Hey there, everyone. Today, a special edition of the InsideLacrosse.com chat. assistant editor Terry Foy, associate editor Geoff Shannon and I will be fielding your questions as we prepare for the upcoming weekend of playoff lacrosse.
We'll be all over the games this weekend - go to InsideLacrosse.com for news and analysis for more.
Would a Notre Dame championship cause some re-thinking of the seeding process to maybe include some other statistical providers? Given Villanova's upset over Hofstra in the CAA are they the likeliest to pull the upset in the first round?
Lee, A Notre Dame championship would probably not cause the committee to chance the seeding process or the statistical formula that they use as one of their tools to select the tournament field. Strength of schedule is something that's used in figuring out some of the NCAAs other major tournaments, so it would be hard to see them getting away from a technique that they rely on across the board. Note this though: next year, Notre Dame will be playing in the Big East, which should boost their SOS off the bat and, should they put up a season like this in the future, will help them lock up a top seed. Second, although Villanova's got a nice offense that can score quickly - just ask Drexel - I'm not sure the 'Cats have enough power to hang with the Cavs. Congrats to coach Corrado for getting this team to the tournament for the first time ever, though!
What chance do you think UMass has to rekindle the magic of 2006. You think Doc Schneider is the first team All-American goalie? SHould be!
UMass had a strong "middle backbone" that year, starting with Schneider, then longpole Jack Reid, than face-off longpole Jake Deane, then finally Sean Morris on attack. This year you have Schneider, Diogo Godoi on defense and Jimmy Connolly on attack (though I don't put him in the same boat as Morris). Face-offs are the X factor, Joe Reale has only won 44% of his attempts.
Quint picked ND in his bracketology but Maryland in his staff pick 'em. Which is it Q?
Just like Quint to hedge his bets. Can't speak for his final selection, but we'll get him on the horn to try and sort it out...
Besides the 'star' players for each team, which 3-4 players in the tournament do you think are the 'X' factors for their teams making a strong run at the nat'l title ?
One guy that immediately stands out to me is Garrett Billings. I can't be the only one that thinks that Virginia's offense is at its best when he's putting up points. Another one would be Princeton's Rich Sgalardi; he's the best dodge-and-dump guys, and a good game for him mean Princeton's offense is clicking. A few others are Notre Dame's Neal Hicks, Cornell's Matt Moyer and Navy's LSMs Jaren Woeppel and Zack Schroeder; all of those guys playing well mean huge things for their teams
How does the UA team get picked? How do I get my name on the list?
The UA selection process is tough. You're weighing hotbed talent versus national talent, lacrosse skills versus athleticism, high school accolades versus college potential. The natural cream rises to the top.
Pick a number: How many home teams lose this weekend?
I'll go with 1. Maryland over Irish. Tough to win on the road at this point. Meanwhile, Wynn Casino doesn't like any home upsets. http://blogs.insidelacrosse.com/2009/05/08/warrior-may-madness-wynn-casino-odds-on-ncaa-lacrosse-tournament/
I'm going to go with two. I think Brown sneaks away with a win at Homewood tomorrow and Hofstra takes out Cornell. Going to disagree with Geoff on Maryland, too - Irish hold serve at home on Sunday?
sticking with my picks, 1.
St. Mary's is the hottest team in the country heading into the MIAA playoffs. Do you think they can avenge the loss to Gilman and win it all?
Yikes. I've seen both Gilman and St. Mary's this week, playing against the same Calvert Hall team. During the Saints' first 20 minutes against the Hall, they looked like the best team in the country. But, Gilman played as inspired on Tuesday as they have since La Salle, so I think it'll be a tall order to knock off the Greyhounds right now.
Given the news about Manny yesterday and the increasing prevalence of performance enhancing drugs, should there be more testing in lacrosse?
I'm sure there should be, and probably for all sports in general. I doubt you'd see performance enhancing drugs as a major issue in lacrosse, outside of a few isolated steroid cases. Testing for recreational drug use would probably be more of an issue for college athletes, and college students in general.
If the favorites win out, what do you think is the most intriguing quarterfinal and final 4 matchups and why ?
Would love to see Hopkins-Virginia again in the quarterfinals at Navy - they played a classic under the lights back in March. Notre Dame-Cuse would be very interesting too, to see if ND can prove themselves against the best of the best. Final four-wise, a Duke-Syracuse tilt that sees 20-plus goals would be amazing.
UNC goalie James Petracca has done a good job stopping the ball so far, but has allowed more rebounds that one might like. What do you think of one or two UNC players crashing to the goal on shots to help protect rebounds? This would be almost like a basketball team crashing the boards.
I think it's a good idea in theory, but I think it's really tough to reverse a defenseman's mindset at this point in the season and try to coach them up to crashing the boards. That said, it's definitely important to limit the rebounds and garbage goals against UMBC bc that's where upsets start.
Of the teams in the tournament, which jersey do you guys like the best?
Love UNC's navy unis. As I think about it, I'm not sure anything else comes close. Though Maryland in yellow or Notre Dame in green would be nasty.
I'm with Terry on those yellow Maryland jerseys. I know the basketball team broke them out a couple times this year. On the more traditional side, there's something about that Cornell red with stark white background that's really sweet.
Terry will have a stronger opinion on this. But, I'd have to go with North Carolina's baby blues (hard to say for a native Marylander). It'll be interesting to see what Hopkins breaks out Saturday. The U.S. Army doesn't have as many uniform variations as the Blue Jays do.
Besides UVa and Syracuse, who's your lock of the weekend?
Duke. Just for you, George from Annapolis.
How many more programs do you think there need to be before the NCAA will expand the tournament, say to 20?
A lot more than you have now. DIII has 140+ teams and they are only have 22 spots open. In fact, if DI followed their hardline tournament participation formulas, DI would should be scaled back to 12. As it is, you look at a season like this, and you have maybe one team outside the tournament with a case to be in (Loyola). 16 seems to be a perfect number at this point in time.
Do you think Navy will have an answer to a high scoring Duke offense, and can Phelan handle the shots?
Phelan has faced some tough shooters, and has proven himself. He can have a 15-save day easily? But Duke can put up 40+ shots on Navy, so I don't think it'll be enough. They have to look to limit Crotty. UNC did a good job of that and lost to the Blue Devils by just two goals (15-13) in the ACC title game.
What's the biggest upset of this weekend going to be?
I think any upset would be big this weekend, with the possible exception of Brown and Maryland, right? So, outside of those two, I see UMass and Hofstra being the most likely, so I'll go with Hofstra
Which is a better gig, Denvr or Dartmouth?
They're both good programs with room for growth. Munro got Denver to the tournament last year and Dartmouth has had some good games in the Ivy over the last couple of seasons. But Dartmouth might be harder to have success at than Denver, because of the climate, the study abroad rules and the fact that the team can't practice officially until Feb. 1. It will be interesting to see who ends up filling those positions.
you didn't answer my question. let's face it, cuse is winning it again!
Brian - your question was a victim of the system. Literally. The back end here deleted it by accident. Anyway, to answer it - I wouldn't call Syracuse a lock by any means this season. They'll have to face a tough Md or Notre Dame team in the quarters and then play Duke in the semis. And all of this with a suspect defense which has been their weak point this season. I'll concede they have a good chance of getting to Foxborough, but not that they'll take the crown again.
Ok everyone, that's it for the chat today. thanks to everyone who wrote in. We'll be online covering all the games on InsideLacrosse.com, starting tomorrow at noon when Brown visits Johns Hopkins. Enjoy the weekend, everyone!