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What If College Lacrosse Were As Big As March Madness?

Quint Kessenich dick vitale mashup
You've now seen it. And you can't UN-see it.

March Madness for college basketball, and the Lacrosse Love Affair, also known as the month of May (since no one calls it the LLA besides me), share a number of traits in that they are both NCAA tournaments, and that they are both heavily attended.  But the comparisons really stop right there.  Simply put, March Madness is HUGE, while May Madness is huge, but onlyin the lacrosse world.  SOo let’s have a little fun here and see if lax could ever rival ball!  Quint is right up there with Dicky V right?

Quint Kessenich dick vitale mashup

You've now seen it. And you can't UN-see it.

During March Madness, offices, groups of friends, and groups of strangers across the country fill out brackets by the millions, and often bet on the outcomes of the college tournament.  While college lacrosse doesn’t need the betting aspect to enter the equation, it would be really cool to see people everywhere filling out lax brackets like mad.  It gets people involved in college basketball who usually don’t care for it.  Sometimes these people turn into rabid fans, and they can really drive TV ratings up and the prominence of the sport.  The Bracket Craze might be the single biggest difference actually.  So how can we do it without all the betting?

We’ll be sure to come up with something even better this year before May begins!  But increased betting might just be an unfortunate consequence.

But aside from the betting issue, could that bigger plan work?  Could college lacrosse’s brackets become the real deal in the eyes of the public?

As lacrosse grows, I think the answer is yes.  Basketball’s biggest draw is that teams from ALL OVER the country come together to play in one huge tournament.  It’s one and done and 100% Old School.  There is just something about that set up that is special.  And lacrosse is very similar.  There is not the regional diversity as of yet, but it does seem to be coming, and when it does, I think lacrosse will offer a very similar style tournament to college basketball.  And lacrosse’s Final Four is already an amazing weekend, much like the FF is for basketball.  Having a cornerstone weekend like that to rely on would only help.  Plus a good number of the college lacrosse games are televised already.

But it would still be missing one thing.  And that’s a person or group to simply take it over the edge, and thrust it in the face of the public. And it couldn’t be faked either.  Someone with a huge amount of influence would simply have to start caring about college lacrosse publicly, and a floodgate could open.  The President filled out brackets.  THE PRESIDENT.  So we need to think big here.  Peter Dante certainly does his part to promote the game, as does Jim Brown and many others.  But we need someone who is fully entrenched in the pop media world to back this thing at the very leas.  And beyond Billy Bush (star of many hollywood TV shows and ex-Colby lacrosse player), here’s where my plan falls apart.  Billy could probably do it though, he seems pretty on the ball.

So yes, there are some major differences between March Madness and the Lacrosse Love Affair (May), but I don’t think that the two are so far apart that lacrosse couldn’t seriously trim the gap.  The betting issue still rubs me the wrong way, so I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on how it could be eliminated, or if it simply here to stay.  Beyond that though, lacrosse might not be so far off from being a pop culture craze.

Does lacrosse have what it takes to compete with college basketball?  Or did I get too much Sun today?

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About the author

Connor Wilson

Connor is the Publisher of LacrosseAllStars.com. He lives in Brooklyn with his better half, continues to play and coach both box and field lacrosse in NYC as much as possible, and covers the great game that is lacrosse full-time. He spends his spare time stringing sticks and watching Futurama.

6 Comments

  • trying not to beat the dead horse that is ‘making lacrosse mainstream’. i would personally love to see lacrosse be as popular as march madness. Great college lacrosse is the best lacrosse at any level. my favorite lacrosse moment came last year; “Young, to Catalino, Ball Game!”. i dont believe any rule changes are necessary for lacrosse to be main stream, i think lacrosse needs to be on TV more often. this will make more schools realize how profitable having a team is, then more schools will consider adding teams. 
    Our Time will come my friends, it will.
    The biggest benefactor which is unique to lacrosse is (like i said earlier), lacrosse is the best at the college level. 

  • Couldn’t have said it better Sam, I’m deff pumped on as much hype as lacrosse is getting right now. Can’t wait to see what lacrosse has in store in the next decade. On another note though, thinking about another post a few weeks ago on how Salisbury shouldn’t go D1(Concerning that all sports would have to jump to the D1 level) I believe has a reason to do with it. Not saying that it would be an onslaught just that it would complicated things a bit more. Many schools just need to develop a program that can compete against these power houses such as Hopkins, Cuse, UVA, etc. But going out to school in Hawai’i I’d love to see the school add lacrosse as a program. The sport is in the right direction it should be. 

  • We would need to get more D1 teams and make the tourney field bigger. Make like a 30 team tournament and put it all on ESPN. I’ve filled out at least 10 NCAA Basketball brackets in the past week. College basketball is on in everywhere in New York City. You can’t escape it. We need to grow the amount of teams playing Division 1 lacrosse. We need to persuade the good MCLA teams from major universities to go D1 and then wait for them to become good in D1 before the idea of lacrosse’s NCAA tournament becoming as big a deal as March Madness.   

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