Monday, May 4, 2009

lacrosse pairings

First, I'm contractually obligated (JOKE PEOPLE) to link this: Andy Katz with a nice little fluff piece (but heavy fluff, more like dryer lint than cotton candy) on Tony Bennett. I mean, it's at the Worldwide Leader and on the front page of the mens' basketball section too - pretty cool - so you probably found it already unless you live in Moldova or something. But anyway, I liked it.

Also would like you to read this and this too from Jeff White. Quality interviews. The first is a talk with Sylven Landesberg and the second is tidbits from Groh's press conference after the spring game. They're a little old, but I got some catching up to do. As for Landesberg, it's clear we are way way way lucky to have him on this team, and frankly the program owes it to him to put a quality product on the floor surrounding him. I cannot wait to see what he can do for us next year and hope we get to see what he can do for us for another two years after that.

The main item, which you also noticed if you took a peep at any (well, most) of the papers that cover UVA (or at least their websites) is the national lacrosse bracket. Woo woo #1 seed. This is really excellent as far as the first round is concerned because we don't have to get some really obnoxiously dangerous unseeded opponent like UMBC or Maryland. We get Villanova, and it's their first tournament ever. Later this week I'll make some kind of a lamesauce stab at a matchup analysis of some kind, but the short version goes like this: we should flatten them.

But the second round matchup (assuming we beat Villanova, and yes, I'm looking ahead, as a blogger I'm allowed to do that) is nasty. You've seen them before: Hopkins. If they get past Brown, and they should, they'll be waiting for us in Annapolis. Ewwww.

I really wanted to rail at the injustice of it all. Hopkins lost four games, yes, but to Princeton, UVA, UNC, and Syracuse. And you remember what happened in our game - it was damn close. (And if you don't, why how convenient, you can go check it out in the videos section.) Hopkins is a plenty talented team in their own right, and they're frickin' Hopkins, and....and - In any case, I did plan out a rant on the wack seeding, because putting Hopkins that damn low is injustice to both Hopkins and us for sure, but then I bothered to check out the rest of the bracket, and damn. I mean, who are you gonna move them ahead of? Four of the seven teams beat them, one is undefeated Notre Dame, one is Duke which obviously is pretty good, and one is Cornell which, I mean, co-champion of a three-bid, in the end I think the low seeding of Hopkins is really more reflective of the parity in the top levels of college lacrosse. Of the seven other seeded teams, chances are all of them are looking up at us as #1 and thinking, we can beat those guys. That's not to denigrate our team or our chances, but at any point in the season have we ever looked like the unstoppable machine that #1 basketball seeds typically are? Maybe for a couple periods at a time, but never for a full game unless it was, like, VMI. Too many holes in the defense. Anyway, here's hoping.

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