Syracuse and Notre Dame, the two BIG EAST men's lacrosse teams selected to compete in the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship, will begin competition this weekend as the top two seeds.
Top-seeded Syracuse (13-3), which earned the league's automatic bid by winning the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Championship title, will play on Sunday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Orange will host Northeast Conference Champion Bryant (8-10). No. 2 seed Notre Dame (10-4), which earned an at-large bid, will host Detroit (5-9) on Saturday, May 11 at 5 p.m. ET. Both games will be televised on ESPNU.
Syracuse went 5-1 in conference play to earn a share of the BIG EAST regular-season title before winning their second-straight BIG EAST Championship title. Heading into the postseason, SU was ranked 10th nationally in scoring offense (12.14 gpg) and eighth nationally in shot percentage (.323). The Orange went 7-0 against ranked opponents and have won eight of their last nine games.
Syracuse is making its 33rd appearance in the NCAA playoffs. This year marks the ninth time in tournament history that Syracuse has received the No. 1 seed. The Orange own an 18-4 record all-time record as the top seed, including winning the 1988, 1989, 1990 and 2000 national championships. Syracuse holds a 62-21 record in NCAA Tournament play. Its .747 tournament winning percentage is the best in NCAA history, and its 62 tournament victories are second all-time behind Johns Hopkins (67).
Notre Dame went 4-2 in BIG EAST play and earned the No. 3 seed in the BIG EAST Championship, where the Irish lost to eventual-champion Syracuse. ND posted victories against six ranked teams during the regular season and won four of their last five games of the regular season. The Irish entered the postseason ranked 28th nationally in scoring offense (10.46 gpg) and were tied for ninth nationally in scoring defense (8.08).
The Irish are making their program-record eighth straight appearance in the NCAA Championship. Notre Dame owns an 11-17 record in 17 previous trips to the tournament. Every appearance has occurred under head coach Kevin Corrigan. Last season, the Irish earned the tournament's No. 4 seed and reached the national semifinals before falling to eventual national champion Loyola 7-5.
Notre Dame's best performance in the NCAAs was a finalist finish in 2010. The Irish have reached Championship Weekend three times (2001, 2010, 2012). The Irish are 4-1 in their last five first-round contests in the NCAA Championship and have won each of their last three first-round games.
First-round games are held on the campuses of participating institutions in a single-elimination format, while the quarterfinals will be played at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md., on May 18 and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., on May 19. This year's national semifinals and championship games will be held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on May 25-27.
The winner of the Syracuse-Bryant game will meet the winner of Yale and Penn State on Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium in the quarterfinal round. The Nittany Lions at 12-4 are the No. 8 seed and received an at-large berth into the tournament. Yale (11-4) received the Ivy League's automatic bid into the field.
The winner of the Notre Dame-Detroit contest will take on the winner of the first-round tilt between Duke and Loyola in the quarterfinals on May 19 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Duke is the tournament's No. 7 seed, while Loyola is unseeded.