So North Carolina brings home the top seed, followed up by Duke, Maryland and Virginia. Army ended up being the first team out, and Rutgers the last team in, and this was a tough call for the committee.
Matchups look like this…
1 North Carolina vs Monmouth
UNC will win this game by a large margin, but congrats to Monmouth for making the big dance.
2 Duke vs High Point
Duke rolled high point in their previous meeting, but expect an improved High Point team to put up a better showing in this tournament game. Duke will still win, but High Point should put up a good fight with Asher Nolting playing great lacrosse and taking care of the ball.
3 Maryland vs Vermont
A good matchup for Maryland EXCEPT, Tommy Burke at the face-off dot could present some problems between the boxes for the Terps. But alas, Jared Bernhardt and company will end up being too good even if Burke rolls and Maryland will still win by a margin.
4 Virginia vs Bryant
The toughest draw by far out of the top 4 seeds, which is kind of the idea. Virginia should be able to beat Bryant by a margin, but UVA has a tendency to let teams hang even where they have them outmatched on paper.
5 Georgetown vs Syracuse
Perhaps the best first round matchup of the tournament, these teams are very evenly matched. Georgetown looks better on paper, they are tough both offensively and defensively. But Syracuse is far more battle tested and has proven they can hang with the best of them. This one is anyone’s ballgame and should be a great game to watch Saturday night.
6 Notre Dame vs Drexel
Lots of people are scratching their head at Notre Dame being placed in th is 6th spot, including myself, but alas, the Irish match up well against a very good and scrappy Drexel team. This game will be won by Notre Dame’s defense which plays with an intensity that Drexel has not seen yet this season.
7 Denver vs Loyola
Tough draw for Denver as Loyola isn’t too far removed from knocking off the team that beat Denver twice this year (Georgetown). But Thompson is playing the best lacrosse of his career in cage for Denver, Stathakis and Ierland should be able to handle Savio at the dot, and Denver’s offense has played better than Loyola’s for most of the year.
8 Lehigh vs Rutgers
This game will tell us for sure, is the Big Ten overrated this year or is the Big Ten as good as ever and this year just happened to be Rutgers year to hang right below Maryland. Lehigh is incredible, they win face-offs like it’s no one’s business and if Rutgers wins this game, we can end the talk about the B1G having a down year, because Lehigh is a legit team.