Weekend Watch: Hampton Debuts, and the February Blues
1. Hampton debuts
With ESPN's "SportsCenter" broadcasting live from the Virginia campus two hours beforehand, the Pirates of historically black Hampton University debut against Division II Roberts Wesleyan. Hampton, playing this year as a Division I independent with a five-game schedule, is the first men's team from a HBCU to play D-I games since Morgan State, which ended its program 35 years ago. One of the players on that team, Lloyd Carter, is now the Hampton coach.
LM profiled the team and featured the Pirates on the cover of its November issue. The players are cognizant of the historical significance.
"There's not much diversity within the lacrosse community," said long-stick midfielder and co-captain Alex Sales, a Winston-Salem, N.C., native who is in Hampton's five-year MBA program and is a leadership studies minor. "This gives an opportunity to those that come after us. We're blazing a path for them to play this game."
2. February lacrosse brings postponements
Many games have been postponed from Saturday due to expected frigid temperatures in a lot of college lacrosse locales. Some were moved to Friday or Sunday or Monday while others rescheduled for later in the year. Check back to the Lacrosse Magazine scoreboard — links below — for updated game times, and if you're headed out, pack some hand and foot warmers and don't leave any skin exposed.
3. No. 12 Loyola men at No. 9 Virginia
The top game of the weekend might be Loyola at Virginia at 1 p.m. in Charlottesville. The last two years, these teams have played a pair of one-goal games.
Last time the series was in Virginia, the Cavaliers and Greyhounds played out an epic game that left Loyola coach Charley Toomey arguing for replay when it was over. Loyola scored nine straight to take a one-goal lead, but Virginia's Ryan Tucker scored in what was deemed the final second of regulation and the Cavaliers won in overtime. James Pannell, who is back this year after a knee injury cut short his 2015 season, assisted on the tying goal and scored the OT winner in that game. This result could have NCAA tournament selection and seeding implications come May.
4. More top D-I men's teams debut
Three out of the top five in the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine preseason Top 20 will make their 2016 debuts this weekend. High Point is at No. 3 Duke at 7 p.m. Friday and the Blue Devils host former assistant and interim head coach Kevin Cassese and Lehigh at 1 p.m. Sunday; No. 2 and defending national champion Denver heads south to Colorado Springs to play Air Force; and No. 5 Syracuse hosts New York foe Siena in the 70 degrees in the Carrier Dome. No. 7 North Carolina hosts Furman. The Nike/LM Division I rankings will be updated for the first time on Monday.
5. Outside the Top 20...
Keep tabs on UMass-Army. We'll see how the Minutemen look after the transfer departures of goalie Zach Oliveri (to Stony Brook) and leading scorer, attackman Nick Mariano (to Syracuse). This is one of the games that was moved up to Friday because of weather.
Where to Watch on TV/Streams
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