Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Back For The 23rd Time

TigerBlog was folding the laundry last night when it dawned on him that everything he was folding he'd worn at the Ivy League men's lacrosse tournament.

This included a sweatshirt, a fleece and multiple long-sleeve t-shirts. It was in the 40s Friday night in Providence, with a nice little breeze that made it feel like it was way worse than that. As for Sunday, it was a nice spring day, temps in the low 60s.

And now? It was near 90 yesterday, and the five-day forecast here has the temperature in the 80s all week.

TigerBlog used to love spring. The weather, he means. Nice spring days. There aren't too many of them anymore.

It's been an entire spring of very, very cold days. Now it's in the 80s.

Of course, guess what isn't working for TigerBlog? His air conditioning.

Turned it on. Nothing.

So, he'll be waiting for the AC man to come by this morning and fix it. Just in time for the first really prolonged hot streak of the year.

TB spent much of yesterday reading about and talking to lacrosse people about how Princeton didn't get into the NCAA tournament in men's lacrosse.

He's said enough about it, and he'll add only this today: The NCAA selection process is broken. It either needs to be strictly based on numbers, like hockey - except that lacrosse doesn't have enough games to reach the statistical significance of just numbers - or it has to be subjective, with a committee whose charge is to pick the eight best teams remaining for at-large bids.

It can't be what it's become, which is no rhyme or reason from one year to the next as to what is valued by the committee. And it can't draw huge conclusions based on a win in the snow in February.

Look, if someone from the committee wants to say that Brown and Ohio State are better than Princeton after watching all year, TigerBlog is fine with that. It's just that it never comes down to that.

And with that TB will move from the men to the women.

The Princeton women had none of the men's angst Sunday night for their selection show. Nope.

Princeton knew it was in the NCAA tournament after winning the Ivy League tournament, and the Tigers would have been in even had their lost the final to Penn. Princeton was clearly the dominant team in Ivy women's lacrosse this year, going 7-0 in the league and then winning the tournament.

In the six-year history of the Ivy League tournament, there have been 12 tournaments, between the men and women. Only four times has a team gone undefeated in the league during the regular season and then won the tournament, as Princeton's women just did.

Penn's women did it twice. Cornell's men did it once. That's it.

The 2015 Princeton women are now on the list. Not that there will be time to celebrate that or anything.

Up next for Princeton is the NCAA tournament, which begins Friday against Fairfield at Stony Brook. The winner of that game gets the host team Sunday in the second round.

Looking down the road, the Princeton-Fairfield-Stony Brook winner figures to get Duke in the quarterfinals.

The Princeton men played at Stony Brook this year, and it was the first time TB had ever been there. The women's game will be played at LaValle Stadium, which is a beautiful place to see a game. There is a huge parking lot in front, so parking is a non-issue.

When Princeton's men played there, it was the opening game of a doubleheader, followed by Stony Brook-Albany women. As it turned out, Stony Brook's women were unbeaten on the year at that point. The only loss for the Seawolves came in their next game, against Johns Hopkins.

Princeton is an NCAA tournament veteran. Fairfield is not.

Princeton will be in the field for the 23rd time, all with Chris Sailer as head coach. Fairfield, whose staff includes former Sailer player Laura Field, is making its second NCAA appearance.

Fairfield is 14-4. Princeton is 14-3. The teams have no common opponents.

Princeton's Olivia Hompe and Erin Slifer both have 63 points, tied for team-best. Hompe, the Ivy tournament MVP, has a team-best 48 goals.

The forecast for Friday at Stony Brook is 78 degrees and sunny.

It would be on the fringes of a springish day. 


Anonymous said...

"Looking down the road, the Princeton-Fairfield-Stony Brook winner figures to get Boston College in the quarterfinals."

Figure to get Duke in QF, I believe!

TigerBlog said...

Ah, good point. Sorry for the mistake. It's been corrected.