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A Zillion Stories and One Set of Beats: Semifinal Saturday

Blowing it out for today. You're welcome.

Unease in Lacrosse Amid Race for Earlier Commitments
The race for earlier and earlier commitments — the same rush that is well known in college men’s basketball and football — has spread to men’s lacrosse.

Davis Butts: Rebel with a cause
Loyola midfielder Davis Butts has always been a Rebel at heart. The Walpole High product virtually grew up a long stick away from Gillette Stadium.

Duke has unique perspective on other semifinalists
No. 3 seed Blue Devils have dropped regular-season meetings to No. 1 seed Loyola, No. 4 seed Notre Dame and Maryland.

For little Loyola, lacrosse is a big deal
At Loyola University Maryland, there is no big-time football program. The men’s basketball team competes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. These are assets in Charley Toomey’s favor.

NCAA lacrosse: For Notre Dame’s John Kemp, it’s a family affair
Notre Dame goalie John Kemp followed his brothers from Georgetown Prep to NCAA lacrosse.

NCAA lacrosse title could come down to play of midfield
The road to the final four has led Loyola, Maryland, Duke and Notre Dame to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. But their midfields could drive them to a coveted national title.

NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships: Div. 1 at a glance
On one hand, the four teams taking the field tomorrow at Gillette Stadium perhaps are further proof that parity finally has arrived in Division 1 men’s lacrosse. For the first time since 1975 — coincidentally, when Maryland last won it all — the semifinals will not include Syracuse, Johns Hopkins or Virginia, and the remaining field has only one championship in that same time span (Duke in 2010).

More after the jump.

Notre Dame counting on defense in lacrosse Final Four
Euphoria over another men's lacrosse Final Four appearance dissolved a bit by the time Notre Dame examined the un-Irish way it got there. In a losing effort, Virginia scored

Lacrosse Final Four preview
One game matches two schools that have elbowed their way from the middle of the pack to the forefront of emerging elite programs. The other matches two college lacrosse bluebloods. In Saturday's o

N.C.A.A Preview: Loyola Is Still the 1
The Loyola University men's lacrosse team began the season unranked. Now the Greyhounds are the top seed in the N.C.A.A. tournament and play Notre Dame in the semifinals on Saturday.

Notre Dame begins quest for first NCAA lacrosse title
Seeking its first NCAA Division I men's lacrosse title, fourth-seeded Notre Dame takes on top-seeded Loyola (Md.) at 2:30 p.m. in the first semifinal game Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

NCAA lacrosse semifinals a Haus party for Maryland, Duke
The Maryland Terrapins know not to expect any trash talk from junior John Haus on Saturday against Duke. Even with his younger brother Will in the opposing midfield, John will go about his business quietly in the NCAA semifinals.

John Tillman has Maryland in lacrosse Final Four again
It was almost impossible for John Tillman to bring his University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team to Harvard Stadium Thursday for practice and not get nostalgic as it prepared for its Final Four matchup Saturday with Duke.

Lacrosse Party-Boy Image Worries Coaches Who See Slower Growth
Duke University men’s lacrosse coach John Danowski still talks to recruits’ parents about the stripper party that led to false rape allegations six years ago.

Today's beats: When I was a kid, TV-38 in Boston was the broadcast home of the Bruins. For whatever reason, they used Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's "Nutrocker" as the theme for the team. Also, they put a Bruins logo on Mikhail Gorbachev's splotchy birthmark. America! (I'm not sure what any of this has to do with anything.)