It is NCAA Selection Tuesday, so here is a look at the DI contenders before the announcement of the field: Who’s In, Who’s Done, and How the "Bubble" Might Break for teams on the edge of making it to Sacramento, at least according to row2k staffers, erik and john.
(note: we’ve listed teams alphabetically throughout; “key wins” and “key losses” refer to regular season results)
We can start the "Who's In" list with the (most likely) #1’s in each of the five DI regions: Brown (New England) California (West) Ohio State (Central) Princeton (Mid Atlantic) Virginia (South)
At-Large bids will almost certainly include these three top ten teams, and here is why: Southern California (West)
Third in PAC-10, undefeated regular season; key wins: Cal, Stanford, Virginia, Michigan State, UCLA; key losses: none, until PAC-10s Stanford (West)
Second at PAC-10; key wins: Cal, USC, Virginia, Brown, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin, UCLA; key losses: Cal (split) Yale (New England)
Fourth at EAWRs, with strong 2V silver and V4 bronze; key wins: Ohio State, Dartmouth, Columbia, Pennsylvania; key losses: Princeton, Brown, Cornell, Harvard
We see these next four squads as very likely to garner At-Large bids as well: Clemson (South)
Second in ACC; key wins: Ohio State, Michigan, UCLA, Notre Dame; key losses: USC, Virginia, Texas Dartmouth (New England)
Third at Sprints moved the Big Green off the bubble, even with a weak V4; key wins: Harvard, Minnesota; key losses: Princeton, Yale, Harvard (split), Cornell Washington (West)
Fifth at PAC-10s, but fourth as team with 2V fourth and V4 silver; key wins: Washington State, Oklahoma; key losses: Cal, Stanford, USC, Wisconsin Washington State (West)
Fourth at PAC-10s, ahead of Washington; key wins: Ohio State, Michigan; key losses: Cal, Stanford, USC, Washington, Michigan State
That brings us to the eight teams we see as “on the bubble” and the case for each: Cornell (Mid Atlantic)
Sixth at EAWRC’s but strong regular season, and put all three boats into finals; key wins: Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Pennsylvania; key losses: Princeton, Brown, Columbia Columbia (Mid Atlantic)
Seventh at EAWRCs, missing final with loss to Dartmouth; key wins: Cornell, Northeastern, Tennessee; key losses: Princeton, Brown, Virginia, Pennsylvania Harvard (New England)
Fifth at EAWRCs, put all three boats into finals; key wins: Yale, Ohio State, Dartmouth, Northeastern; key losses: Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth (split), Cornell Michigan (Central)
Third at Big Tens, and second as team, with medals in all three boats; key wins: Minnesota, Oklahoma; key losses: Virginia, Ohio State, Clemson, Wisconsin Michigan State (Central)
First at Big Tens in V8 again, but 2V and V4 out of the medals; key wins: Texas, Washington State; key losses: Princeton, USC, Virginia, Brown, Ohio State Texas (South)
First in Conference USA and Big 12; key wins: Clemson, Wisconsin, UCLA, Tennessee; key losses: Michigan State UCLA (West)
Sixth at PAC-10s; key wins: Iowa, San Diego State; key losses: Cal, Stanford, USC, Virginia, Clemson, Texas, Oklahoma Wisconsin (Central)
Fourth at Big Tens, but third as team with 2V silver and V4 gold; key wins: Washington, Washington State, Michigan; key losses: Stanford, Brown, Michigan State, Texas, Tennessee, Notre Dame
Tough call for the Selection Committee on some of these teams, and even row2k's intrepid staffers, erik and john, cannot agree, so here are two takes on who might find their way in off the bubble:
row2k's john says:
I call the last four IN as Cornell, Harvard, Michigan State, and Wisconsin, leaving Columbia, Michigan, Texas, and UCLA out of the 2011 field.
Harvard has hit its stride at the right timewith a win over a stronger Yale at the end of the season. Fifth in a really strong field at EAWRCs, ahead of Cornell, will stand up a bit better than Texas' resume in the South region.
row2k's erik begs to differ:
I agree on Cornell, Michigan State, and Wisconsin as IN, but I'm taking Texas as the team that will make the field, from the South, over Harvard. Columbia, Michigan, and UCLA will not make the cut this year.
Texas had a strong regular season with wins over Clemson, Wisconsin and UCLA and is a close third in the South region rankings. The Longhorns raced well out of conference and swept their postseason, so they are the stronger candidate here.
Added 5:30 pm ET, 5/17: DI Rowing field announced
Congrats to all 16 selected schools, and especially to Michigan for beating the bubble with a strong showing at the Big Ten Championship.