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NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: Detroit at (2) Notre Dame

Everything you need to know about the Titans and Irish ahead of their first round game.

Winslow Townson

It's the 2013 NCAA Tournament! Take out the nice napkins and make sure that your kid doesn't have crap all over his face. College Crosse has this all under control, so feel safe, friends. If you missed anything -- and you really shouldn't because you're only hurting yourself if you do -- click this fancy highlighted text to get all caught up.

From 10,000 Feet

Date and Time: Saturday, 5:00 P.M.
Location: Arlotta Stadium, South Bend, Indiana
Broadcast: ESPNU
Game "Fun Factor" Rank: 8th (2.5556)
log5 Victory Probabilities: Notre Dame -- 81.39%; Detroit -- 18.61%

From Right In Front Of Your Face

(2) Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Big East, At-Large

Record 10-4 Clearing Rate 88.55% (16)
Adj. Off. Eff. 30.56 (26) Riding Rate 11.66% (49)
Adj. Def. Eff. 22.84 (2) Faceoff % 52.15% (23)
Adj. Eff. Margin 7.72 (11) Pace 64.17 (45)
Pyth. Win Exp. 71.14% (8) Off. Opps./60 Min. 31.91 (43)
Opps. Margin -0.35 (33) Def. Opps./60 Min. 32.26 (24)
Opps. Ratio 49.73% (33)
Save % 53.47% (25) Sht. % 26.53% (37)
Saves/100 Def. Opps. 28.60 (55) Opnt. Save % 51.74% (24)
Shts/Def. Opp. 0.93 (4) Saves/100 Off. Opps. 32.89 (27)
Opnt. Sht. % 26.89% (20) Sht/Off. Opp. 1.16 (19)
Def. Assist Rate 15.50 (21) Off. Assist Rate 16.78 (34)
EMD/100 Def. Opps. 8.08 (6) EMO/100 Off. Opps. 8.83 (51)
EMD Conversion % 27.03% (13) EMO Conversion % 22.50% (58)
EMD Reliance 8.77% (11) EMO Reliance 6.47% (62)
Opnt. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 49.78 (12) T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 46.36 (39)
Opnt. Unforc. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 32.97 (1) Unforc. T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 26.49 (54)
Caused T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 16.81 (61) Opnt. Caused T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 19.87 (18)


One piece of incredibly important information from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • It's all about focus for Notre Dame. Even if the Irish turn in a stinker on Saturday evening, Notre Dame can probably sneak off with a victory and a trip to Indianapolis the third weekend of May. Saturday's date with Detroit is about building momentum for the Irish: Limiting turnovers -- especially unforced turnovers -- against a Detroit team that sees its opponents commit turnovers (both caused and unforced) all over the place; it's about working out the shooting kinks -- once again a problem for the Irish, although its top four players in shot usage (Matt Kavanagh (84), Sean Rogers (54), Jim Marlatt (79), and Conor Doyle (54)) are connecting on 34.32 percent of their attempts (that quartet accounts for 51.72 percent of the Irish's attempts) -- against a defense that gets decent play from its goaltender and doesn't yield an insane number of assisted goals (but is vulnerable if the opposition isn't committing turnovers); it's about taking advantage of extra-man opportunities against a team that commits an insane number of penalties and plays in man-down postures on almost 14 percent of their defensive opportunities; and it's about rediscovering defensive discipline against a team still trying to find its full offensive focus (getting strong play between the pipes from John Kemp and suffocating Detroit into submission). These are focus-driven issues and confidence builders for an Irish team that hasn't looked much like a top 10 team since Mid-April. Notre Dame has the tools, it just needs to find the groove that defined the team's play the last few seasons.

Detroit Titans: MAAC, Automatic Qualifier

Record 5-9 Clearing Rate 80.56% (58)
Adj. Off. Eff. 24.97 (56) Riding Rate 15.49% (22)
Adj. Def. Eff. 30.04 (26) Faceoff % 47.60% (40)
Adj. Eff. Margin -5.07 (44) Pace 70.11 (11)
Pyth. Win Exp. 36.04% (48) Off. Opps./60 Min. 34.23 (22)
Opps. Margin -1.64 (41) Def. Opps./60 Min. 35.87 (54)
Opps. Ratio 48.83% (41)
Save % 54.40% (21) Sht. % 27.41% (31)
Saves/100 Def. Opps. 33.13 (34) Opnt. Save % 53.87% (38)
Shts/Def. Opp. 0.95 (6) Saves/100 Off. Opps. 30.35 (11)
Opnt. Sht. % 29.23% (44) Sht/Off. Opp. 0.95 (59)
Def. Assist Rate 16.47 (29) Off. Assist Rate 17.05 (33)
EMD/100 Def. Opps. 13.89 (59) EMO/100 Off. Opps. 12.47 (16)
EMD Conversion % 30.00% (18) EMO Conversion % 28.33% (51)
EMD Reliance 15.00% (52) EMO Reliance 13.60% (15)
Opnt. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 55.95 (1) T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 58.42 (61)
Opnt. Unforc. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 27.78 (3) Unforc. T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 29.73 (62)
Caused T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 28.17 (6) Opnt. Caused T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 28.69 (61)


One piece of incredibly important information from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • Outside of poisoning Notre Dame's Gatorade jugs, there aren't a lot of backdoor routes to an bonkers upset for the Titans. It's not that Detroit is a garbage fire in a nitroglycerin plant -- they're not, but they are among the bottom third of the country with respect to overall competitive profile -- but rather that the Titans need a host of things to go right for Detroit to pull out what would be one of the biggest NCAA Tournament upsets in the history of history. Most importantly, I think the Titans need to create their own circumstances: A hectic atmosphere that keeps the Irish uncomfortable. Notre Dame isn't going to give Detroit the tempo it prefers, but the Titans can help create pace: Jordan Houtby and Jamie Hebden causing turnovers all over the place (against an Irish team that doesn't yield all that many caused giveaways); a pressure environment that yield unforced turnovers from the Irish (a season long bugaboo and one that doomed Notre Dame twice against Syracuse); a focus on corralling run-of-play groundballs associated with offensive and defensive turnovers (a bit of an issue for Detroit given how many loose balls they see on the ground at both ends of the field); and beating Notre Dame in transition so that the Irish can't settle their defense, thereby exposing John Kemp and getting preferential attempts on the cage (and actually connecting on them). It's really hard to get Notre Dame to do what you want them to do, and a six-on-six settled game doesn't fit well with what Detroit needs to happen to find success (the Irish are simply stronger than Titans in almost every single aspect of play). If the Titans can control the circumstances of the game and have a few things fall in their favor -- not unlike their effort against Siena in the MAAC Tournament (note: Notre Dame is also significantly stronger than the Saints) -- Detroit can possibly hang around.