Two weeks to go in the regular season. I'm heading up to Syracuse as the Orangemen face the Irish Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Hey Quint, keep up the great work! What is your prediction for Saturday's showdown between the Orange and the Irish?
I think it's going to be a relatively low scoring game. I think Syracuse, based on home field advantage, is a one-goal favorite. The winner should be awarded the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Is Denver a lock for an at-large bid if it does not win the ECAC tournament?
Good question. A lot of that depends on what happens in the other leagues. They have a strong resume but I list them as a bubble team. A bubble team with a strong chance to get in.
Which conference tournament do you think is the most interesting?
There are two. The Patriot League with teams like Bucknell, Army, Colgate and Lehigh. And the CAA with Hofstra, Delaware, Penn State and maybe UMass. Both those conferences are tightly grouped teams.
UNC always seems to struggle down the stretch. What?s going wrong for the Tar Heels?
Last year they ran out of gas. This year they have had injuries and a tough schedule. So I'm not sure if it's them running out of gas or their opponents gaining steam. They play Notre Dame on May 6. Right now the Tar Heels are a bubble team but a win against the Irish will defiantly put them in the tournament.
Which conference do you think is better: the CAA or the Patriot League?
That's a tough question. I think this year the Patriot League has a better chance of getting more than just one team in the tournament. And I'm basing that on Army's win over Cornell and a strong showing my Bucknell. Meanwhile, the CAA looks like a one bid league.
Can Rob Pannell keep single-handedly beating opponents?
Yes but Pannell is becoming more than just a one-man team. Their offense has been on fire in April.
Do you think off-the-field issues doomed Virginia on the field?
That's what it appears. The Cavilers have issues with their defensive personnel and chemistry issues have stunted their growth.
What are your thoughts on the ACC tournament?
It didn't surprise me at all to see Maryland win with their seniors and playing for a cause. The Terps are a dangerous team from here on out. Meanwhile UNC and Virginia must regroup.
What are the keys to Saturday's Notre Dame-Syracuse game?
Face-offs will be big as well as extra man opportunities. Both teams will have to score in transition in what looks on paper to be a low scoring game.
The first official RPI was released this week. Any surprises?
No. It will change between now and Selection Sunday on May 8. So check in next week when the numbers are re-released.
What's it like preparing for the postseason, whether it's a conference tournament or the NCAA tournament?
Rematches are the theme in the conference tournaments and the further along you advance in the NCAA's. So coaching Strategy and player psychology becomes huge.
Do you think the at-large bids will come from the biggest conferences/schools in the country or does a smaller school have a shot to get one?
I see the ACC with three or four at-large selections. Johns Hopkins will be an at-large. The Big East will get at least two. The remaining teams is the though part. That's where the committee has to make some tough decisions.
Saturday on ESPNU is a big day for lacrosse. Notre Dame at Syracuse at 7 p.m. ET followed by a studio show and then an all-access look at Duke and Denver. A behind the scenes look at those two teams. Enjoy this weekend's games and we'll talk again next Wednesday.