towson vs loyola
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D1 Rundown – NCAA Tournament – Round 1

Welcome to the NCAA Tournament edition of the D1 Rundown! This past week was full of action as we had two play-in games during the week followed by two awesome days of back-to-back-to-back-to-back lacrosse games. I’m trying to keep the format of the rundown largely the same all the way through the tournament, but I added in some notes about the upcoming games as well.

I didn’t make predictions, because that would be crazy. I mean, really? The way this year is going? No way.

Wednesday Play-In Games

9 Hartford vs. Quinnipiac 14
5 Hobart vs. Towson 18

Saturday

11 Duke vs. #7 Loyola 16
9 #6 Marquette vs. UNC 10
8 Johns Hopkins vs. #5 Brown 17
7 Air Force vs. #3 Notre Dame 15

CF4_0189-XL
Photo Credit: Craig Chase

Sunday

6 Quinnipiac vs. #1 Maryland 13
9 #2 Denver vs. Towson 10
10 #4 Yale vs. Navy 13
9 Albany vs. #8 Syracuse 11

NCAA Tournament
Photo Credit: Jeff Melnik

The Stat Freaks

There are fewer games this week, but I still had to give this a try!

Freak of the week: I’ve gotta go with Brown’s Will Gural. 80% faceoffs against a team like Johns Hopkins is always good. Getting 10GBs off of 16 of your wins is also pretty darn good. Combining that with two goals of your own? That’s a game right there.

Offense: The Cutoff here is a combined 7 goals and/or assists

Loyola’s Pat Spencer 3G, 5A vs. Duke
Brown’s Dylan Molloy 4G, 4A vs. Hopkins

Pat Spencer Loyola
Photo Credit: Craig Chase

Defense:  For here, you need 8 GBs, CTs, and/or points

Navy’s DJ Plumer 5GB, 3CT, 1G vs. Yale

Faceoffs: Greater than 70%, at least 10 attempts

Denver’s Trevor Baptiste 20/22 vs. Towson
Maryland’s Austin Henningsen 14/17 vs. Quinnipiac
Duke’s Kyle Rowe 23/31 w/ 17 GBs vs. Loyola
Brown’s Will Gural 16/20 w/ 10 GBs, 2G vs. Hopkins

Goalies:  Greater than 70%

Some close calls and great performances, but nobody broke the 70% mark with more than just a couple of shots against them.

Conference Records in the NCAA Tournament

Patriot: 2-0
ACC: 3-1
CAA: 2-0
Ivy League: 1-1
B1G: 1-1
MAAC: 1-1 – Now eliminated
Southern: 0-1 – Now eliminated
Northeast: 0-1 – Now eliminated
America East: 0-2 – Now eliminated
Big East: 0-2 – Now eliminated

CF4_8402-XL
Photo Credit: Craig Chase

Seeing the Big East get completely eliminated from the NCAA Tournament is definitely a shock. Marquette had a reasonable shot at beating UNC and almost nobody saw Denver losing in round one. For both to lose? Shocking. The ACC is still showing three teams, but at least one will be gone after the next round as Notre Dame plays UNC. The Patriot League is sitting pretty right now after fantastic first games by Loyola and Navy and both teams could advance.

The Upcoming Matchups

Category #1 Maryland #8 Syracuse
Record 15-2 12-4
Goals For 11.24 (#18) 12.81 (#7)
Goals Against 7.76 (#6) 8.50 (#13)
Faceoff % .537 (#22) .626 (#5)
Goalie Rank .542 (#17) Unranked

Head to Head: N/A
Common Foes:
Notre Dame: Cuse L by 10; MD L by 5
Albany: Cuse W by 9, W by 2; MD W by 3
UNC: Cuse W by 6, W by 3; MD W by 3
Hopkins: Cuse L in OT; MD W by 3

