2011 NCAA Lacrosse Championship: Previewing the First Round

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2011 NCAA Lacrosse Championship: Previewing the First Round
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
Duke celebrating winning it all last year against Notre Dame. They will return to the tournament as the fifth seed.

This weekend begins the road to Baltimore as the college lacrosse tournament kicks off.  Syracuse, who was ranked No. 1 alongside Notre Dame most of the year, defeated them in a late regular-season game and has retained that No. 1 seed going into the tournament. 

As always, we should have some solid plays and shocking upsets all weekend long.  There seems to be more up-tempo offenses this year, which likely means higher scoring games to attract casual viewers.

Of the four games being previewed in this article, only the Notre Dame vs. Penn game should be a lower scoring affair.

Outside of the top four seeds that will be previewed in this article, Duke is the defending champion from last year and returns as the five seed. They will be hosting Delaware, and in recent history, the Blue Devils have dominated first-round opponents. 

Denver is the sixth seed and will be hosting their first-ever tournament game.  This is a huge step in moving the sport more to the west. 

There are few western professional teams out there, but the sport is growing in the state of Colorado. They will host Villanova, whose up-tempo offense may put them at a disadvantage at high altitude.

The remaining top seeds are seventh-seeded Virginia and eighth-seeded North Carolina.  They will play Patriot League champion Bucknell and Maryland respectively.  I don't believe Bucknell will be much of a threat to Virginia, but UNC will get all they can handle against their conference opponent.

Here's a preview of the other four games.

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