Counting this weekend, college lacrosse is down to three weekends of optimally-weaponized regular season action. That fact is depressing in the sense that it feels like the season just got here -- the bowl of french onion dip isn't even half-empty yet; the regular season can't be ready to leave, right? In another sense, the regular season's imminent approach to April's sunset provides the best recurring physics experiment ever conceived: The conversion of potential lacrosse energy into kinetic lacrosse energy. College lacrosse is on the launch pad and steam and smoke and stuff is billowing from its rocket boosters. The button that creates instant velocity gets pressed this weekend.
There are 28 games this weekend with 25 on Saturday and three more on Sunday. The weekend's rivalry games are the biggest draw over the next two days -- Denver visiting Loyola, Johns Hopkins taking the short trip to Maryland, and Army heading south to Annapolis to face Navy -- and you can get truckloads of information about each of those games by clicking this fancy highlighted text on your Internet computing machine. Otherwise, here are five more highlights for the weekend:
- Hartford at Binghamton and UMBC at Stony Brook: Did you just eye-roll at me? I can feel that through the Internet, you know. Before you saunter along to the next highlight, let me explain this a little bit: Albany is head and shoulders above every other team in the America East this season (at least at this point in the year), but there are still all kinds of interesting league tournament seeding scenarios in play for the conference as May approaches. The Hawks and Bearcats are similarly situated teams, both holding 1-1 conference records and almost identical adjusted efficiency margin values (Binghamton is ranked 38th at -3.08; Hartford is ranked 44th at -4.35). Stony Brook, while looking significantly stronger than UMBC based on tempo-free statistics, is in the same situation as the Retrievers in the America East at the moment, each branded with 1-1 records. How these games shake out today -- the permutations are ridiculous -- may ultimately drive what the America East Tournament looks like in a few weeks, and that deserves more than a hand wave from Earth.
- Pennsylvania at Harvard: This, basically:
- HOT AND BARELY LEGAL THUNDERDOME! ACTION: Drexel-Massachusetts and Towson-Penn State dot the conference's deathmatches today. The Dragons can kill UMass' thoughts about repeating as THUNDERDOME! champions with a win today in Amherst, but that game is merely prologue for the league's premier event: The Tigers, with a somewhat surprising 3-0 CAA record, head to Penn State to try and put a blotch on the Nittany Lions' similarly unblemished league record. Both of these games have a weird feel to them, and if I were you, I'd just sit back and let the lead-pipe-to-skull shots ring free and proud.
- Villanova at St. John's: Here's the backdrop dominating the narrative in Jamaica today: The Wildcats own a win over Georgetown; Georgetown owns a win over St. John's; Villanova is currently 3-0 in Big East play while St. John's and Georgetown are in striking distance of a conference tournament berth, the former owning a 2-2 league record (with wins over Notre Dame and Rutgers and losses to Syracuse and the Hoyas) and the latter with a 2-1 mark in the Big East (wins over Providence and St. John's and the loss to Villanova); and Georgetown is on the road to South Bend on Sunday for a date with Notre Dame. 'Cats-Johnnies is the pivot point for trying to focus this blurry Big East Tournament picture: A Villanova victory ensures that the Wildcats will finish with no worse than a 4-2 conference record, sealing a spot in the Big East Tournament for the Wildcats (I think); a St. John's victory moves the Red Storm closer to the league tournament, although the Johnnies' road is contingent upon (1) Notre Dame and Syracuse beating the Hoyas or (2) epic collapses from the Irish, Orange, and Wildcats. Set your faces to "Melt," people.
- North Carolina at Hofstra: This, basically:
Here's Saturday's full schedule. If there are errors, please let me know. I'll fix/populate links to live stats and video as the day progresses (if necessary).
|Marquette||High Point||12:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Delaware||St. Joseph's||1:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Towson||Penn State||1:00||LIVE STATS||BIG TEN NETWORK|
|Army||Navy||2:00||LIVE STATS||CBS SPORTS NETWORK|
|Air Force||Fairfield||2:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Villanova||St. John's||3:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Johns Hopkins||Maryland||3:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Ohio State||Michigan||3:30||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|UMBC||Stony Brook||4:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Providence||Holy Cross||6:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|North Carolina||Hofstra||7:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Quinnipiac||Sacred Heart||7:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
And here's your Sunday slate:
|Georgetown||Notre Dame||11:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Mount St. Mary's||Robert Morris||1:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
This is your open thread for the weekend. If you're going out this afternoon, can you pick me up some fresh blueberries? Thanks. People will be around to yak about whatever is tickling their fancy.