Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, UMBC and Virginia are among the lacrosse teams included in two tripleheaders hosted by Inside Lacrosse next season.
Perhaps most notable is the the events --- March 12 at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium and April 3 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. --- feature different matchups than in previous years.
First up, the schedules:
March 12, Baltimore
Georgetown vs. Syracuse, 11 a.m.
Cornell vs. Virginia, 1:30 p.m.
Johns Hopkins vs. UMBC, 4 p.m.
April 3, East Rutherford, N.J.
Rutgers vs. St. John's, 1 p.m.
Johns Hopkins vs. North Carolina, 4 p.m.
Duke vs. Syracuse, 6:30 p.m.
Five quick thoughts on these matchups:
1. Cornell, Georgetown and UMBC have yet to be a part of one of these events. It's good to see some new names on a big regular season stage --- especially Cornell, which has made the NCAA semifinals three times in four years (and did play in a doubleheader in Foxborough last April).
2. A Duke-Syracuse regular season game is fantastic. Fans can only hope this isn't a year too late, since the Blue Devils lost two classes of seniors from their national title team.
3. Virginia's trip to Baltimore will be less tense than its last one. Mainly because it has to be, since the Cavaliers were last at M&T Bank Stadium when former midfielder George Huguely's arrest in connection with the death of Yeardley Love was a defining national story. It's no less of a tragedy now, but there won't be quite so much scrutiny when Virginia visits Charm City in March.
4. The games not listed here are just as important. Hopkins-Princeton, Maryland-Duke, Virginia-North Carolina, Hofstra-Delaware, Army-Navy and Maryland-Hopkins all move back to campus this season. As Syracuse-Virginia showed the last couple years, an added bonus of playing in these events for a couple years is also a greater appreciation for rivalry games when they are not played at neutral sites.
5. Mid-March will work better for the Face-Off Classic. True, it technically isn't the start of the season. But the odds of getting mild weather are probably better on March 12 than Feb. 28 (which is when the event was held in 2009). That's a plus for both fans and organizers, even if it now lands on the eve of college basketball's Selection Sunday.