May Madness is here, and it didn’t disappoint! A full slate of games was what the people wanted, and that’s what they got. Across both DII and DIII, there were some tremendous games along with some great upsets.
Although there were two no contests (sorry Mercy and Endicott), the lacrosse that was played reminded us of how special May lacrosse is. It may have looked different with the pods, but every team played their hearts out and gave us the fix we all needed!
DII & DIII Men’s May Madness
DII – OT Winners! SAC Rolling!
Saint Anselm 12 – Seton Hill 11 (OT)
What. A. Game.
Not many people gave the Hawks much of a chance against the more-seasoned Seton Hill team, but they didn’t seem to care. The Hawks scored six of the last eight goals including the OT winner to send SHU home packing. The Hawks proved the doubters wrong and took down a very strong Seton Hill team that may have been looking ahead to LeMoyne. With the win, Saint Anselm got a rematch with the Dolphins of LeMoyne, but that’s where its magical season ended, 11-7.
This is a team to watch moving forward. With Merrimack leaving the NE-10, the coaching staff has done a phenomenal job with catching up with the rest of the conference. This will not be a one-and-done shot for the Hawks. DII is on notice, these guys can play!
Lenoir Rhyne 16 – Tampa 15 (OT)
This May Madness mayhem was worthy of ESPNU. Both of these teams play an up-and-down style that keeps fans on the edge of their seats. LR has one of the best venues in all of college sports, and this was an instant classic in between the bricks in Hickory, North Carolina.
Tampa came out with something to prove in this one and delivered what many may have thought was a knockout punch. LR struck first, but Tampa went on a 7-0 run that gave it a six-goal cushion. Insert the heroics of Eric Dickinson and Co., and what you have is a possible team of destiny. LR battled back and forced overtime, in which Colton McCracken broke Tampa’s hearts and sent the Bears into the Semis against a familiar foe: the Wingate Bulldogs.
This game will be one for the ages. You have two phenomenal coaches who have helped build their programs and the SAC into one of the most competitive conferences in all of college lacrosse. Part III will be a classic as Wingate returns to Hickory looking to avenge a loss in the SAC Championship. Lets not look past its 10-9 win against a pesky UIndy team. The Bulldogs jumped out to a nice lead, but the Greyhounds never went away as this was a close one down the stretch.
Shoutout to the Mercy Mavericks. Congrats on a great season. First-class program and great coaching staff. We were all looking forward to the rematch with Mercyhurst, but like everything this season, the finish was completely out of their control. This program will be back!
DIII – Call the Colonel!
Centre 12 – Denison 11
Make no bones about it: this was the biggest win in program history for Centre. Yes, it was the program’s first NCAA Tourney win, but to do pick up its inaugural May Madness victory against one of the most established programs in Division III is nothing short of astonishing. Many people were calling this as a potential upset earlier in the week, and they were absolutely right. Because of the pods, Denison had to travel to Centre, and the Colonels lucked out with their biggest win in history being at home.
The celebration was short lived as the quick turnaround put them up against a tough Colorado College team that beat the Colonels, 19-6. But it was an impressive win for Centre nonetheless. Congrats to Coach Zimmerman on a phenomenal season. Expect to see his name thrown around in the future for some big-name jobs.
Also, congratulation to Coach Mike Caravana on a phenomenal career as the head coach at Denison. He announced shortly after the game against Centre that he would be stepping down from his position. Best of luck in the future, the game is better with you in it. I am sure he will stay involved in the game in some aspect.
This week we will see some great matchups, so make sure you stop in and check out the rundown next week!