Morning Jac: Hump Day Primer
As you know, Wednesday's during the season are one of the busiest days of the week for NCAA Men's Division III and the other lower levels. Let's take a look at some of the more interesting match-ups. Oh, and I won't be previewing the No. 1 Tufts at No. 2 Stevenson game because a.) I've kind of already done it and b.) I don't want to dissect that game and further; I just want to sit back and enjoy it.
NOTE: The Tufts-Stevenson game has been changed to 8 p.m. at Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium. It is unclear whether the game will have a live broadcast.
Geneseo (2-3) at No. 5 RIT (4-0), 4 p.m.
One has to assume that Genny is going to put all the pieces together and play up to their potential. The unfortunate thing for the Blue Knights is they might play their best ball of the year today and still lose to RIT. It'll be the Tigers, 14-10.
No. 4 Cortland (4-1) at Nazareth (3-2), 4 p.m.
The way the Empire is shaping up, Naz needs to get as many key wins as they can to stay in the at-large hunt. The Flyers are already behind the eight-ball, but a win over Cortland would get them back on track. Plus, they need to get the taste of that 21-5 loss to Bowdoin out of their mouthes. Alas, it probably won't happen. Red Dragons, 12-5.
No. 11 NYIT (2-2) at No. 9 Bentley (0-1), 4 p.m.
As team after team in the Wild Card hunt pick up losses, Bentley has to believe it's still very much in the mix. If the Falcons pick up the win today, they could let NYIT head back into the ECC and do some of the dirty work for Bentley. I only have the 6-3 loss to C.W. Post to go on, but I think I like this Falcons squad. Bentley, 8-6.
Williams (1-1) at Skidmore (4-1), 4:30 p.m.
The Thoroughbreds already have a win over Dickinson that will come in handy in May, so if they can knock off the Ephs, that will be two power conference victories. With St. Lawrence's win over Colby yesterday, that would be quite a message sent by the Liberty League. Skidmore, 10-7.
No. 3 Salisbury (7-0) at No. 8 Roanoke (5-2), 7 p.m.
The air has been let out of this game with the contest in Owings Mills, but it's still one of the more interesting match-ups around. And by interesting, I mean seeing whether the Maroons can even hang with the Gulls. The last time 'Noke played Salisbury in the regular season (2007), it lost, 28-4, and the last Maroon victory in the series came in 1992 – a time when the freshmen in this contest weren't even born. I don't see anything changing. Gulls, 11-9.
Montclair St. (2-3) at No. 6 Stevens (6-0), 7 p.m.
There are lots of good vibes around Hoboken these days, and rightfully so, but it just takes one stinker to halt that in a hurry. Montclair State stifled the Ducks last year in an 8-5 win and have the potential to pull another upset. This Stevens team is better, and last year's loss should serve as incentive. Ducks, 14-7.
Washington College (3-2) at No. 10 Haverford (5-2), 7 p.m.
This might look like a throw-away Centennial contest, but keep an eye on this one. Washington College has a pretty good defense and Haverford is still having trouble scoring. If the Shoremen can navigate the first 45 minutes and still be within a goal or two, the Squirrels will get tighter and tighter. I can't pick the upset, but it'll be close. Fords, 8-5.
No. 25 UC Davis (6-1) at No. 9 Texas (7-0), 7 p.m. CDT
Texas is a good team, but the Longhorns have risen to No. 9 basically on the backs of the SELC, which is down this year. The Aggies will give Texas its first taste of some "West Coast ball." Win or lose today, the 'Horns ceiling is probably the 13th-seed in the tournament, but if they remain undefeated and some other teams stumble, anything could happen. This will be closer than people expect. Texas, 12-10.
Best & Worst
Best part about today: Obviously, it's the Tufts-Stevenson game.
Worst part about today: While I was driving this morning, there was a news segment on the radio entitled "Flood Watch 2011." That can't be good.