 16-0 runs through the Evil Empire in the last four years.

Heartland — Defiance (carl3298) runs the regular season gauntlet at 26-0, 16-0. After starting conference play with a double overtime win followed by a five-point game, Defiance has kicked it in and won 14 in a row by double digit margins.

Iowa — Dubuque (rblank57) finishes 24-2, 15-1, to win the IIAC by two games. This was rblank’s first season at the helm of the program, but marks back-to-back titles for Dubuque, which was an Elite EIght squad a year ago.

Little East — West Connecticut St. (SimAI) goes 19-7, 14-2, to win by a game ahead of East Connecticut St. (cjones4mvp). Eleven of WCSU’s 26 games were decided in overtime or by 10 points or less.

Michigan — Eureka (usjgt) goes 20-6, 14-2, and wins by a game over Kalamazoo (boobyknight) and Calvin (prc56). The latter two can at least brag about being nationally ranked, unlike the MIAA champs. That’s a decade of conference titles for Eureka, which is hoping to snap a three-year PIT appearance in favor of the big dance.

Midwest — Lawrence (SimAI) 18-8, 14-2, and Rose-Hulman Tech (nachopuzzle) 17-9, 14-2, will be splitting the title this year. The last time RHT lost more than 9 games was Season 52, which was also the last time the program missed the NT, a streak that’s in danger as RHT sits just 77 on the projection report.

Minnesota — Gustavus Adolphus (SimAI) goes 20-6, 13-3 to win by a game over Bethel. Preseason pick St. Scholastica goes just 7-9 in league play, proving this is anything but an exact science. That’s back-to-back titles for Gustavus Adolphus.

NESCAC — Connecticut (rwright) 24-2, 15-1 and Colby (guyo26) 22-4, 15-1 share the title by a game over Tufts (zmark513). For Colby, its the first banner in the gymnasium since Season 45.

New Jersey — Kean (SimAI) goes 17-9, 13-3 to win by a game over preseason pick Rutgers at Camden and Montclair St. Kean finished with an RPI of 309 a year ago.

North Atlantic — Thomas (SimAI) sweeps the table at 21-5, 16-0 and finishes three games clear of the field. Thomas hasn’t had a human coach since Season 36. That was also their last NT appearance.

NCAC — Denison (dereksilcox) holds off Wooster (pseudochamp) by a game to finish 22-4, 14-2 as the regular-season champ. After a six-year drought, it appears Denison is on its way back to the big show this postseason.

Northwest — Eastern Oregon (ldhope) finishes 18-8, 13-3 to win by a game over Whitworth (tim_buggie) and Chapman (redsoxrootr1). That’s three straight league titles for E. Oregon. In the east division, all it took was an 8-8 record to win the division.

Ohio — It’s a three-way finish as Marietta (bradriddell), Capital (buckeye101) and Ohio Northern (ekulka) all finish at 13-3, one game better than John Carroll (whit6r). Marietta and Capital have projection rankings in the 40s and are likely safe. Ohio Northern has some work to do still if it wants to reach the NT.

ODAC — Lynchburg (barney1974) runs the table and goes 20-6, 16-0 into the CT. It wasn’t much of a race — Lynchburg was four games clear of its nearest pursuer. That’s five straight banners raised by barney1974.

Penn — Misericordia (SimAI) goes 19-7, 15-1 to win the all-Sim league by a game over Marywood. It’s back-to-back titles for Misericordia.

Skyline — US Merchant Marines (lynchmob1414) wins by three games over the closest challengers after going 22-4, 15-1. That’s six straight titles for UMMA, which has lost 2 league games over a five-year period.

So. Cal. — CSU, Eastbay (tedlukacs) runs the table at 25-1, 16-0 to finish two games clear of the nearest challenger. Eastbay hasn’t lost a home game in two seasons and is working on back-to-back Sweet Sixteens.

