Drexel gets the shaft once again
Issue date: 5/14/10 Section: Sports
Call it whatever you want, the Drexel men's lacrosse team got the short end of the stick.
Picked to finish last in the Colonial Athletic Association prior to the start of the 2010 season, the Dragons did everything in their power to prove their non-believers wrong.
They upset then third-ranked Notre Dame in overtime, beat perennial conference powerhouse Hofstra at home, knocked off Lafayette on the road in decisive fashion and then pulverized UMass on Senior Day en route to accumulating 10 regular season victories. But when the selection committee was deciding on which 16 teams would get into the NCAA Tournament May 9, apparently none of those feats mattered.
Instead of garnering a well-deserved at-large berth, the Dragons, a team that had far-exceeded its less than modest expectations, were left out of the field. Meanwhile, a pair of teams they had beaten, a Fighting Irish team with a 7-6 record and a 9-4 Pride team that didn't even qualify for the CAA Tournament, were chosen ahead of them.
Yes, Drexel was a bubble team, just like Notre Dame and Hofstra. The Dragons put themselves in that position by going 2-3 down the stretch after busting out of the gate with an 8-2 mark.
However, all of their five losses were "legit." Drexel fell to top-ranked/seeded Virginia and a 10-5 Villanova team during the non-conference portion of its schedule, while losing to Towson and Delaware (twice) in CAA play - two teams that would eventually battle for the CAA championship, which the Blue Hens won 12-9.
All of these points, though, are moot. In the end, the Dragons had the 19th-best RPI and their strength of schedule suffered because all four of their key wins came against teams that would ultimately underachieve the rest of the way. Not to mention they didn't take care of business in the conference tournament.