FOXBORO, MA - MAY 26: Eric Lusby #12 of Loyola Greyhounds (C) is congratulated by teammates after scoring against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first half of a semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championships at Gillette Stadium on May 26, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
This is it, boys and girls. 99.8 percent of the college lacrosse season is complete, which is exciting and makes me love these United States of America.
It's been a crazy ride this season, what with all the cockamamie nonsense that dominated a solid 60 or so days of the regular and postseason. I really can't remember a year in which all hell was breaking loose every single gameday, leaving conceptual understanding in the dust and replacing it with a sticker that just read, "Bonkers!" Despite all that, though, Loyola -- which participated in but generally avoided the calamity of Division I in 2012 -- is chasing down its first championship ever while Maryland -- long a blue blood without the cash reserves of its peer group -- looks to get its first since 1975.
These are the good times, people.
Here are a couple of things to keep an eye on today:
- Turnovers: Which team will create them and which team will avoid them? There's a tension here and whichever team can generate and limit these circumstances may create the momentum necessary to take home a national title.
- Which team will win in personnel imbalance scenarios (if they occur)? Maryland has a bit of a situtional issue, playing in lots of man-down scenarios; each team, independent of how often they play in personnel imbalance scenarios, clicks very well with the extra attacker. Preferential scoring opportunities against staunch defenses are always important factors in determining a winner, and there aren't too many scoring situations that are as preferential as extra-man opportunities.
- Which team will share the ball the best? When Maryland and Loyola's offenses are at their best they're generally sharing the ball and spreading the wealth. Neither of these defenses yield too many of these opportunities, so whichever team can pick their spots the best may make the scoreboard blink the most.
Anyway, here's how the game shakes out on the Fun Factor scale:
This is your open thread for the game. Rock and roll is evil. 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.