Morning Jac: Wednesday Games to Watch
These are my thoughts on today's games. Chime in below if you have different ideas.
Bowdoin (0-1) vs. No. 16 Nazareth (3-1) – 12 p.m.
(at Sacred Heart)
At the completion of this contest, one of these teams is going to have a pretty chip that they'll be able to cash in on Selection Sunday if they happen to be swimming in Pool C (at-large). Will it guarantee a spot? Obviously not considering how much is left in the season, but if history is any gauge, both of these teams will be discussed by the committee on the final weekend. Hence, the winner is going to have a huge leg up. I think Naz has figured something out after the Springfield disaster. I like the Flyers, 12-9.
No. 15 Cabrini (2-2) at No. 18 Gettysburg (3-3) –
I'm a little jittery about pronouncements concerning Gettysburg's demise since I wrote the Bullets off after six games in 2009 only to watch them advance to the national championship game. Regardless, they could really use this win, if only to get some confidence. In years past, the Cavs might have caught the Bullets napping in a mid-week contest leading into the Haverford game, but not this year. Gettysburg needs victories, and even with the paltry offense at this point, I think they take it, 9-6.
No. 2 Stevenson (6-0) at No. 9 Roanoke (4-1) – 4
I've tried seven different ways to figure out a way Roanoke can win this game, but Stevenson is a miserable match-up for the Maroons. Broadly speaking, the Mustangs do what 'Noke likes to do, but with a better defense and more offensive skill players. There are two things Roanoke has in its favor – the five-hour bus ride for the Mustangs and the possibility Stevenson is eyeing the match-up with No. 4 Cortland this weekend. Neither can swing the needle in the Maroons favor, however. 'Stangs, 17-12.
Springfield (2-2) at No. 5 Middlebury (1-0) – 4:30 p.m.
If you asked me two weeks ago about this game, I would have said it might get interesting. After Springfield's struggles in its last two games, I think Middlebury wins by five. I'm following this game because it will give us a better feel for this Panther team than Bates was able to provide. Mostly, I'm interested to see how Middlebury does against a premier faceoff man in the Pride's Mark Eaton. Even though they coasted past the Bobcats, they had issues at the 'X.' Midd, 13-8.
No. 11 Stevens (5-0) at No. 10 Lynchburg (4-2) – 7
I'm starting to really like this Stevens team and a win here might be the last hurdle for me to declare them the team to beat in the Empire 8, despite the presence of No. 8 RIT. Lynchburg could use the momentum heading into the Roanoke game this weekend, but they'll have their hands full. The Hornets might be the right pick at home, but I've got a good feeling about the Ducks. Stevens, 10-9.
No. 22 New Hampshire (0-0) at No. 2 Arizona State (4-0)
– 7 p.m. MT
One might be puzzled by this pick, especially since the Sun Devils should handle the Wildcats relatively easily. But UNH was a huge underdog last year when it stunned Colorado in the first game of the season on the road. This game will be close for a half, but being six weeks behind the rest of the MCLA will catch up to the 'Cats, and their legs, in the second half. ASU, 15-10.
Best & Worst
Best thing about today: See above.
Worst thing about today: I found all the pieces to my lacrosse officiating uniform and sundry items (flags, whistle, etc.), but the battery was toast in my 20-second timer. It took me about a week to find a store that sold those "half-a-AAA" batteries last year, but I can't remember where I bought them now.