St. Louis — Webster (mschulte24) is 22-4, 15-1 and is two games better than Blackburn in the final standings. It’s three consecutive titles and three consecutive 15-1 showings in the conference.

SUNY — SUNY New Paltz (SimAI) 23-3, 16-0 was four games better than anyone else this season but will need to win three more to get to the NT. It breaks a three-year drought for conference titles for New Paltz.

University — Millsaps (brianxavier) 25-1, 15-1 and Louisiana (discodave) 20-6, 15-1 split the league title, although Millsaps won the head-to-head by an 87-72 margin. Millsaps has been a Sweet Sixteen team or better the last seven seasons.

Upstate — New York U. (avyncke) 21-5, 15-1 wins by two games over a pair of pursuers. That’s back-to-back league titles, but the first for avyncke, who is a new head coach for NYU this season.

USA South — Palm Beach Atlantic (osgonlz) 25-1, 15-1 wins by a game in front of longtime power Greensboro. That’s back-to-back conference titles for PBA.

Wisconsin — Lakeland (SimAI) 19-7, 12-4 and Concordia(WI) (bk41129) 16-10, 12-4 finish a game in front of LaCrosse to split the league title. There’s talk about erecting a statue and naming the gymnasium after bk41129 — the conference title was the first ever in Concordia’s history. With a projection rating of 103, there’s still work to be done if bk is to deliver the school to its first-ever postseason appearance of any kind
10/5/2012 12:47 PM (edited)
Great thread this season as always. Ona  side note the three way tie is broken up by me getting lucky and winning the regular season match ups with Marietta and Capital. I still cannot beat John Carroll if they played on one leg with a blind folded.
10/5/2012 5:17 PM
This has to be one of the more wide open D3 tourneys in awhile.  I have no idea how it will play out.  Obviously J&W looks to make another final four, but seems every so slightly vulnerable.  That said, I think spas has a great chance to make it 3 in a row.

The other final four candidates could go any number of directions.  Should be interesting.  UAA hopes to make some noise this season for once in the NT. 

10/6/2012 3:29 PM
Just curious, what's the most improvement anyone has seen in a player this year?
10/6/2012 3:47 PM
I'll throw Harold Fox into the mix...85 point improvement this season, but I'm sure someone out there can beat that.
10/6/2012 5:44 PM
This is the best in our conference...92 point improvement  from coach reisel @ Rhodes. 

Daniel Buterbaugh
10/7/2012 12:12 AM (edited)
James Palomares has improved by 90.  He actually dropped 10 (89 from an original 99 WE) in WE because I didn't start him for a few games like I had promised him, so had he kept his original WE of 99, then he'd actually be at 100 improvement. 
10/7/2012 2:14 AM
CORRECTION -- Earlier I'd posted here the break line would fall between 47 and 53...that was wrong. The actual break line for the final at-large tournament spot will be somewhere between 43 and 53. Teams ranked 43 or higher on the projection report AFTER TONIGHT'S GAMES should be in automatically. Teams 54+ can sit by their phones waiting for the PIT committee to call. Gameplan accordingly and good luck all!

