Weighted Total Shot Ratio (MAX 2.00)
1.48 – (3) High Point
1.29 – (1) Liberty
1.19 – (2) Coastal Carolina
1.19 – (DNQ) Longwood
1.06 – (8) Radford
0.97 – (6) Winthrop
0.88 – (DNQ) Presbyterian
0.87 – (4) Campbell
0.79 – (7) UNC Asheville
0.74 – (5) Gardner-Webb
0.73 – (DNQ) Charleston Southern
Schedule (WTSR difference in parentheses by home side/higher seed)
Big South Tournament Quarterfinals (11/01)
(2) Coastal Carolina (+0.40) vs (7) UNC Asheville – 5:00 PM
Big South Tournament Quarterfinals (11/02)
(1) Liberty (+0.23) vs (8) Radford
(3) High Point (+0.51) vs (6) Winthrop
(4) Campbell (+0.13) vs (5) Gardner-Webb
Big South Tournament Semi-Finals (11/07)
TBA vs TBA
TBA vs TBA
Big South Tournament Final (11/09)
TBA vs TBA
Yeah, the WTSR numbers really, REALLY like High Point to do the business and win this tournament. Mainly, it’s based on the Panthers’ ability to limit opposing shots on goal, giving up just twenty-six in ten league games this year. They lost to league title winners Liberty in the regular season, 2-0, but it was a close, defensive struggle on the stat sheet in which HPU seemingly went nuts rotating players, using twenty-four (!), as opposed to fifteen for the Flames. It should be noted that the Panthers have a pretty difficult road to the final though. Winthrop’s a good #6 seed, while Coastal Carolina is also fairly meaty in WTSR.
Liberty’s quarterfinal figures to be tougher than it’s semi-final if it wins. Radford may be eighth seeds, but they’re ranked #4 in WTSR amongst tournament qualifiers. The Flames only beat the Highlanders by a single goal in the regular season as well. The 4-5 game between Campbell and Gardner-Webb features two of the three worst ranked teams in the tournament, so Liberty should be good to go if it can just get the quarterfinal out of the way.
Coastal Carolina is probably the last of the teams with a legit chance of winning this competition. The Chants get the easiest first-round matchup against an overseeded UNC Asheville side before a potentially brutal semi-final against favored High Point. CCU will favor its chances if it faces off against league champs Liberty in the final though. They beat the Flames in the regular season, 1-0.
Also, spare a thought for Longwood. The Lancers tied CCU for the #3 ranked WTSR this season in the Big South but didn’t qualify for this tournament. If they had, they’d be a great longshot bet at a shock. As is, we’ll just have to sit back and watch the usually unpredictable Big South Tournament without them.
(Note: The MAAC doesn’t keep track of SOG, so no WTSR numbers for them. Boo.)
It’s hard to make too many judgements about the MAAC Tournament without WTSR stats, but it’s equally hard envisioning anyone but Monmouth or Fairfield walking away with the auto bid. Monmouth was expected to win the league again and did so in dominant fashion. The Hawks are benefitting from a golden generation of talent and would’ve run the table in the league were it not for an away defeat against Canisius, which looks odder by the day. They mopped the floor with Fairfield on the road in the league, 4-0, and have to be considered heavy favorites to do likewise in the final in a week’s time.
The Stags pushed Monmouth a bit in the league, but the punishing head-to-head defeat was basically all she wrote for the league title race. For good measure, Fairfield lost down the stretch to Niagara, which makes a potential 2/3 matchup in the semi-finals pretty tantalizing. Canisius, the sixth seed, is probably the sentimental favorite with Jim Wendling having already announced his retirement from the position at the end of the season. The Golden Griffins may fancy their chances as a Cinderella run as well, having been the only MAAC side to beat Monmouth this year.
MAAC Tournament Quarterfinals (11/01)
(3) Niagara vs (6) Canisus – 5:00 PM
(4) Rider vs (5) Siena – 7:00 PM
MAAC Tournament Semi-Finals (11/07)
(1) Monmouth vs TBA
(2) Fairfield vs TBA
MAAC Tournament Final (11/09)
TBA vs TBA