Conference tournaments get underway this evening with the Patriot League Tournament. With a new format thanks to teams coming in or starting up programs, the Patriot League had nine teams in the conference. As a result, the largest conference in D-1 lacrosse now has the largest conference tournament in the land. Six teams enter with the bottom four seeds squaring off in a quarterfinal round. Awaiting them at Ridley Athletic Complex on Friday are number one Loyola and number 14 Army. The Patriot League Network and CBS Sports Network are the places to be to catch all the action if you aren't heading to Baltimore to see it live.
THE FACEOFF comes in with a special conference championship edition. As you'll see over these next two weeks, there's some new goodies involved:
- We got rid of those dots to represent who won past championships and added a sidebar similar to the usual "Last Week's Scores" graphic. Those who would like to mourn the loss of the dots may do so.
- The red bar on the standings represents the cut-off for the conference tournament.
- There's a nice big Excel spreadsheet of each conference game result to show how the league shaped up heading into the tournament.
- We've added a little guide to where each team is in the NCAA Tournament race. The bubble is a bit subjective, so don't assault the universe with anger if you disagree with something. This isn't to be treated as an end-all-be-all, but to provide an idea of where everyone stands.
- Brackets. Because what's a tournament without a bracket?
Without going any further, let's give you the scoop on the first -- in terms of when the tournament started -- auto-bid up for grabs for this year:
(Click to make it larger.)