The championship games: 
ASC — Hardin-Simmons (4, 26-2) vs. Texas Lutheran (15, 25-3)
Capital — Hood (71, 22-6) vs. Catholic (92, 17-12)
Centennial — Dickinson (46, 19-9) vs. Ursinus (58, 18-10)
CUNY — York (NY) (62, 23-5) vs. Lehman (147, 17-11)
CCIW — Martin Luther (25, 22-6) vs. Illinois Wesleyan (57, 24-4)
Coast — Wentworth (8, 26-2) vs. E. Nazarene (231, 12-17)
Commonewealth — Penn St. Altoona (6, 27-1) vs. Susquehanna (30, 22-6)
Empire — Vassar (13, 27-1) vs. Rochester Tech (135, 19-9)
Freedom — Scranton (49, 23-5) vs. Drew (144, 19-9)
GNE — Johnson and Wales (1, 26-2) vs. Rivier (2, 25-3)
Heartland — Defiance (9, 28-0) vs. Mt. St. Joseph (52, 24-4)
Iowa — Buena Vista (14, 25-3) vs. Dubuque (22, 26-2)
Little East — East Connecticut St (56, 22-6) vs. Rhode Island (99, 21-7)
Michigan — Eureka (23, 22-6) vs. Adrian (50, 19-10)
Midwest — Rose-Hulman Tech (73, 19-9) vs. Lawrence (91, 20-8)
Minnesota — Gustavus Adolphus (83, 22-6) vs. Bethel (127, 20-8)
NESCAC — Connecticut (34, 26-2) VS. Colby (69, 24-4)
New Jersey — Ramapo (90, 22-7) vs. Montclair St. (117, 22-6)
North Atlantic — Thomas (87, 23-5) vs. Lasell (97, 19-9)
NCAC — Wooster (40, 20-8) vs. Wittenberg (51, 21-7)
Northwest — Whitman (43, 22-7) vs. Willamette (66, 15-14)
Ohio — Marietta (39, 23-5) vs. Capital (44, 20-8)
ODAC — Lynchburg (33, 22-6) vs. Virginia Wesleyan (80, 21-7)
Penn — Misericordia (107, 21-7) vs. Marywood (108, 23-5)
Skyline — US Merchant Marines (7, 24-4) vs. Mount St. Mary (45, 19-10)
So. Cal. — CSU, Eastbay (5, 27-1) vs. Whittier (18, 22-6)
St. Louis — Webster (48, 24-4) vs. Dominican (77, 22-6)
SUNY — Plattsburgh St. (161, 21-8) vs. Brockport (212, 16-13)
University — Millsaps (3, 27-1) vs. Sewanee (11, 23-5)
Upstate — New York U. (47, 23-5) vs. Brandeis (55, 21-7)
USA South — Shenandoah (88, 18-11) vs. North Carolina Wesleyan (122, 13-16)  (WTH kind of messed up conf. tourney is this??!?)
Wisconsin — Concordia (WI) (93, 18-10) vs. Lakeland (123, 21-7)

10/8/2012 10:56 AM (edited)
That's a lot of good games on the schedule tonight.
10/8/2012 2:50 PM
Great - I get the crazy hot, national sensation North Carolina Wesleyan....
10/9/2012 9:30 AM
Posted by brianxavier on 10/9/2012 9:30:00 AM (view original):
Great - I get the crazy hot, national sensation North Carolina Wesleyan....
that might be the fastest d3 team i've ever seen
10/9/2012 9:54 AM
That is a pretty interesting team, I'm curious to see how that one goes.  Not the 1v16 you were hoping for I know.
10/9/2012 12:43 PM
Now that the postseason brackets are out, how about a shout-out to barjaz's Ursinis squad.  He surprisingly only made it to the PIT this season (with a 580 Overall Rating, still in the top 20 in D3)--his last PIT appearance was back in season 23.  This breaks his amazing streak of making the NT 37 seasons in a row.  Now he'll probably go out and run away with the PIT title.
10/9/2012 12:54 PM
Midwest Region

Johson and Wales is back looking for the threepeat and holding down the No. 1 seed in the tournament field, ahead of an undefeated Defiance squad seeded No. 2 in the region. Twelve of the 16 teams in this region have 6 or fewer losses.

Who I like — Johnson and Wales. I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect this team to be in this position in the preseason, but spasticity has played his cards well and developed the team nicely. JW’s only losses were in the preseason to Calvin and Wentworth, the latter being a No. 3 seed in this region.

