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NCAA Lacrosse Tournament Preview - 1st Round

May Madness is back. Title defends begins.
It is May Madness, and Syracuse is back in the NCAA Tournament to defend their 2008 National Championship. Syracuse is a two seed in this year’s bracket, and will take on first time Siena from the Albany area. Will this game be close? It is not looking good for the Saints.

Syracuse enters the NCAA Tournament leading the nation in scoring. Senior leader Kenny Nims leads the nation in scoring with 4.21 points per game. Stephen Keogh is second in the nation in goals per game, averaging 2.93 a game. He also has 41 on the year. Dan Hardy also has 34 points on the year and will look to add to his total goals. Meanwhile the Saints have an excellent goalie in Brent Herbst, who saves 63% of shots on him, and Siena boasts the #2 defense in the nation, only allowing an average of 6.24 goals a game. Siena will look to play deliberate, slow lacrosse and frustrate Syracuse defenders by making them grow impatient and make mistakes. But as we all know, Syracuse’s offense is the best for a reason. They distribute the ball so well, and everyone can make shots and dodges. The experts are saying that this game will be close, but I do not buy it whatsoever. If goalie John Galloway even just shows up for Syracuse, pending an epic defensive collapse on the part of Syracuse, this should be a big one for the Orange. Wins in the face off X will be critical for Syracuse as well. Look for Syracuse to advance and play the winner of Notre Dame/Maryland in Hofstra next weekend. Syracuse by 5.

Syracuse will take on the Saints live from the Carrier Dome tomorrow evening at 7:30pm on ESPN U. This is coincidentally the shortest distance between two first round opponents, just a small jaunt down the New York State Thruway. That only means it will be unnecessary for Saints faithful to get a hotel in the Salt City. I’ll have a complete wrap up of the contest next week, and continuing coverage of the NCAA Tournament.

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