2012 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament Final Four Open Thread: (4) Notre Dame at (1) Loyola

May 20, 2012; Chester, PA USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish attack Sean Rogers (18) celebrates his goal with teammates Conor Doyle (28) and Steve Murphy (16) during the second half of the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals against the Virginia Cavaliers at PPL Park. The Fighting Irish won 12-10. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Here we go, knuckleheads. The 2012 NCAA lacrosse Final Four has its face-off in just a few minutes and I couldn't be any happier. The three-pack of games this weekend has all kinds of competitive matchups and compelling story lines, not the least of which is the NCAA denying me a press credential. So, we can all watch this together, from our couches and recliners, with Arnold Palmers in hand and a smoker in the backyard slowly turning delicious meat into even more delicious meat.

I love America.

Notre Dame and Loyola kick things off this weekend at 2:30 P.M. ESPN2 and ESPN3 have the broadcast. The network is pulling out all the stops for this thing, so enjoy the incredible future of television (which is neither incredible nor taking place in the future)!

Here are a couple of things to keep an eye on today:

  • Notre Dame's defense is a death machine of death, but Loyola is rolling with some of the strongest offensive guns in the country in Justin Ward, Davis Butts, Mike Sawyer, and Eric Lusby. There's a lot of tension there, and if the Greyhounds are able to control the possession margin battle on the day, Loyola may have just enough hammers to break the Irish's brick.
  • The 'Hounds aren't much of a slouch defensively -- Jack Runkel is a bit of an issue for Loyola between the pipes, though -- but Notre Dame's offense has slowly started to find its way during the postseason. If the Irish's defense is able to keep Loyola's offense at or below eight tallies (which is going to be difficult), Notre Dame may have enough offense to keep pace and pull out, yet again, another victory.
  • Neither team has ever won a national title, which means absolutely nothing today. I just wanted to show everyone that I read each team's game notes. Congratulations, Hoya Suxa!

Anyway, here's how the game shakes out on the Fun Factor scale:

NOTRE DAME at LOYOLA
AWAY HOME TIME FUN FACTOR RANK
Notre Dame Loyola 2:30 4.4209 2

This is your open thread for the game. Watch out for those staties, people. Remember: If you haven't yet, give a "like" to College Crosse over on Facebook and make sure to give a follow to College Crosse on Twitter.

HELPFUL RESOURCES
Pretty Pictures!
Notre Dame Profile
Loyola Profile
Game Overview

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