Men's basketball is in possession of the most famous Selection Sunday in college sports, but there's another one of note for Maryland fans: lacrosse's Selection Sunday, when the NCAA lacrosse tournament brackets are released. In fact, that's this Sunday.
Yeah, that's kind of sneaking up on us.
The season isn't fully finished yet, so it may be a tad premature to begin heavy discussions of lacrosse bracketology, but that's what blogs are for. Maryland has one more game to play, finishing up the season with a matchup at Colgate, a game they are roundly expected to win. While there are a few remaining impact games, the field is beginning to take shape.
Luckily, there won't be as much sweating as there usually is on basketball's decision day: Maryland is firmly in the field for their eight straight season. The only anxiety of the day will be in regards to whether Maryland is the second or third best team in the country. Having reaffirmed that they're playing in the postseason in light of tragic news, Virginia has a vice-grip on the #1 seed, but Maryland and Syracuse are jostling for the #2 spot. Some think Syracuse is better; others say Maryland.
For what it's worth, the most recent official RPI has Maryland at #2, as does LaxPower's own RPI calculations. Both national polls, though, gave the edge to Syracuse. I'm not plugged into lacrosse enough to definitively say one is better than the other, but Syracuse's undoing may come from their lack of big wins: the Terps have victories over North Carolina and Duke, while Cuse has no Top 5 wins. They may have only lost one game, but they're yet to prove that they can beat the best in the country. At the same time, they came a lot closer to beating Virginia in Charlottesville than Maryland did.
Luckily for the Terps, the two bracketologies I've seen of the season have Maryland firmly at #2. Hopefully it'll stay that way. In fact, one even has Syracuse at #4. At this point, it seems as though Maryland should receive the #2 seed without too much trouble, but don't be shocked if they end up lower.
If you're new to college lacrosse, only the top 8 teams are "seeded"; the other 8 teams that make the tournament are then matched up with the seeded teams based on a combination of ranking, proximity, and previous playing status (they try to avoid rematches). Patrick Stevens has Maryland matched up with Brown; because it's logistics-based more than anything else, it's tough to guess or predict that accurately.
One final thing to make you happy: neither of the bracketologies linked above, Stevens' or IL's, has Johns Hopkins in the tournament. Oh yes.