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Archive for May 6, 2018

May 6, 2018 — The underappreciated No. 1

This evening, as the NCAA Tournament Committee hashes out the resumes of about three dozen women’s lacrosse teams in order to cut down to the final 27, there’s one commonality that has connected just about every one of the pundits.

That commonality is the opinion that the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a team which has been the No. 1 team in the national polls for about 2/3 of the season, is not going to be the No. 1 overall seed.

Not even a team which has the leading goal-scorer in the history of NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse. Not even a team which has the one player with the most combined goals and assists in the history of Division I.

Indeed, I have seen the bracketology from some sources, and some have the Seawolves seeded as low as sixth. That would mean that the best team in the country would have to go on the road for the quarterfinal round, held one week before lacrosse’s Final Four.

Something very much like this happened a year ago, when Stony Brook, the field’s only one-loss team, was seeded eighth, meaning that they had an all-expenses-paid trip to the University of Maryland, the field’s only undefeated team.

The game was an instant classic, with the Terps beating Stony Brook 13-12, but it took a bit of the shine of the Final Four, as Maryland beat its next opponent, Penn State, by 10 goals, then defeated Boston College by three in the final.

I know that certain politicking does take place in the closed conference room where the tournament committee meets. Hopefully, this won’t cast a pall over this evening’s selections.

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