This was an awesome weekend for lacrosse, just as long as you weren’t in Denver. I covered the DU/Marquette game for Inside Lacrosse. Although it was a great game on the field, the weather made it almost impossible to enjoy. Sunday I caught the ACC and Patriot League finals before heading out into the elements for some MLL action when the Denver Outlaws hosted the Ohio Machine.
The whole "SPRING SPORT" thing is all well and good in February, but in May? It’s just rage-inducing. I’ll be covering the Big East tournament this week as well, which should be more feasible as the weather is supposed to cooperate. Tweeting with frozen appendages sucks.
The Patriot League and ACC tournaments sent a few shockwaves through my poll. Here’s how things shook out.
1. Denver (12-1): At least four of Denver’s last five games have been played in bad weather. While this could be an equalizer, it hasn’t actually happened yet. The Pioneers claimed the regular season Big East title, but that’s just the first of three milestones the team has its eyes set on right now.
2. Brown (14-1): The highlight of Brown’s week was Ryan Danehy’s homerism when he picked Dartmouth to cover the spread and his inevitable disappointment when Bruno mopped the floor with Dartmouth. The fact that the Bears rendered UVA ineligible for the tournament was just icing on the cake.
3. Maryland (12-2): There’s an analogy to made between the pace of play of John Tillman’s squad and the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. Some rise, some fall, to get to terrapin. The hard shells are doing more of the former right now than anything else.
4. Albany (12-2): UMBC took the Scoobies to OT, but the Danes came out on top. They stay high in the polls for me because of their consistency.
5. Syracuse (10-4): Two big wins in the ACC tournament vaulted the Orange back into my top 5. The AQ feels at home in Syracuse, apparently. I’d much rather deal with thunder and rain than snow, by the way.
6. Yale (11-2): The Elis defeated their rivals, Harvard this weekend to end their two-game slide. They’ll re-match Penn in the Ivy tournament. Yale took that game in OT earlier this year, so it should be interesting to see how round 2 goes.
7. Notre Dame (9-3): Defensive collapses in the fourth quarter are not a staple of Notre Dame, but that’s what’s been happening. Their offense doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence despite some of the talent they have. Their ride game is always solid, but I wonder now if ND’s Achilles heel has been exposed.
8. Loyola (12-3): The Hounds are on an eight-game winning streak heading into the big BBQ. That’s a good problem to have. Did they dodge a bullet with Navy going down in the Patriot League semis? Maybe. But the Greyhounds are the real deal and Pat Spencer is a total stud.
9. Navy (10-4): The Mids lost 2 of their last 3, but those were both in major rivalry games. I’m not going to write them off yet. When things are clicking it’s smooth sailing for Navy.
10. North Carolina (8-6): I thought that the re-match with Syracuse would be a way different game, especially after they took Notre Dame to the rack the week before. Goes to show you don’t ever know. Watch each card you play, and play it slow.
11. Johns Hopkins (8-5): I admitted that I probably had Hop under-rated last week. Even after losing to Maryland I still think the Jays should be in the 9-12 region, so 11 seems good for this week.
12. Towson (12-2): Aside from an unexpected blip against Delaware the Tigers handled business in THUNDERDOME as expected. Even without an AQ, the Tigers should be in the tournament.
13. Air Force (13-2): The Falcons extend their winning streak to 13, and they drop in my poll. What the heck? It’s just that I think some of the big boys have been more impressive as of late against better competition. Still the boys from the Springs are legit and there aren’t many teams that will want to play them when they likely make the big BBQ.
14. Stony Brook (12-3): It’s do or die time for the Seawolves. The AQ is probably their only shot at the big dance. Albany will be fine either way. Having two America East teams in would be interesting to say the least.
15. Villanova (9-4): Remember when Marquette dominated the high scoring Wildcats back on April 2nd? Well they square off again out in Denver for the Big East semis. The winner gets the privilege of playing Denver at home. Joy of joys.
16. Duke (10-7): What can take the shine off of a Notre Dame loss? The realization that it came at the hands of Duke. Saying nice things about Duke doesn’t come easy. This team remains a total wild card. Tournament match up is going to be very important if this squad wants to do anything of consequence this year.
17. Bryant (10-4): St. Joe’s may have clinched the NEC’s regular season title due to their head-to-head victory over Bryant, but I think the Bulldogs’ complete resume is better so they get the nod.
18. Rutgers (10-4): You had ONE JOB. Beat Ohio State. Oh well. The Scarlet Knights at least get a shot at the tournament. They’ll just have to go Hopkins again, and then Maryland to get there. A tall order, to be sure.
19. Marquette (9-4): The Golden Eagles stretch schedule was brutal, but the team hung with Denver for three out of four quarters on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Danehy Corollary came into effect, when a 6-0 third quarter in Denver’s favor essentially made the gap insurmountable. The Duke game was more of a fluke than anything else. Should Marquette get into the tournament, and if they do it will be well deserved, they can make waves.
20. Quinnipiac (9-3): I’ve been eyeing the Bobcats for a long time, but their resume just wasn’t terribly impressive. For this last spot I was choosing between Quinnipiac and St. Joe’s and figured it was time to give Quinnipiac some credit for the season they put together. They’re undefeated in the MAAC and in the driver’s seat for an AQ.
Dropped out: Bucknell
Also considered: Army, Bucknell, Hofstra, Penn, Penn State, Richmond, St. Joseph’s