Friday, May 8, 2015

Tournament Time

It is TigerBlog's belief that some multinational tribunal/conglomerate is responsible for the fact that Princeton isn't in the NCAA lacrosse tournament.

It had to be some sort of conspiracy.

It's been a rough week for TigerBlog, who thought the Tigers had a legitimate shot at playing this weekend. To be honest, he'd rather be in Durham or Denver or Charlottesville right now, getting ready for the tournament.

Princeton was done in by Johns Hopkins' win over Ohio State in the Big 10 final, not to mention its loss to Yale in the Ivy final. And its regular season loss to Brown.

And so it was that the stars didn't align for Princeton the way TB had hoped.

He'll be at Lincoln Financial Field in two weeks for the NCAA championships. It'll be his 11th straight Final Four as the official scorer and the 21st Final Four in 24 years.

Who will be there with him?

He'll go with Denver, Albany, Syracuse and North Carolina. He'll take a Denver-Syracuse final and a Denver championship.

Meanwhile, there are still all kinds of Princeton athletic events that remain in the 2014-15 athletic year. This is a big weekend for the Tigers, though none of it is home. In fact, the only remaining home events are next weekend, with the IC4A and ECAC track and field championships.

This weekend starts today with three NCAA tournament events, in three different states and two different time zones.

The first one is at 10 this morning, when the men's tennis team takes on Minnesota in Charlottesville in the first round of the NCAAs. For Princeton, it is its first NCAA match since 1998.

The winner of the Princeton-Minnesota match will take on the winner of St. John's-Virginia tomorrow at 3. Princeton is ranked 36th in Division I; Minnesota is No. 25.

Here's an interesting fact about Princeton: Minnesota will be the 18th ranked opponent Princeton has faced this season. The Tigers are 9-7 against ranked opponents this season and have been as ranked as high as 23rd in late February and early March. That ranking was Princeton's highest on record since 1980.

Princeton has an at-large bid in the tournament. That alone is impressive.

Next to get started will be the women's water polo team, which plays Stanford at Stanford at 3 Eastern time.

Princeton is guaranteed three games in California in the NCAA championships. Princeton is appearing for the third time in the last four years and is 4-3 overall after defeating Wagner 12-2 in the play-in game last weekend.

There are eight teams in the field. One is Princeton. One is Hawaii. The other six are from California.

Princeton is led by junior goalie Ashleigh Johnson, who already holds the program record with 1,012 career saves.

The women's lacrosse team opens the NCAA tournament at 7 at Stony Brook against MAAC champion Fairfield. The winner of that game takes on Stony Brook Sunday at 1.

Princeton will be dealing with one of the top defenses in Division I with the Stags, whom Princeton has never met. Fairfield actually ranks fourth in Division I, allowing 6.83 goals per game.

The Tigers, on the other hand, score nearly 12 goals per game.

Those three teams compete today in the NCAA tournament.

There will definitely be a Princeton tennis team that plays in the NCAA tournament at UVa tomorrow. The question is whether there will be two.

The women take on South Carolina tomorrow morning at 9. The winner gets the winner of UVa-VCU, Sunday at noon.

Princeton made national waves a year ago when it knocked off Arizona State in the first round of the NCAA tournament and nearly took out No. 2 Alabama. Princeton is making its sixth NCAA appearance in women's tennis.

So that's four teams who will be in the NCAA tournament this weekend. That's a lot, by the way.

There is also the little matter of the Ivy League Heptagonal track and field championships at Penn.

The Princeton men and the Harvard women are the favorites.

And that's a pretty full weekend.

Oh, and one more thing before TB leaves you til Monday.

He was talking to someone yesterday who told him that they had read that a lot of the facts on Snapple caps aren't true. This is very disconcerting to TB.

For instance, yesterday TB read that cats have two separate sets of vocal cords, one for purring and one for meowing.

Who would make that stuff up?

Have a great weekend. Go Tigers.

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