The NCAA Tournament began on Wednesday with the play-in games, but really gets cooking this weekend with 8 games over the weekend. The good people at ESPN will be heading the coverage throughout May and a full listing of all the games and broadcast times can be found here. (Ed. Note: Shout out @Anna_Negron. )
Our man Eamon McAnaney will be calling the Johns Hopkins University vs. Brown game on Saturday and the Navy vs. Yale game on Sunday, alongside goodfella, Paul Carcaterra. Eamon was gracious enough to spare some time today to answer some questions about the big weekend. Hope you all enjoy it. Thanks again, Eamon!
Let's get after it.
All CC Questions bolded.)
CC: Should we expand the tournament to 20 teams or keep it the way it is now?
Absolutely not, I know that won’t make me popular in Cambridge or Piscataway but why do we need to expand the tournament to reward mediocrity. The parity in lacrosse this year created one of the most exciting seasons in history, expanding the tournament dilutes that.
CC: Do the Jays have any shot against Brown? How can Hopkins contain Brown's offense?
I definitely think the Blue Jays can pull off the upset because they have the offensive firepower to hang with Brown. Now it should be interesting to see if Johns Hopkins turns back the clock and pumps the brakes on its offense if they can win face offs. If Craig Madarasz does not have a good day at the x, it could get ugly.
CC: What is the most underrated facet of Brown's game?
Alec Tullett and the defense is overlooked. Now they weren’t solid in their last game against Harvard allowing nine goals to Morgan Cheek, but they have picked up the pace now as well and that helter-skelter style can throw offenses off their game.
CC: Navy hasn't played a game since April 29. Do you think the long layoff will negatively affect the Midshipmen?
I actually think it will help Navy because they will be fresh and healthy. Re-watching their Maryland game this week it was noticeable that they were out of gas.
CC: Is there one strength of Yale's that matches up really well with Navy?
I think it’s the exact opposite. I think its strength against strength when Yale’s Ben Reeves has it and is attacking Navy’s Chris Fennell. Reeves is coming off a monster Ivy League Tournament but Fennell might be the most underrated defenseman in the country.
CC: Besides the games you are calling, what game do you think is really intriguing this weekend?
Tough call so I’ll give you two rematches—Duke at Loyola and Albany at Syracuse. Duke has been the most Jekyll and Hyde team in the country this year and they were dominant in the first meeting. While Syracuse is on a roll and beat Albany handily, I think if Blaze Riorden can steal a few early the Great Danes can gain confidence and play loose.
CC: Is there an unseeded team that you think can make a run?
North Carolina. The Tar Heels are road favorites in their matchup with Marquette and have already beaten Notre Dame if they match up in the quarters.
CC: Would you mind sharing your Final Four picks?
Maryland, Loyola, Notre Dame, Brown