Loyola Earns Top Seed In Men's Lacrosse Tournament
By Todd McElwee
The NCAA tournament field is set. Which teams got snubbed, which got lucky and who will be the last standing on Memorial Day? Here are the opening-round schedule and a few storylines to keep track of as we march toward championship weekend (which, in my opinion, should always be in Baltimore).
Division I First-Round Games
No. 1 Loyola vs. Canisius -- 5 p.m.
No. 3 Duke vs. Syracuse -- 12 p.m.
No. 6 UMass vs. Colgate -- 2:30 p.m.
No. 8 North Carolina vs. Denver -- 7:30 p.m.
No. 2 Hopkins vs. Stony Brook -- 3 p.m.
No. 4 Notre Dame vs. Yale -- 5:15 p.m.
No. 5 Virginia vs. Princeton -- 1 p.m.
No. 7 Lehigh vs. Maryland -- 7:30 p.m.
Is Loyola The Favorite?
Head coach Charley Toomey and the Greyhounds (14-1), champions of the Eastern College Athletic Conference, earned their first No. 1 seed since 1999 and first home tournament game since 2000. They'll get Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champ Canisius (6-7) at the Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday.
The question, though, is whether Loyola is the favorite. Of all of the seeded teams, they may have the toughest quarterfinal matchup should Denver defeat North Carolina. It would be the third time the Greyhounds and Pioneers have met this year -- Loyola won both games, 12-9 during the regular season and 14-13 in overtime during the ECAC semifinals. That's a great storyline, but is it really fair to Loyola?
Did UMass Get Hosed?
Yes, the undefeated Minutemen (15-0) got the shaft, pulling only the sixth seed and a dangerous opening-round matchup with Colgate (13-3), whose roster includes the nation's leading scorer, Peter Baum (5.73 points per game).
My apologies to those who hold either Stony Brook (7-9) or Lehigh (14-2) -- both fine institutions of higher learning -- in their hearts, but I'm hoping for a quarterfinal meeting between the Blue Jays (11-3) and Terps (9-5).
Salisbury awaits the winner of Wednesday's game between Goucher (17-1) and Washington College (11-5). The Sea Gulls (19-0) will be a heavy favorite against either squad, but it's always fun to see intrastate rivalries shake down in the postseason.
Stevenson (14-2) will play Birmingham-Southern College (14-4) Wednesday.
Posted May 7, 2012