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Syracuse Lacrosse: The Importance of This Year's NCAA Tournament

Syracuse men's lacrosse is at a very interesting crossroads as a program. This year's tournament could play an even bigger impact on the future of the program.

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The Syracuse Orange lacrosse program I grew up with was absolutely dominant. They played the game of lacrosse in such a fluent and fast paced way. The offense was high-powered and fast, while the defense was stifling and hard-hitting.

I never got to see the any of the legends from the 1980's and 1990's play for Syracuse. I don't recall much from the famed careers of Casey Powell or Ryan Powell. What I do remember is Mikey Powell and all the magic he could perform with a lacrosse stick. Mikey and Syracuse's style of play is what got me hooked to the game and program.

If you haven't seen his highlights, check them out:

It's icons like Mikey Powell that continued the Syracuse lacrosse tradition that was laid out before them. Syracuse was a part of 22 consecutive Final Fours, winning nine National Titles in that stretch and two titles since then. If you were coming to Syracuse to play lacrosse, the expectation was a National Championship.

From 1982 to 2004, Syracuse lacrosse made the Final Four every single season, a record that will never come close to being broken. The parity in college lacrosse is ever growing, but a program with the history of Syracuse should be able to find success.

I'm not expecting Syracuse to win the National Title every year, but a program with the stature and respect of Syracuse should be able to make the Final Four a decent amount, say two or three times every five years. The last time the Orange were in the Final Four was 2013, when they lost to Duke in the National Championship. Before that the Orange hadn't made the Final Four since 2009.

Every player that played four years for Syracuse has played in at least one Final Four since the early 80's. The juniors on the current team have never made a Final Four. Those juniors like Jordan Evans, Scott Firman, and Nick Weston need to step up if the Orange want to make it back to Philadelphia for Championship Weekend. That class doesn't want to be known as the only one since 1982 to never play in a Final Four.

The Orange begin their quest for Memorial Day Weekend this Sunday, May 15 when they take on the Albany Great Danes. Go Orange!