After a fairly inconsistent season, the University of Maryland's Men's lacrosse team enters the 2011 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament unseeded. But it is their interesting matchup in the first round that is generating most of the buzz. Despite the NCAA Lacrosse Committee's attempts to avoid it, the University of Maryland will head to Chapel Hill in the first round to take on North Carolina. It will be the third time the two teams play this season, and the first time two conference teams will play in the first round since 2003.
Patrick Stevens of the Washington Times reports that Committee chairman Dermot Coll and the rest of the board tried to avoid the matchup, they just simply could not.
Coll cited the combination of the NCAA's two-flight suggested guideline and the competitive balance of the tournament for pairing the two ACC teams who have already played twice this season. "In my mind, it was a true [8-9] matchup," Coll said. "We prefer not to have that. Today, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to move some things around and not have that first-round game."
As for the matchup itself, it the difficulty of it is debatable. Obviously North Carolina will not be an easy test, but it is a relatively easy travel situation, and the alternative would have been traveling to Denver, which presents it's own set of problems.
We'll be covering the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament, both for the Maryland Men and Women, in this StoryStream. For more on the Terps, check out our Maryland blog Testudo Times.