NCAA – AAC + America East Tournament Preview

AAC

Weighted Total Shot Ratio (MAX 2.00)

1.32 – (1) UCF
1.26 – (6) Cincinnati
1.24 – (3) South Florida
1.21 – (4) UConn
1.17 – (2) Memphis
0.93 – (8) Temple
0.88 – (5) Tulsa
0.79 – (7) East Carolina
0.57 – (9) SMU
0.52 – (10) Houston

Schedule (WTSR difference in parentheses by home side/higher seed)

AAC Tournament First Round (10/31)

(7) East Carolina (+0.27) vs (10) Houston – 2:00 PM
(8) Temple (+0.36) vs (9) SMU – 4:30 PM

AAC Tournament Quarterfinals (11/02)

(1) UCF vs TBA
(2) Memphis vs TBA
(3) South Florida (-0.02) vs (6) Cincinnati
(4) UConn (+0.33) vs (5) Tulsa

AAC Tournament Semi-Finals (11/07)

TBA vs TBA
TBA vs TBA

AAC Tournament Final (11/09)

TBA vs TBA

Quick Hits:

Who’s in and who’s out in terms of the NCAA Tournament? Well, UCF is definitely in, and UConn and South Florida are probably going to be able to just run out the clock thanks to some of the incompetence of some of their bubble rivals. Cincinnati is probably the bigger potential poison to the RPI, meaning South Florida will probably want to avoid an upset in the quarterfinals just to make sure. Memphis is probably going to be in for a nervous week if they can’t win the auto bid. Their RPI profile is shaky as hell with just a win against South Florida and draw with UConn helping their cause. They pretty much have to avoid the bad loss in the quarterfinal and may in fact need to get to the final…and even that might not be enough if Cincinnati beats South Florida. Memphis can’t get the prize of UCF before the final either, so it might be an auto bid or bust situation for the Tigers.

OK, who’s winning this thing? UCF is favored. Slightly. Perhaps too slightly considering they almost pulled off a perfect record in the league this year en route to another league title, only losing to UConn. Depending on how much you feel home advantage is going to help, South Florida may be the team to back. The Bulls enter as one of the league’s form teams, having won four in a row and six of their last seven. That one loss? A 3-0 home defeat to UCF. So perhaps you may not want to go crazy on the hype train. In fact, they get a tough quarterfinal against this competition’s best dark horse, Cincinnati. The Bearcats have the third best WTSR number but also went 1-4-0 on the road in the league this year, including two-goal losses to USF and UCF.

UConn also has a real shot at the title and got a generous quarterfinal draw against a soft #5 seed in Tulsa and will surely be out for a little vengeance after a 2-2 draw with them in the regular season. Tulsa’s WTSR shows them to be one of the league’s four worst teams, so I’d expect them to be handled pretty easily. Memphis isn’t probably worth a bet as the #5 ranked WTSR team despite being second seeds, which is problematic considering their situation in needing an at-large bid.

#8 Temple is the best of the sides relegated to the opening round, but don’t figure to have much to offer against UCF if they win on Friday. Perhaps the most interesting bit about Friday’s matches is #9 SMU actually being a bigger underdog than a woeful #10 Houston despite the Mustangs being better in the league table and in WTSR.

Atlantic Sun

Weighted Total Shot Ratio (MAX 2.00)

1.50 – (1) Florida Gulf Coast
1.26 – (6) Kennesaw State
1.19 – (2) Lipscomb
1.17 – (3) Jacksonville
0.90 – (DNQ) Stetson
0.89 – (5) Northern Kentucky
0.74 – (4) North Florida
0.45 – (DNQ) USC Upstate

Schedule (WTSR difference in parentheses by home side/higher seed)

Atlantic Sun Tournament Quarterfinals (10/31)

(3) Jacksonville (+0.09) vs (6) Kennesaw State – 6:00 PM

Atlantic Sun Tournament Quarterfinals (11/01)

(4) North Florida (+0.15) vs (5) Northern Kentucky – 12:00 PM

Atlantic Sun Tournament Semi-Finals (11/07)

(1) Florida Gulf Coast vs TBA
(2) Lipscomb vs TBA

Atlantic Sun Tournament Final (11/09)

TBA vs TBA

Quick Hits:

Well, first of all, it’s going to take a Herculean effort for anyone to top Florida Gulf Coast and keep them from the auto bid, as they have a gigantic WTSR advantage equivalent to performances in the league from powerhouses like BYU and Virginia. Add in home advantage in the semis and final and the fact that they’ll be facing a team that’s already played one more game heading into the semi-final, and they’ve got a huge advantage. The Eagles may have hopes for an at-large bid, but they know that it’s not a huge chance, so they’ll want to keep winning to wrap up the auto bid and perhaps avoid Florida and Florida State in the NCAA Tournament first round.

The next thing to notice is the fact that the home side in each quarterfinal is an underdog according to WTSR, if you don’t factor in home advantage. With home advantage, I’d probably argue that it’s about even money in both matches. Crazily enough, Kennesaw State, the #6 seed is second favorite via WTSR. Considering the Owls have three one-goal losses in the league and took Florida Gulf Coast to extra time before falling, KSU is a dark horse, if not to win the thing, then to at least get to next weekend.

Otherwise, fourth seed North Florida looks surprisingly weak for a side who has home advantage this weekend and comes in having lost two in a row, with the defense getting punished for five combined goals. Their WTSR is actually lower than Stetson, who didn’t qualify. Northern Kentucky, their first round opponent, technically isn’t eligible for the league’s auto bid, but is here nonetheless. It could lead to the bizarre situation of a team losing the final but getting the league’s bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Lipscomb and Jacksonville aren’t bad in WTSR rankings, but then again, they, and everyone else, are going to need something special to deny FGCU their spot in the NCAA Tournament.

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