May 6, 2012

MD1 Tournament Bracket: Loyola, Hopkins Lead the Field

Loyola is the top seed in the NCAA Division I men's tournament and hosts MAAC champion Canisius at 5 p.m. Saturday.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | Full Bracket (PDF)

NCAA Brackets: MD1 | WD1 | MD2 | WD2 | MD3 | WD3
Analysis: MD1 | WD1 | MD2 | WD2 | MD3 | WD3

The field is set. Let the mayhem begin.

Loyola was named the No. 1 overall seed in the 16-team NCAA Division I men's lacrosse tournament on Sunday night, and Baltimore neighborhood rival Johns Hopkins wasn't far away on paper either, coming in seeded right behind the Greyhounds at No. 2.

ACC champion Duke is the third seed, followed by fourth-seeded Notre Dame. Virginia, undefeated UMass, Patriot League champ Lehigh and North Carolina round out the top eight for the tournament, which begins at noon Saturday when Duke hosts Syracuse in Durham, N.C.

Denver, Princeton and Colgate grabbed at-large bids from the selection committee along with the four ACC teams and Johns Hopkins and Notre Dame. The Pioneers and Tigers, who lost to Yale in the Ivy League championship game on Sunday, were presumably the last teams in.

Bubble teams Penn State, Cornell, Fairfield and Villanova were left on the outside looking in.

"As always [the toughest part] was with the bottom guys; who's getting in and who's not getting in, and also what to do with UMass," tournament selection committee chair Tony Seaman said on ESPNU's selection show when asked which decisions were the hardest. "I've been doing this for four years and this was our toughest year with more teams that deserved to get in and not a lot that separated anybody."

The CAA champion Minutemen (15-0) are seeded sixth and host Colgate. Seaman said UMass' weak strength of schedule was a determining factor for their seed, and that Denver's strong schedule helped the Poineers' cause. Seaman said Princeton's "stable" RPI of 10 helped them get a bid, along with wins over Cornell and two wins over Brown, which had beaten the Big Red late in the season.

Prior to this weekend, Yale and Syracuse figured to be left out of the tournament, but each won its conference tournament and an automatic qualifying bid to put them in the big dance. Yale beat Princeton on Sunday, and the Orange dispatched St. John's in the Big East final on Saturday after the Red Storm upset Notre Dame in the semifinal round.

Canisius (6-7) beat Siena in the MAAC championship game on Sunday to grab that conference's automatic qualifier. The Golden Griffins will travel to Loyola for the Greyhounds first NCAA home game since 2000.

Stony Brook, despite also having a losing record (7-9), makes the field by way of winning the America East conference, making Canisius and the Seawolves the third and fourth teams in history to make the tournament with a sub-.500 record.

NCAA Division I Men's Tournament First-Round Games

Saturday, May 12 (All times Eastern)

Syracuse (9-7) at No. 3 Duke (13-4), Noon
Colgate (13-3) at No. 6 UMass (15-0), 2:30 p.m.
Canisius (6-7) at No. 1 Loyola (14-1), 5 p.m.
Denver (8-6) at No. 8 North Carolina (11-5), 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 13

Princeton (11-4) at No. 5 Virginia, 1 p.m.
Stony Brook (7-9) at No. 2 Johns Hopkins (11-3), 3 p.m.
Yale (11-4) at No. 4 Notre Dame (11-2), 5:15 p.m.
Maryland (9-5) at No. 7 Lehigh (14-2), 7:30 p.m.


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