Syracuse. Princeton. NCAA Lacrosse.
If that doesn't mean anything to you, you're a monster. And you need to be destroyed. Like Hannibal tried to destroy Rome.
Okay, a little harsh. Sorry, I've been watching too much Battles BC (ridiculous premise, somehow entertaining and informative...i.e. who knew King David was such a dick?).
It's the Big City Classic! The Big City refers to NYC but the games will be played in East Rutherford, NJ. And if you've ever been to sunny East Rutherford, you understand the need to identify with NYC instead.
The day begins with the #1 team in the nation, Virginia, taking on North Carolina. Anticlimactically, the day ends with Delaware vs. Hofstra. But nestled in between is the money game...#2 Syracuse (7-1) vs. #5 Princeton (7-1). If you're a newbie, you probably don't recognize just how big this series has been over the years:
The Orange has won five of the last six meetings with the Tigers and holds a 16-8 advantage in the all-time series. Ten of the 24 meetings in the series have come in the NCAA playoffs. Four of those contests have decided the national championship. The Orange defeated the Tigers in 2000 and 2002 to win the title. Princeton knocked off the Orange in overtime in both 1992 and 2001 for the championship. In 1999, the two clubs played an epic four-overtime game won by the Tigers, 15-14, which stands as the longest game in SU history.
In the 1990's, these two programs won 8 of the 10 national titles, which is crazytalk for just about any other sports out there. Recently, both programs have had their droughts but for the first time in a few years, this game is between two elite teams. Expect good things.
How big will the event be? Big.
So far, roughly 20,000 tickets have been sold.
Some feel that events such as this is taking away from the old traditions of college lacrosse. These are probably the same people who support the BCS, so, take their opinions as you will.
The big question is, who will step up to lead the Orange to victory? Will it be Kenny Nims, the senior attackman who put the Orange on his back in he comeback against Loyola? Or how bout Pat Perritt, the senior midfielder who's come a long way since his arrest and removal from the team two years ago. Maybe it'll be junior Gavin Jenkinson, who stepped up in the Loyola game with some big face-offs. Or perhaps, as has been the case with this team, someone else will step up in this game when they're needed most.
Get up to speed on the all things SU lacrosse by listening to coach John Desko talk with Brent Axe about the face-off issues, the loss of captain Spencer Van Schaack and everything the team will be doing in preparation for this weekend's game. Oh, and if you can't make it out to the game, fear not. It will be televised on ESPNU starting at 2:30pm EST.