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Is NCAA Lacrosse Ready To Grow Up Yet?

And you thought the committee that determines the NCAA Basketball Tournament was bad?

Imagine a #1 seed had to play a #8 seed in the 2nd round of the basketball tournament in the home city of the #8 seed? Wouldn't they throw an epileptic fit and the rules would be changed quicker than Dick Vitale could put Duke and North Carolina in his preseason Top 5 for next year?

Well don't tell the people who figure out the NCAA Lacrosse Tournament. And
don't ask #1 Duke how they feel about it either. The Blue Devils, assuming they take care of business against Loyola in the first round, could very well find themselves lining up against Cornell in the 2nd Ithaca, New York. What's even stranger...Duke isn't even playing the lowest-rated team in the tournament. That honor goes to #3 Syracuse who gets Canisius in the first round.

So allow me to ask...what the hell is the point of being #1 in college lacrosse???
Not only does Syracuse get the luck of the draw in terms of first-round opponents, but you can actually just about trace every problem you may have with the draw of the tournament back to Syracuse. Syracuse's loss to Colgate last weekend was the catalyst that threw the entire process into a tizzy and produced the strangest post-season draw we've seen in a while.
What wasn’t expected was Colgate upsetting Syracuse on Saturday. That propelled the Raiders to No. 9 in the R.P.I., shockingly giving bubble teams Ohio State, Denver and Navy top-10 wins.
Couple that with late losses by Georgetown and Princeton and that was the final straw. So, Syracuse fans, take heart...even by losing, we ruined Georgetown's season. That doesn't explain why we're playing the worst seed in the tournament instead of Duke or Virginia though. No, to answer that you'll have to look at the NCAA's weird travel policy:
Loyola was the victim of the NCAA's archaic travel policy, which limits just two teams to flights for trips of more than 350 miles. With Denver flying to Maryland and Colgate flying to Notre Dame, the Greyhounds and Canisius had to drive to the site of their first-round opponent. So the Griffins remained in New York, taking on Syracuse, while Loyola got the unenviable task of meeting Duke.
I am remiss to complain about a ruling that helped make Syracuse's road back to the Final Four slightly easier but that just sounds, as the article put it, archaic. And it's decisions like this one that ultimately undermine college lacrosse's attempts to legitimize itself in the mainstream. Why bother being #1 when the NCAA will just assign you an opponent willy-nilly based on nothing more than geography in the first round? Why bother being #1 when you're going to play a lesser seed on their own HOME FIELD in the second round? Why bother playing at all if you don't have one of the toughest ten schedules in the country since who you play is ultimately more important than whether or not you actually, you know, win the games (ahem, Loyola)?

It's time to grow up, lacrosse. Stop with these silly restrictions and geographic necessities. You're not a regional sport anymore. You're a national sport now, act like one. You want to talk about parity and growth but your old boys club mentality puts any program that didn't exist before 1990 at a serious disadvantage, thereby ensuring that there will never really be parity. It just means that instead of the same five teams shuffling in and out of the Final Four, now that pool has been expanded to seven. La-di-freakin-da.

It probably sounds a little weird coming from a Syracuse fan, kinda like a Yankee fan complaining that baseball's financial discrepancies are unfair. But in an age when lacrosse is growing exponentially across the country, why would you want to stick to old school, short-sighted ways that alienate those outside the traditional teams when you could open up the process to everyone fairly? Sooner rather than later, before people start to actually notice, legitimize your rules and regulations, update the processes and join us in the 21st century way of doing things.

All of that said, thanks for making Syracuse's road a little easier than Duke's. Appreciate that. Dumbasses.