NCAA MD1 Tournament Field and Matchups Announced
|Duke earned the No. 1 seed in this year's NCAA tournament, with Syracuse, Loyola and Penn at 2-4. (Peyton Williams)|
May Madness is here.
Duke and Syracuse, who met in last year's national title game and began the season ranked first and second in the Lacrosse Magazine rankings, took the top two seeds in the 18-team NCAA Division I men's tournament field, announced live on ESPNU on Sunday night.
The Blue Devils (13-3) were slotted first overall and the Orange (11-4) second, as two of the six ACC teams to qualify for the field. Three Ivy League programs, Penn, Cornell and Harvard, as well as independent Johns Hopkins and the conference champions of eight other conferences comprise the bracket.
Hofstra, which lost to Drexel in three overtimes in the CAA final on Saturday night, was left out as an at-large team.
Patriot League champ Loyola (15-1) was seeded third, Ivy League champ Penn (11-3) fourth, Big East champion Denver (14-2) fifth and ACC AQ winner Notre Dame (9-5) sixth. Maryland (11-3) and Virginia (10-5) round out the seeds at seventh and eighth, respectively.
Denver, although with 14 wins, was projected as a possible unseeded team because of a weaker strength of schedule than other teams in consideration to host first-round games.
The at-large Blue Jays (10-4) head to Charlottesville to take on the Cavaliers in a matchup of two teams that missed the tournament last year. Denver will play North Carolina (10-4) in the NCAA tournament for the third straight year, and Penn hosts Drexel (12-4) in the top half of the bracket.
Loyola, top seeded in the human polls drew always dangerous Albany (11-5), the America East champ, as its first-round opponent. "They're like the Harlem Globetrotters. They do things that are hard to scout and prepare for," Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey said on the selection show about the Thompson-led Great Danes.
Notre Dame will square off with Harvard (10-6) and Maryland will play Cornell (11-4) in a rematch of a first round game last year won big by the Big Red.
Air Force (10-5) will play Richmond (6-10) in a play-in game with the winner facing Duke. Bryant (14-4) faces off with Siena (11-5) in the play-in game funneled to second seed Syracuse.
Richmond is a first-year varsity program that qualified via the Atlantic Sun AQ bid in that conference's first year. Air Force last played in the NCAA tournament in 1988, a span of 26 years that was the longest in college lacrosse history between NCAA appearances. The Falcons got in by way of winning the ECAC, in the league's last year of Division I lacrosse existence.
This was the first year of an 18-team NCAA Division I men's tournament with 10 AQ teams and eight at-larges.
Check back to LaxMagazine.com for more bracket analysis, and more reaction from coaches and the tournament selection committee chair.
NCAA Division I Men's Tournament First-Round Games
No. 1 Duke vs. Air Force/Richmond winner, 5:15 p.m. Sunday
No. 8 Virginia vs. Johns Hopkins, 1 p.m. Sunday (ESPN2)
No. 5 Denver vs. North Carolina, 7:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU)
No. 4 Penn vs. Drexel, 3 p.m. Sunday (ESPNU)
Long Island quarterfinal
No. 3 Loyola vs. Albany, Noon Saturday (ESPNU)
No. 6 Notre Dame vs. Harvard, 2:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU)
Long Island quarterfinal
No. 7 Maryland vs. Cornell, 5 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU)
No. 2 Syracuse vs. Bryant/Siena, 7:30 p.m. Sunday (ESPNU)
NCAA Division I Men's Tournament Play-In Games
Wednesday, May 7 (All times Eastern)
Richmond at Air Force, 9 p.m.
Siena at Bryant, 4 p.m.
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