If not them, then who? — Wentworth, although the predominantly nine-man rotation concerns me when it comes to deeper rounds in the tournament, I’ve seen it pulled off in the recent past. On paper, Dubuque is way stronger than a 6 seed, bringing a lot of experience back off an Elite Eight club a year ago. And let’s not forget the nation’s only unbeaten team in Defiance! Any of these three have a shot at playing spoiler to JW’s threepeat dreams.

East Region

Talk about a balanced group! I think you can make a case for any of the top six seeds in this region as being the strongest in the field, especially the top four seeds, which have a combined six losses between them.

Who I like — Hardin-Simmons. The losses came by 10 at home to JW early on and in overtime at Rivier, so clearly as long as HS can avoid encounters with with Great Northeast, everything looks good, right? Albertus Magnus (the 7 seed) is the only GNE team in the region...

If not them, then who? — Eastbay always seems to outperform my expectations, but the only way that happens this year is a Final Four or better. An OT loss to Eureka (5 seed, South) is the only thing keeping this team from an unblemished record. Palm Beach Atlantic had a good season going until Shenandoah pulled out the kryptonite twice late in the year.

South Region

This is an interesting region, for reasons that will become clearer when I make my pick.

Who I like — US Merchant Marines. This will come as a shock to folks, I know. UMMA has lost to Millsaps (the 1 seed), to Newbury (the 4 seed), to Hardin-Simmons (1 seed East) and Mt. St. Mary (13 seed East). So why pick them over Millsaps, who is a triple-overtime game away from perfection this season? Simple...look at the road Millsaps has to walk. NC Wesleyan with crazy speed (and losing record...and teen rebounding...but look at that speed!), followed by Susquehanna/Capital. Then Newbury (assuming brackets hold true). Then UMMA. Compare that route to the one UMMA has to walk if the brackets play out and the hurdles don’t look quite as formiddable or risky. I’m not saying I think UMMA is the best team in this region, but the law of averages and rule of least resistance say they’re the odds-on play due to the two halves of the bracket seeming so askew with regard to balance.  

If not them, then who? — Millsaps, obviously, and I fully expect brianxavier to go on a postseason rampage to make me look stupid for not picking him. Newbury was my preseason pick to win the GNE, but lost eight games. I still think they’re a good team and I would hate to face them in the postseason.

West Region

Not many overall observations to make here. It’s a solid group with a number of potential contenders, but no story lines really seem to jump out at me.

Who I like — Texas Lutheran. Two losses to Hardin-Simmons, a loss to Penn St. Altoona and a loss to Wentworth. Nothing too shabby there! I might regret this selection, as PSA was my preseason favorite to win it all and won by 10 when these two teams played on Day 2. I just think Texas Lutheran has developed better over the year and can flip that result if they meet again.

If not them, then who? — Well, obviously Penn St. Altoona, because they were my favorite preseason. Rivier is a solid club, but jack_duck always pays me money to choose against him in these things, so how can I possibly support the No. 1 seed in the region (three of whose four losses came against teams I'm picking to the Final Four...)?

Final Four

Overall, this tournament is different from any of the others I’ve handicapped. In past years, there was a fairly clear hierarchy of 6-8 teams that stood out. I’m not sure that exists this year. On paper, this looks more like around 16 teams you could throw into a hat and draw names from. I fully expect my two-year streak of predicting the championship pairing correctly to come to an end this season.

That said, I’ll take Hardin-Simmons over JW in the battle of No. 1 seeds on one half of the bracket. Give me Texas Lutheran over US Merchant Marine on the other half to set up an all-American Southwest Conference final. It’s hard to beat the same team three times in a season, but that’s what sublightd will do to raise the trophy at season’s end. That's my story, I'm sticking to it!

Let the discussion begin...
10/9/2012 1:32 PM
Big-time embarassing but as least we survived.  If we play another game like that we will be going home soon.  Missing 16 free throws is terrible and almost cost us the game, plus we turned the ball over and got killed on the boards.  An all around crap performance.
10/10/2012 10:10 AM
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D3, Season 61 Topic

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