Last spring, I posted fairly regularly about college lacrosse. I did so from the Duke perspective and even rooted for the Blue Devils, something that, as a Maryland fan, I never thought I’d do. The reason, of course, was the persecution of the Duke lacrosse program by the University following the bogus rape charges against three Duke players.
Following the cancellation of their 2006 season, the Duke players were on a mission last year. However, they came up just a little short in the national championship game, losing a thrilling contest to Johns Hopkins.
This year, Duke received a huge and controversial boost when the players who were denied their 2006 season received an extra year of eligibility. Duke thus became the odds-on favorite for the title, and the team lived up to this billing with a great regular season that resulted in a number one seed in the NCAA tournament.
Not every Duke player used the extra year to play for Duke. Peter Lamade, the outstanding midfielder, is playing for the University of Virginia where he enrolled as a graduate student. UVA is seeded number two in the NCAA tournament.
This weekend, the tournament moves into the quarterfinal round. UVA, having narrowly survived its opening game against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (an unduly tough opponent for the tournament’s number two seed) will take on Maryland (College Park) as part of a doubleheader that also features Johns Hopkins against Navy. Attendance in Annapolis is expected to smash the record for a quarterfinal. Meanwhile, Duke probably will not have much trouble with Ohio State. Syracuse vs. Notre Dame completes the slate.
For me, regular service has been restored. In other words, I’ll be rooting against the heavily favored Dukies throughout the tourney.
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