After one of the most wild and unpredictable college lacrosse seasons in history, the brackets are finally set.
Sunday provided two conference championship games and the selection show, giving lacrosse fans all the suspense they could handle.
Syracuse, winners of the Big East Conference Tournament, are slated as the No. 1 seed due to their RPI and big wins late in the season. The Orange will face NEC Champion Bryant in the first round this weekend.
Notre Dame is the No. 2 seed in the tournament and should have no problem handling Detroit in the first round. This matchup was made mostly due to geographic reasons, giving the Midwest a head-to-head matchup in the first round.
Ohio State, who beat Loyola and Denver in succession on their way to the ECAC title, jumped in the ranks and are slated as the No. 3 seed. They will face CAA Champion Towson, making for an interesting match-up that could be one to watch on the upset radar.
Ohio State is riding high right now, but Towson is playing its best lacrosse and looks to bring momentum into Ohio Stadium this weekend.
Denver is the No. 4 seed in the tournament but probably should not be. UNC is clearly a superior team in my mind, yet they are seeded lower in the 2013 tournament. Many thought UNC should be the top-seeded team, but nevertheless, they fell to No. 5.
Denver will have their hands full with Lyle Thompson and the Albany Great Danes in the first round. Albany scores a ton of goals but also leads the nation in turnovers. Look for this one to be a track meet and another one that could be an upset to watch for.
UNC will face Lehigh, the winners of the Patriot League, in the first round. Lehigh is extremely talented, but UNC's deep roster will be an advantage during the tournament. During these games, the team that has more energy during the fourth quarter usually has what it takes to win. UNC definitely has the advantage there.
In what may be the marquee matchup in the first round, two championship-ready teams will face off. Cornell will travel to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins in a battle for the ages.
Cornell's Rob Pannell and Steve Mock will look to avenge an early exit in the Ivy League tournament by taking on Maryland's best team in years. Maryland looks to be back on track on the offensive side of the ball, but Terrapin goalie Niko Amato will have his hands full with the Big Red attack.
Duke will face Loyola in another toss-up game. Loyola, the defending national champions, will look to make a statement against a Duke team that is fast, skilled, and ready to make a run. This is a tough match-up for both teams, making this a must-watch this weekend.
In the final first-round game, Penn State will face Ivy League Tournament champion Yale in a game that the Nittany Lions will have a tough time winning. Penn State lost the CAA final to Towson, while Yale made easy work of the Princeton Tigers in the Ivy League championship on Sunday.
Penn State's Jeff Tambroni was a long time coach in the Ivy League, so look for the Nittany Lions to be well prepared for a full four-quarter showdown against the Bulldogs.
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