Today is this, basically:
Otherwise, here are your five highlights for the weekend:
- America East Hootenanny: This is all you need to know: Other than Albany, every team in the league -- Harford, Stony Brook, UMBC, Binghamton, and Vermont -- is fighting for a chance to make the trip to the North Shore of Long Island next week. The league is a beautiful rendition of abstract art, and clarity won't be found until the end of the evening. The quality of the conference from top to bottom isn't among the national elite, but the league's race to find four teams for its postseason tournament is definitively aces. The Seawolves have the most difficult draw of the day with Albany on the slate, but anything is possible.
- Yale at Harvard and Georgetown at Rutgers: Up in Massachusetts, Harvard has a straightforward task -- knock off their archrival and win a complimentary wine and cheese social (and earn an invitation to the Ivy League Tournament); lose to the Elis and find punishment in the form of working at a second tier private equity firm (and see Pennsylvania earn the conference's final postseason position). As for the Hoyas, their journey is similar to that of the Crimson -- beat the Scarlet Knights on the banks of the Raritan and make the trip to Villanova for the Big East Tournament; lose to a Brian Brecht-less Rutgers team and it's St. John's chance to book a charter bus to the outer reaches of Philadelphia. There is no such thing as destiny, people, but these are consequences within both teams' control.
- Loyola at Johns Hopkins: You can make a pretty decent argument that both teams need this game like crazypants need insanity threads (although, with the ECAC Tournament on the horizon, the Greyhounds have a little more wiggle room than the Blue Jays). Homewood should actually have lots of people in the stands today -- shocking twist! -- and the intrigue surrounding the game is palpable: Hopkins looked forlorn and lost just a few weeks ago and are now on the verge of having a very compelling NCAA Tournament case; Loyola is in a somewhat tenuous position but a loss doesn't totally sink their battleship. The bubble loves anarchy, you guys.
- Big City Classic: There isn't a stronger block of games this afternoon than what MetLife Stadium will host. Princeton-Cornell as an undercard is almost embarrassing given the fact that the Red are a legitimate national championship contender and Princeton is capable of knocking off their Ithacan rivals, thereby significantly upgrading its NCAA Tournament resume. As a nightcap, Notre Dame-Syracuse may decide the Big East championship (possibly subject to what happens in the Providence-Villanova game) and impact seeding considerations for May's biggest event. East Rutherford isn't exactly a big city -- it's "a" city, and everything should be left at that -- but the focus of the lacrosse world (and possibly the universe if aliens with weird eyes and stuff are into lacrosse) are focused upon the happenings at the Meadowlands this evening.
- Bucknell-Lehigh and Virginia-North Carolina: Bubble teams are staring at these games with focused attention (and, possibly, scowls). If Virginia beats Carolina on the Heels' home field, the Cavaliers will move above .500 on the season and have a very interesting NCAA Tournament resume (interesting in the sense that RPI values are things) sufficient to at least warrant May discussion. A North Carolina victory assures that the Cavaliers will not participate in the NCAA Tournament, consequently making the postseason bubble a little less crowded. It's somewhat unclear what the potential result of Bucknell-Lehigh has for at-large hopefuls: Both teams are tournament quality, but the loser of Sunday's final is going to have its hopes dictated not by what happens on Sunday, but how their resumes compare to other resumes a week from Sunday. Both the Bison and the Mountain Hawks complete their regular seasons on the field at Lehigh, and the non-qualified team will need to patiently wait to see how they stack up with the competition.
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).
|Quinnipiac||Robert Morris||11:30||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|High Point||Drexel||1:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Marquette||St. John's||1:00||LIVE STATS||N/A|
|Sacred Heart||Bryant||1:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Fairfield||Ohio State||1:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Jacksonville||Mercer||1:00||LIVE STATS||N/A||Mount St. Mary's||Wagner||1:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Loyola||Johns Hopkins||2:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Hobart||Air Force||2:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Notre Dame||Syracuse||6:30||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Albany||Stony Brook||7:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|Penn State||Hofstra||7:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
|St. Joseph's||Towson||7:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
And here's your Sunday slate:
|Virginia||North Carolina||1:00||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
This is your open thread for the weekend. The black keys on the piano are my favorite ones. People will be around to yak about whatever is tickling their fancy.