All of the prognostications from the east coast lacrosse media establishment proved true. The country’s only unbeaten team, BIG EAST regular season and tournament champions Denver (19-0, 6-0 BIG EAST), will not be one of the top four seeds in the NCAA Tournament, which starts next weekend. The top four seeds, as predicted were Northwestern, Syracuse, Boston College, and North Carolina. Denver is the #5 overall seed and will host the Pac-12 champion USC in the first round next weekend. The other first-round game that Denver will host is between Virginia and Albany. Should the Pioneers beat the Trojans, they will play the winner of that game.
The full bracket is below:
✨ 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗲𝘁 ✨
🔗 https://t.co/bL1HFoukmc#NCAAWLAX pic.twitter.com/mPxPi6Tyde
— NCAA Lacrosse (@NCAALAX) May 8, 2023
The committee completely disrespected Denver’s strong resume that featured plenty of top-25 victories and, of course, the country’s only unbeaten record. Even though the Pioneers have the luxury of hosting their first two potential NCAA Tournament games, they do not have the luxury of hosting their potential quarterfinal matchup with North Carolina (assuming they win both of their own first two games). That game would take place in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a half-hour drive from Cary, the site of 2023’s Championship Weekend.
However, all of that has yet to transpire and the Pioneers have a big game against a very good team in the USC Trojans that went 16-3 this season, en route to sweeping the Pac-12 championships themselves, with regular season and tournament titles. That game between the Pios and Trojans will take place at 3pm Friday afternoon at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.
Staying home and facing an old rival.
DU vs. USC on Friday at 3 p.m. MT at Peter Barton stadium.#GoPios pic.twitter.com/pJQ2RskDIl
— Denver Women’s Lacrosse (@DU_WLAX) May 8, 2023
Tickets are now available for all three games at Peter Barton. You can purchase them at this link or at the link in the tweet below (they’re the same link):
Tickets for NCAA Regionals at Peter Barton Stadium are on sale now!
FRIDAY ROUND 1
3 pm MT: Denver vs. USC
6 pm MT: Virginia vs. Albany
SUNDAY ROUND 2
1 pm MT: Round 1 winners
🎟: https://t.co/LWxnVfLusw pic.twitter.com/Q3swkxOSUV
— Denver Women’s Lacrosse (@DU_WLAX) May 8, 2023
As expected, the Denver men did not make the field of 17 teams in the men’s NCAA Tournament. Already squarely on the bubble for an at-large bid, falling 14-5 to Georgetown in a lackluster BIG EAST championship game is what likely pushed Denver out of tournament contention. Bill Tierney’s coaching career is now over.
We will have more over the coming weeks on the crossroads that this program is facing as the leader of the program shifts from Tierney to Matt Brown and what it’s going to take for the Pioneers to return to the sport’s pinnacle.
Top photo courtesy of the BIG EAST Conference
7 thoughts on “Denver Women Named #5 Seed in NCAA Tournament”
Denver was egregiously screwed as a five seed, after a perfect season, a win over ACC champ BC, 12 road wins and six wins over top 20 teams. NCAA protected a four loss Carolina team by keeping them in state all the way to the finals if they win.
SOS is a very questionable metric in a short-season sport, considering the built-in advantages for ACC and Big 10 programs with all those extra high RPI games. It makes it basically impossible for even undefeated teams like Denver, with ACC and Big 10 non-league wins, to get to a four seed. This is immoral, and the system needs to chance, not only for Denver but for other teams from lesser leagues who run the table, beat good teams and still get screwed due to a broken selection system that is overweighted to RPI and SOS, which are lesser metrics compared to wins and quality wins.
DU also drew USC, when other teams in DU’s bracket got far easier opponents, presumably for geographic reasons which is dumb when all of Denver’s NCAA opponents would have to fly to Denver anyway.
This is immoral…
Dunker couldn’t move for a hour after seeing our draw. I had the same feeling that I get when we lose a ot lacrosse or Hockey game. My strength was sapped. If there was no ACC women’s lacrosse tournament, we would have been a 2 seed. The 4 or 5 seed this year was not splitting hairs.
This DU team showed true grit today in their win over UConn.
They are truly deserving of at least a #3 seed.
There is no BC in DU’s bracket. Instead the ‘un-biased’ east coast committee chose to raise BC to the #3 seed and lower UNC to #4 which puts them in Denver’s bracket. Of course, this gives UNC home field advantage as long as they’re in the tournament.
I hope these DU woman athletes will rise to the occasion and show the committee snobs that they blew it.
Go get em Pioneers!
Let’s hope DU uses this as fuel to dominate next weekend and then, win on the road. It must be frustrating but this team seems mentally tough. All they can do now is beat the teams in front of them and prove the committee wrong.
Of course I would have liked for DU to get a higher seed. But c’mon, like DU hockey fans haven’t ever looked down a bit on hockey teams from weaker conferences in terms of seeding. If DU lax is as good as we think they are, they’ve got a good chance of continuing to beat whomever they play. Time to move on, get excited about the actual games, and hope that the extra chip on the shoulder will help DU’s chances. GO PIONEERS, keep this special season going, and just focus on beating USC!
If nobody bellyaches, the NCAA will keep on screwing teams (not just DU) from outside the ACC and Big 10 on the SOS deficiency. Schools like DU perform well, beat highly ranked teams & deserve higher seeding, but are denied it due to structural RPI and SOS scheduling deficiencies in lesser leagues that likely cannot be overcome.
The system is broken and needs fixing…
This is such nonsense. DU runs the table and gets out-seeded by teams that lost 4 and 3 games respectively. We aren’t talking teams like Northwestern that lost 1. We are talking about a BC team that lost 3, with ONE OF WHICH BEING DU! If a team goes undefeated and has a head-to-head victory against another top opponent then I don’t see any rational reason for BC to be above DU. None. This is a form of favouritism, period. UNC also had FOUR losses. If you aren’t going to reward excellence then what the hell is the point of a committee? Why have conferences? Just let it be a full season free-for-all with at-large bids only. Stupid. The NCAA is different because of regional conference affiliations. I don’t care that the ACC has some really good teams. DU is a legitimate team that won all of its games. If they can’t become a top seed then no “mid-major” can. And that’s incredibly problematic. I hope this fires them up to kick some ass!