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Big East Lacrosse Tournament Preview: Georgetown-Villanova

Get your face ready for Hoyas-Wildcats.


Every Division I tournament. Every team. College Crosse has it all on lockdown. Please send cookies and naptime. Today we're slashing to bits the Big East Tournament.

There has been a little bit of chatter about ESPN and the Big East bamboozling Villanova, seeing the black hand of conspiracy move the Wildcats' semifinal game against Georgetown from 4:30 P.M. (the ESPNU broadcast slot) to 7:00 P.M. (the internet-only ESPN3 broadcast). The disgust around the change centers on: (1) Accommodating the Syracuse-Notre Dame rematch, a 2-3 game with NCAA Tournament implications; (2) Shortening the Wildcats' potential turnaround time -- and scouting exposure -- for a date in the conference tournament finals (basically, an "unfairly punished" argument); and (3) Pulling from Villanova's hands a national television appearance, a right supposedly earned for winning the league's top tournament position.

In response to the above, I present the following: The only reason that Villanova is hosting the Big East Tournament -- the biggest advantage a school can have in a tournament setting -- is that the Big East stripped Syracuse of the event's hosting responsibilities when the Orange declared that they'd be joining the ACC. With respect to dueling bamboozling, the Wildcats are arguably out ahead in this entire mess.


Log5: Georgetown (34.31%); Villanova (65.69%)


Big East Tournament: Georgetown (4) vs. Villanova (1)
Pace 68.38 (22) 69.08 (17)
Opportunities Margin +3.06 (12) +2.31 (15)
Possession Ratio 52.24% (12) 51.67% (14)
Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 32.94 (10) 32.77 (11)
Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio 92.23% (34) 91.81% (39)
Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 30.24 (29) 30.85 (36)
Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio 92.59% (41) 92.40% (37)
Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 13.73 (50) 12.54 (36)
Lost Functional Offensive Opportunities Ratio 41.68% (39) 38.26% (19)
Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities per 60 Minutes 11.88 (39) 13.69 (14)
Lost Functional Defensive Opportunities Ratio 39.29% (35) 44.39% (14)
Lost Functional Opportunities Margin -1.85 (50) +1.15 (17)
Lost Functional Opportunities Margin Ratio -2.39% (41) 6.13% (13)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency 26.95 (48) 30.85 (25)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency 31.51 (35) 29.25 (23)
Adjusted Efficiency Margin -4.56 (45) +1.60 (27)
Shots per Offensive Opportunity 0.90 (61) 1.14 (22)
Raw Offensive Shooting Rate 31.04% (11) 25.80% (47)
Shots per Defensive Opportunity 1.12 (37) 1.00 (15)
Raw Defensive Shooting Rate 28.99% (41) 31.34% (57)
Offensive Assist Ratio 62.86% (13) 54.01% (42)
Offensive Assist Rate 17.53 (29) 15.95 (42)
Defensive Assist Ratio 65.10% (57) 54.41% (26)
Defensive Assist Rate 21.13 (54) 17.05 (36)
Extra-Man Postures per 100 Offensive Opportunities 8.37 (57) 8.41 (54)
Extra-Man Posture Reliance 10.71% (42) 13.87% (16)
Extra-Man Posture Conversion Rate 35.71% (29) 48.72% (3)
Man-Down Postures per 100 Defensive Opportunities 10.46 (32) 8.76 (11)
Man-Down Posture Reliance 10.74% (22) 9.56% (15)
Man-Down Posture Conversion Rate 33.33% (33) 34.21% (35)
Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Team) 5.20 (23) 4.45 (7)
Penalties per 100 Opportunities (Opponent) 4.58 (53) 4.79 (49)
Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Team) 24.40 (19) 30.18 (1)
Caused Turnovers per 100 Defensive Opportunities (Opponent) 26.29 (52) 18.97 (12)
Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team) 46.22 (40) 43.32 (20)
Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent) 43.79 (37) 48.62 (16)
Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Team) 19.92 (12) 24.35 (43)
Unforced Turnovers per 100 Offensive Opportunities (Opponent) 19.39 (54) 18.43 (59)
Team "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities) 26.95 (36) 26.50 (39)
Opponent "Run-of-Play Work Rate" (Non-Faceoff Groundballs per 100 Total Opportunities) 30.07 (50) 23.05 (3)
"Run-of-Play Work Rate" Margin -3.12 (48) +3.45 (13)
Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities 32.90 (35) 29.03 (52)
Saves per 100 Offensive Opportunities 31.67 (15) 36.21 (47)
Team Save Percentage 50.33% (47) 48.09% (55)
Opponent Save Percentage 53.18% (30) 55.08% (41)


Two pieces of incredibly important information about each team from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • Georgetown probably isn't the sizeable underdog that the computing machine says based on how the Hoyas have played in recent weeks, but Georgetown still has a climb on Wednesday. For the Hoyas there are probably four factors that are going to determine just how much business time Georgetown will have on the day: (1) The Hoyas need to limit turnovers, especially protecting the bean against caused turnovers (a facet of the game in which Villanova -- due in large part to John LoCascio's work -- excels) -- if Georgetown can maximize their attack box opportunities and maintain possession, the Hoyas have the laser cannons necessary to beat Reed Carlson in the crease; (2) If the Hoyas can avoid getting into man-down scenarios (something Georgetown has been decent at this year), they'll make Villanova do some heavier lifting -- the Wildcats don't play in a ton of extra-man postures, but a chunk of their scoring has come with the extra attacker and Villanova has been converting at an unreal rate with a personnel imbalance in their favor; (3) Georgetown needs to drive its clear and contest at the dot against Thomas Croonquist -- possession generation and maximization are going to have significant implications for the Hoyas, mostly because Georgetown relies on offensive volume to score and limiting overexposure to the Hoyas' average defense allows for Villanova's offense to starve a little bit; and (4) The Hoyas haven't been a great groundball team this season in the run of play, but the Wildcats have done a nice job corralling loose balls -- Wednesday is all about effort for Georgetown, and if they can keep that margin within reach, the Hoyas could hold on to some possessions and generate a few of their own. It's all about creating preferable circumstances for Georgetown, and it's the little things that will help determine whether the Hoyas can thrive in a tough matchup.
  • Look: Villanova is sneaky competitive. The record may not indicate it, but the Wildcats can play. There is a gap between where Villanova is and where Syracuse and Notre Dame currently reside, but the Wildcats are far from a trash fire this season. For Villanova on Wednesday, the purpose is clear -- do what needs to be done, play to the Wildcats' potential, and move on to a huge Friday date with an NCAA Tournament invitation on the line. The Hoyas are a manageable matchup for Villanova, one that the Wildcats should win by at least a couple of goals, but there are two areas of concern: (1) Croonquist may not be able to HULKSMASH! at the dot, which is going to put extra pressure on Villanova to generate functional possessions through its clear (an area that the Wildcats have struggled with this season) -- if Villanova can't dominate possession, will the extra opportunities for Georgetown create an untenable situation for the Wildcats' defense if Villanova isn't causing turnovers?; and (2) How much will the Wildcats get out of the net against a Hoyas team that can shoot but isn't the most efficient team in the nation? The Wildcats have been battled-hardened this season (there are only a team or two with a schedule as difficult as what Villanova has endured this year), and now it's a matter of Villanova taking care of business in a spot in which it should.