No. 1 Syracuse defeated Providence 14-5 on Saturday. On Monday, Syracuse dropped to No. 2 in the Polls. God forbid we lost to the Friars, would we have been kicked out of the NCAA?
Syracuse players were all kinds of fired up after the game, in which Providence employed a slow-the-game-down-to-a-crawl strategy. Since there is no shot clock in college lacrosse, a team can theoretically hold the ball forever as long as they continually enter and leave the box (TWSS). Win-less Providence was out-matched in every conceivable way so it only made sense to try and destroy the rhythm of the game in an attempt to take SU out of their element. For a while it even seemed to work.
The Orange eventually broke out and cruised to a 14-5 victory on Senior Day. That said, they weren't too pleased about the way it played out.
"This is the fastest game on two feet," [goalie John Galloway] said. "And I would have rather watched a baseball game today."
"That’s not the way you want to play lacrosse," he said. "There’s no beating around the bush — that’s not lacrosse we played today."
Fair enough, but credit the Friars for trying. Had they come out and played SU straight-up it probably would have been 14-5 by halftime. Of course the larger argument this raises isn't whether or not what Providence did is wrong (it wasn't) but whether or not they should be able to do it (probably not). Brent Axe says let's get a shot clock in there already.
Lacrosse is supposed to be the fastest game on two feet. Lacrosse players and fans play the game and watch the game for that reason.
The words "slow" and "stall" shouldn't even be in the same zip code of this sport.
As frustrating as it is to watch how some college basketball teams ugly things up, that little clock ticking on top of the backboard at least keeps the pace of the game moving.
Now as for those rankings, the 11-1 Orange dropped to No. 2 in the Media Poll, receiving six first-place votes compared to No. 1 Virginia's fifteen. In the Coaches Poll, the Orange and the Cavs both received five first-place votes but Virginia eeked out the top spot by one overall point. Quint has the Orange No. 2 as well.
It's Syracuse and the entire ACC in the Top Five of both polls, which tells you everything you need to know about the sport's balance. The Big East also gets some love for Villanova (#13/#12), Georgetown (#15/#14) and Notre Dame (UNR/#19). And for those keeping track of such things, Johns Hopkins dropped out of the Top 20 and will almost certainly miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 38 years. Hops lost to Navy for the first time in 36 years over the weekend.
Of course the big reason SU dropped is not because of playing Providence but because Viriginia won over the weekend in the "ACC Tournament." Or as Dave Rahme calls it, The "Bogus ACC Tournament."
I have no problem with UVA being No. 1. My issue is why the voters recognize the ACC "tournament" at all. In my opinion, it should be viewed as an exhibition event and have no bearing on polls or, more importantly, NCAA seeding. There are only four teams in the ACC, and all of them are usually very good - UVA, Duke, Maryland and North Carolina.
A conference must have six members to be recognized as such by the NCAA, so by the NCAA's own criteria the ACC does not exist in men's lacrosse and the four teams are treated as independents at NCAA Tournament selection time. Why, then, does the NCAA (and poll voters) allow itself to be influenced by the ACC's blatant scheme of strengthening its teams' SOS and RPI ratings with a postseason tournament in which each member "qualifies?"
Don't ever tell me Dave Rahme isn't fired up about NCAA lacrosse. I will not believe you.
- Syracuse lacrosse attackman Cody Jamieson enjoyed his senior moment...Dave Rahme
- Photo Gallery from SU's 14-5 Win Over Providence...Syracuse.com
- Despite sluggish start, Syracuse talent too much for winless Friars in Senior Day win...Daily Orange
There are many superstitious athletes in college lacrosse, especially the goalies, but Syracuse's John Galloway, just may be the most superstitious. CitrusTV's Scott Grodsky with more on all the superstitions it takes to be a two time defending national champion netminder.