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NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: Towson at (3) Ohio State

Everything you need to know about the Tigers and Buckeyes ahead of their first round game.

Jamie Sabau

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: Sunday, 3:00 P.M.
Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Broadcast: ESPNU
Game "Fun Factor" Rank: 6th (3.4537)
log5 Victory Probabilities: Ohio State -- 58.13%; Towson -- 41.87%

From Right In Front Of Your Face

(3) Ohio State Buckeyes: ECAC, Automatic Qualifier

Record 12-3 Clearing Rate 90.18% (6)
Adj. Off. Eff. 33.87 (14) Riding Rate 11.96% (48)
Adj. Def. Eff. 27.48 (19) Faceoff % 56.32% (11)
Adj. Eff. Margin 6.39 (16) Pace 64.38 (43)
Pyth. Win Exp. 65.65% (16) Off. Opps./60 Min. 34.12 (25)
Opps. Margin 3.85 (7) Def. Opps./60 Min. 30.27 (8)
Opps. Ratio 52.99% (7)
Save % 54.77% (20) Sht. % 32.75% (8)
Saves/100 Def. Opps. 33.99 (31) Opnt. Save % 49.55% (15)
Shts/Def. Opp. 1.06 (25) Saves/100 Off. Opps. 32.10 (19)
Opnt. Sht. % 26.45% (15) Sht/Off. Opp. 1.00 54)
Def. Assist Rate 15.35 (17) Off. Assist Rate 20.23 (14)
EMD/100 Def. Opps. 8.11 (7) EMO/100 Off. Opps. 8.17 (57)
EMD Conversion % 32.43% (27) EMO Conversion % 50.00% (2)
EMD Reliance 9.38% (13) EMO Reliance 12.50% (25)
Opnt. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 40.57 (51) T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 35.60 (3)
Opnt. Unforc. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 23.68 (26) Unforc. T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 18.68 (4)
Caused T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 16.89 (60) Opnt. Caused T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 16.93 (8)


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

  • The Silver Gleaming Death Machine (Logan Schuss) gets all the ink, but Ohio State's offense -- in totem -- is one of the stronger units in the country, equipped with explosive devices that are both detectable and undetectable. The Buckeyes' offense, though, is going to face a tough test in tough test in Towson's defense: The Tigers rely heavily on Andrew Wascavage to make stops to end defensive possessions -- Towson forces opponents to settle for savable shots and the results are (1) a relatively low number of shots that the defense needs to face and (2) tons of saves from Wascavage (functional turnovers) that lead to offensive opportunities for the Tigers -- and the senior keeper has delivered this season. The focus for Ohio State, then, is twofold: (1) Generating shots from preferred locations and postures; and (2) Ensuring that its core group of offensive generators operates at full capacity. It's the second focus that is arguably most important for the Buckeyes on the day -- the combination of Trey Wilkes' ability to dominate draws and Towson's troubles in clearing the ball (if the Buckeyes ride at all (which they really didn't do against Denver)) is likely to create a large possession margin in favor of Ohio State; the Buckeyes' offense is going to have volume in their favor in attempting to burn the Tigers' defense at the stake. If Ohio State's core group of offensive contributors -- Schuss, Jesse King, Carter Brown, Turner Evans, Dominique Alexander, and David Planning -- dominates usage on the day (in terms of shooting responsibility) and play at their ability (without putting on their Underoos and thinking that they individually need to be superheroes), Wascavage and Towson's defense may fall to pieces: That group accounts for 76.80 percent of Ohio State's shots and is shooting 34.52 percent in the aggregate (about two percent better than the team's overall accuracy mark); the sextet accounts for 80.95 percent of the team's goals, 81.99 percent of Ohio State's total points, and 83.65 percent of the Buckeyes' helpers; and that group -- based on the prior points -- is the driver behind the 14th most efficient offense in the country, the eighth most accurate shooting team in the nation, and the 14th best team in terms of generating assists on a per possession basis. If those guys click, the Tigers are in all kinds of trouble.

Towson Tigers: THUNDERDOME!, Automatic Qualifier

Record 10-7 Clearing Rate 83.49% (50)
Adj. Off. Eff. 29.71 (35) Riding Rate 18.37% (4)
Adj. Def. Eff. 26.80 (16) Faceoff % 37.57% (60)
Adj. Eff. Margin 2.91 (24) Pace 62.84 (54)
Pyth. Win Exp. 57.93% (23) Off. Opps./60 Min. 30.02 (56)
Opps. Margin -2.80 (50) Def. Opps./60 Min. 32.82 (30)
Opps. Ratio 47.77% (52)
Save % 59.95% (6) Sht. % 25.54% (46)
Saves/100 Def. Opps. 40.14 (9) Opnt. Save % 52.76% (29)
Shts/Def. Opp. 1.12 (40) Saves/100 Off. Opps. 40.14 (9)
Opnt. Sht. % 23.85% (6) Sht/Off. Opp. 1.17 (14)
Def. Assist Rate 14.21 (9) Off. Assist Rate 15.92 (42)
EMD/100 Def. Opps. 10.66 (35) EMO/100 Off. Opps. 11.65 (22)
EMD Conversion % 38.33% (45) EMO Conversion % 36.67% (23)
EMD Reliance 15.23% (53) EMO Reliance 14.29% (13)
Opnt. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 44.23 (31) T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 46.02 (38)
Opnt. Unforc. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 23.45 (30) Unforc. T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 25.05 (48)
Caused T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 20.78 (39) Opnt. Caused T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 20.97 (25)


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

  • Towson is kind of like the guy in your rec league that shows up every damn week -- an hour early to stretch -- wearing rec specs and playing every game as if he's just his first magical contract away from making the Hall of Fame. The Tigers are a capable defensive team (which isn't surprising given Shawn Nadelen's background and Wascavage's play since he was inserted into Towson's net last season (interestingly, Wascavage's favorite television show is "Trailer Park Boys")), have a handful of strong offensive players (notably Thomas DeNapoli (A), Andrew Hodgson (M), Greg Cuccinello (M), and Cory Dobyns (A)), and a profile that is otherwise average in dozens of ways. And that's what makes the Tigers' date with Ohio State -- another game in which Towson will assume underdog status (just like its last two games against Drexel and Penn State, wins that Towson needed to capture THUNDERDOME! and advance to the NCAA Tournament), yet there aren't too many knuckleheads dismissing Towson as a foregone one-and-done participant in The Big Barbecue. There's a sense of survival inherent in this Towson team: The team plays at one of the worst possession deficits in the country due to uneven play at the dot and in its clear but is 10-7 on the season; while the team's offensive efficiency will never earn a Congressional Medal of Merit (due in large part to the fact that the Tigers struggle at, like, even seeing the net at times), players seem to make a big play when necessary; and despite playing a high ratio of defensive opportunities compared to offensive opportunities, the defense has held its ground -- thanks in part to Wascavage's exceptional play in the crease -- and created difficult circumstances for its opponents (both on the ride and in attack box postures). Towson has taken some lumps this season, but this is a resilient team and that's their biggest asset going into its game with Ohio State.