February 14, 2014

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#LMRanks Best Bets: NCAA Tournament Field (WD1)

by Lacrosse Magazine Staff | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Loyola and Marlee Paton are our best bet to take home the Patriot League crown and AQ. (John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com)

There's an awful lot of season stretching out in front of every team in the lacrosse world today, but that doesn't mean we can't do some prognosticating, as Lacrosse Magazine has its final "Best Bets" observation of the preseason – who will make it into the NCAA tournament at the end of the regular season.

A total of 26 squads will make it into the dance between conference AQ winners and at-large selections. Here's who we think has the best chance to fill those spots in 2014

Conference Winners

ALC: Northwestern
America East: Stony Brook
Atlantic 10: UMass
ACC: North Carolina
Atlantic Sun: Jacksonville
Big East: Georgetown
Big South: High Point
CAA: Towson
Ivy League: Penn
MAAC: Canisius
MPSF: Stanford
NEC: Monmouth
Patriot League: Loyola

At-Large Teams

Maryland (ACC)
Syracuse (ACC)
Florida (ALC)
Duke (ACC)
Virginia (ACC)
Penn State (ALC)
Notre Dame (ACC)
Denver (MPSF)
Navy (Patriot League)
Princeton (Ivy League)
Boston College (ACC)
Johns Hopkins (Independent)
UConn (Big East)

Bracket Buster

Boston College

The Eagles made the NCAA tournament for the first time in 2011, suffered a letdown despite the arrival of five-star recruits Covie Stanwick and Mikaela Rix in 2012, got back into the 26-team dance in 2013 and lost to Dartmouth in the first round. Stanwick and Rix, now juniors, were second-team All-Americans. "Those two need to have big games every game for BC to have a chance in an even more competitive ACC," said one rival coach.

Sleeper Team

Louisville

Offseason controversy swirled around the Cardinals after a salacious report in the Louisville Courier-Journal had former players accusing coach Kellie Young of abusive tactics. The university stood by Young, as did a group of supportive former players. Lost in that was that Louisville has a shot at doing big things in a wide-open Big East, thanks to the departure of Syracuse and Notre Dame. Nikki Boltja and Kaylin Morissette combined to score 106 goals last year.


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