Memorial Day Weekend means Final Four in college lacrosse
Last week's quarterfinals produced one blowout and three overtime games! The last two weekends have given us memorable games and the Final Four matchups should continue the trend. The games could come down to which team's defense and goalie can limit their opponent's high powered offense. Here are the rankings of top scoring offenses, through the quarterfinals:
Hmmm, interesting. These are the same teams in the Final Four. But as legendary Alabama football coach Bear Bryant said, "offense sells tickets, defense wins championships."
In the last ten years, at least one of these four schools has played in the championship game. Duke has three wins (2010, 2013, 2014) and one loss (2018). Virginia won twice (2011 & 2019). UNC won in 2016 and Maryland has one win (2017) and four runner-ups (2011-12 and 2015-16).
#1 UNC vs. #4 Virginia, Winner: UNC. The Tar Heels beat Rutgers in OT last week, ending an impressive run by the Scarlet Knights. And, just to loosely tie this to finance, economics, markets, etc..., Milton Friedman is a Rutgers alum.
Virginia handily beat Georgetown in the lone lopsided quarterfinal game. I knew they could score but was impressed by their overall ability to shut down the Hoyas from the start. The game was never in doubt.
UNC & Virginia, ACC foes, split their two games this season with each winning on the road. I think UNC comes out on top this time. This game (and the other as well) could come down to which team's defense and goalie can limit their opponent's high powered offense.
#2 Duke vs. #3 Maryland, Winner: Maryland. If you read the initial May Madness post, you would remember all five Tewaaraton Award finalists were playing in the first round. Three remain. Two are in this game (the other plays for UNC). Again, the defensive matchups and schemes could be the defining factor here. Interestingly, Maryland and Duke are tied in scoring defense, with each averaging ten goals against through the quarterfinals.
Since the championship game is on Memorial Day, this will be the final post for "May Madness". I picked Maryland to win it all at the outset and I'm not changing. I would not be surprised by whichever team wins. They are each capable and deserving. Good luck and congratulations to all the playoff teams.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!