NCAA releases final weekly regional rankings
Another week has passed and we are now a mere week from the start of the NCAA tournament and just days away from selection Sunday. The men's and women's committees have released the third and final weekly pre-tournament regional rankings to give us a look at how they see the teams stacking up within their respective regions. These rankings are based on the same criteria that the committees will use to make at-large tournament selections and thus give us a good indication of who is best positioned to get an invite if they do not claim an automatic berth via their conference championship.
On the men's side we the big gainers this week were Trinty (Conn.), up three spots from No. 0 to No. 6 in New England; Johns Hopkins jumping into the rankings at No. 5 in the Mid-Atlantic; and going the other direction, Gustavus Adolphus dropping from No. 4 to No. 7 in the North region. All but one No. 1 from last week held firm, the exception Washington U. giving way to Dominican who leaped over North Park as well to go top. The big surprise of the week is UW-Whitewater at 11-7-0 entering the North region rankings at No. 6 ahead of the falling Gustavus Adolphus who's tie with Macalester last week was costlier than they could have imagined. The only explanation is Whitewater's 0.571 in-region strength-of-schedule (SOS), one of the highest, because their 0-3-0 record against regionally ranked teams isn't what got them ranked. Conversely, Pacific Lutheran, at 15-1-0 in-region, continues to be shunned in the West due to their low 0.457 SOS. They have already clinched the NWC title and automatic tournament berth by going 12-1-0 in conference, and thus do not need to worry as their have kept their fate out of the committee's hands.
Lile the men, seven of eight No. 1 ranked women's teams remained in the top spot for another week. Ohio Northern yielded the top spot in the Great Lakes region, swapping places with previous No. 2 Case Western. Carleton made the highest debut, popping up at No. 5 in the North where the biggest slide of the week occurred with UW-Stout landing at No. 8 after a week in the fourth slot. MIT was big climber, jumping from No. 10 to No. 6 in New England. The East region had the most movement with NYU up three to No. 4 and Ithaca up two to No. 2 along with two new faces at the bottom. Three new teams made the Mid-Atlantic rankings lead by Arcadia at No. 6.
Click above or here for full men's table.
Click above or here for full women's table.