Quick Take: Both of these teams are hitting their peak at the right time. Well, that’s mostly true for Syracuse if you ignore their first half against Albany this past week. As much as the rest of the lacrosse world wants to make this about two teams in 2016, Syracuse fans can only think about one thing: the 2011 quarterfinals where Maryland beat the Orange in overtime. That game happened just 24.6 miles from where they will meet this year and I would be willing to bet that you will not see a stich of Nike Volt fabric in anything the Orange wear. Expect Syracuse fans to yell “Stall” every time Maryland touches the ball. I’m serious, it’ll be every possession. Joking aside (kind of), this really should be an awesome game. Both teams are fighting their own high expectations where nothing less than championship weekend appearances are acceptable.

Upset Grade: Very Possible

UAlbany @ Syracuse Playoffs 063
Photo Credit: Jeff Melnik
Category #7 Loyola Towson
Record 13-3 16-2
Goals For 10.88 (#23) 11.06 (#22)
Goals Against 8.06 (#9) 7.11 (#1)
Faceoff % .506 (#35) .491 (#40)
Goalie Rank Unranked .563 (#11)

Head to Head: Towson won by 2 at Loyola
Common Foes:
Hopkins: Loyola W by 1; Towson L by 6
Georgetown: Loyola W by 3; Towson W by 3

Quick Take: I’m sure both fan bases are a little upset that this game is not being played anywhere near Baltimore, but it gives lacrosse fans in the Midwest a chance to see some great lacrosse. I did not expect Towson to be here, but they played great out in Denver. Loyola looked just as impressive against Duke in their opener. If this game is decided by any more than 3 goals, someone decided not to show up. This game should be physical, fast, and close. Fans are in for a treat.

Upset Grade: Likely

Category #3 Notre Dame North Carolina
Record 11-3 9-6
Goals For 11.14 (#20) 12.67 (#8)
Goals Against 7.64 (#4) 10.27 (#37)
Faceoff % .506 (#34) .569 (#13)
Goalie Rank .575 (#6) .490 (#43)

Head to Head: UNC Won 17-15 at Home
Common Foes: A bunch, get ready.
Duke: ND L in OT; UNC W in OT
Syracuse: ND W by 10; UNC L by 6; UNC L by 3
UVA: ND W in OT; UNC W by  8
Maryland: ND W by 5; UNC L by 4
Marquette: ND W in OT; UNC W by 1
Denver: ND L in OT; UNC L in OT

Quick Take: I know that UNC won this game earlier in the year, but that is not always the best test. Flukes happen, right? But when you look at the head to head matchups, the fact that UNC won the ACC regular season, AND add in the head to head? UNC has a compelling case. Notre Dame has the better defense and goalie, and really is the favorite, but I like UNC’s chance to repeat in this game. Could they break their quarterfinal curse finally?

Upset Grade: Very Possible

Category #5 Brown Navy
Record 15-2 11-4
Goals For 16.76 (#1) 9.87 (#33)
Goals Against 8.59 (#17) 7.13 (#2)
Faceoff % .668 (#3) .589 (#11)
Goalie Rank .622 (#1) .556 (#12)

Head to Head: N/A
Common Foes:
Yale: Navy W by 3; Brown W by 2
Holy Cross: Navy W by 9; Brown W by 13
Hopkins: Navy L in 2OT; Brown W by 9

Quick Take: Navy did a great job against Yale, but I’m not sure they can pull off another Ivy upset. Brown will be playing at home (even though it’s down the road in the football stadium and not their real home field, but still home (this was a really long side comment for parenthesis, sorry)), which favors them a little bit more. Brown will be overwhelming, but they can lose at home, where both of their losses were. Navy’s last trip to Championship Weekend also came from defeating two Ivy Leaguers back to back, but they were the #2 seed that time around. They will need a little more magic to make a return this year.

Upset Grade: Possible

So there you have it’ We’ve run down all the D1 NCAA Tournament info that’s fit to print. Online. On a blog. Enjoy the rest of the college season. It will all be over soon!