The funnest month of the lacrosse season starts with conference tournaments this week.
There were a couple of minor upsets last night: Drexel over Penn State in the Colonial, Fairfield over Ohio State in the ECAC.
But NOTHING like what happened earlier today: St. John's 8, Notre Dame 7. The Red Storm built a five-goal lead through three quarters, and just barely made it stand up. Westy Hopkins had a good look with three seconds to go, but couldn't convert to force overtime.
Duke is back in the conversation for the overall number one seed.
Shakeups at the top can only help our Devils, though. IL's Bracketology had us seeded third overall and tabbed with a first-round re-match with Denver.
Duke University '15
KRZYZEWSKIVILLE LINE MONITOR | 2013-2014
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Denver, Colgate, and Penn State are now officially sweating bullets (Colgate can arguably lock down an at-large berth by beating the Turtles on Saturday). Nova is playing itself out of the tournament as I write this, down by seven with nine minutes to go. The Ivy League is now officially a one-bid league. God help all the bubble teams if Drexel somehow finds a way to beat UMass, or Fairfield upsets Loyola, or both.
I believe the Big East gets an AQ for the first time this year, so the tournament is important.
I am so excited to likely have a home game to start the tourny.
"This is the best of all possible worlds."
Dr. Pangloss - Candide
The NEC will probably get an AQ next year, so things will get even hairier for teams seeking at-large berths.
The ACC could, if it wanted to get to six members and secure an AQ, accept BU or Furman as a lax-only member once their programs get going. At that point, with nine AQs, the tournament simply has to expand.
The women's tournament effectively has a 19-team field; there are three "play-in games" this weekend pitting the AQs from six "minor" conferences against each other (e.g., Navy, the Patriot League champion, is at Oregon, the surprise winner of the MPSF, tomorrow).
I think I would prefer to see the men's tournament go to a 20-team field, seed the entire field, and have 13-20, 14-19, 15-18, and 16-17 games on Wednesday of the first week.
Since you've heard it before, I will spare y'all my annual rant about the five ACC schools in the MCLA top 25 and how they should all move to NCAA D1 status, except to note how quickly Michigan has started lining up top-20 recruiting classes (the USC women's program is doing the same thing, having particular success recruiting in New Jersey).
Down 13-4 to Yale, midway through the fourth quarter.
Loyola is up 7-3 on Fairfield late in the first half.
Maryland loses to Colgate today, 13-11.
Elsewhere Syracuse had no trouble with St. John's--wouldn't be surprised to see them make a big splash in the tournament now that they are in on an AQ.
Stony Brook is up five on Albany with less than five minutes to go.
A possible Duke - Stony Brook matchup would have some interesting baggage. SB's starting keeper is Sean Burke. "Crashed and burned" is probably not an unfair description of his two-plus seasons at Duke.
Joan Didion looks like required reading for the Turtles.
Even though they won 19-5, the simple act of playing Michigan put a huge dent in Carolina's RPI and SOS. Don't be surprised to see them unseeded and on the road for the first round.
If RPI and SOS are what really matters to the selection committee, Duke could be the overall top seed. I think it's more realistic to expect that they will be either the two or three seed, depending on whether the committee wants to reward UMass for its undefeated season or punish it for its weak RPI. The top four are virtually certain to be Loyola, Duke, UMass, and Notre Dame. The next four will be Hopkins, Lehigh, Virginia, and Heck If I Know.
All the aficionados know this this, but I had to look it up. -- sage
Yale now leading Princeton for the Ivy League championship and AQ 11-5 with a little over 5 minutes remaining. Doubt anyone on the seeding committee expected this; commentators were talking about the Ivy as a one-bid league, but that was when they thought either Princeton or Cornell would win the championship. Princeton will have to at least be in the discussion for an at-large bid but may not get one.
Final score Canisius 10, Siena 9. Go figure.
Two teams with losing records in the tournament.
Canisius also messes up the geography. If you seeded the field 1-16, they would undoubtedly be the 16 seed. But it wouldn't surprise me to see them sent out to South Bend to play Notre Dame.
Yale now leading by 8 goals with just over a minute to play. AAAAnd, 6-7 Canisius edges 11-5 Siena for the MAAC AQ. May madness is really beyond mad this year.
Top four seeds are Loyola, Hop (???), Duke, and ND.
Canisius at (1) Loyola
Denver at (8) Carolina
Princeton at (5) Virginia
Yale at (4) Notre Dame