Call it the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Part II.
The NCAA quarterfinal doubleheader in College Park on Saturday will feature three ACC teams: Maryland, Virginia and Duke. The conference crasher is Johns Hopkins, which has faced every ACC team except the Blue Devils, its opponent Sunday.
When No. 4 Hopkins meets No. 5 Duke, it will be their first encounter other than scrimmages since 1951. Duke won that game, 9-7, but trails in the series 6-1, played between 1942 and '51.
This year's game will be billed as the battle of the best defenses because each team is bolstered by a first-team All-America defenseman, the Blue Devils' Tyler Hardy and the Blue Jays' Brian Kuczma.
"From everything I hear out of Duke, they have the best defense this side of the Mason-Dixon line," Hopkins coach Tony Seaman said.
In the other quarterfinal game in College Park, homestanding Maryland battles No. 2 Virginia. The Terrapins are trying to become the first unseeded team to make the Final Four since Towson State in 1991.
Maryland last made the national semifinals in 1995.
Said Terps defenseman Dave LaChapelle: "We're ready to make another run."
Whole new ballgame
Don't use Syracuse's 13-6 win over Loyola on April 5 as a measuring stick for Saturday's quarterfinal matchup. The regular-season game was the Greyhounds' first after a two-week layoff after teammate Gerry Case's death.
Loyola has since regrouped and is playing its best lacrosse of the year. After that Syracuse game, the Greyhounds have averaged 15.5 goals.
"I saw Loyola play Hopkins [on May 3]," Syracuse coach Roy Simmons said, "and they aren't the same Loyola team I saw in April."
UMBC was the most improved Division I lacrosse team in the country this year, according to Steve Levy, the school's sports information director, who did the research.
UMBC went 3-9 last season to 9-3 this year, an improvement of six games. Lehigh (5-9 to 11-4) was second with an improvement of 5 1/2 games, and Vermont (5-10 to 9-4) was third with a five.
More Terps-Hoyas games?
Maryland's 14-10 triumph over Georgetown on Sunday was the first game between the neighboring schools, raising a question: Will they continue the rivalry?
"If Gary and John do it, we'll follow suit," Maryland coach Dick Edell said with a laugh, referring to basketball coaches Gary Williams of Maryland and John Thompson of Georgetown.
More seriously, Georgetown coach Dave Urick said: "We've talked about it. I'm sure it's a game both of us would like to do. It's a matter of finding the right Saturday."
Terps women keep rolling
The Maryland women's lacrosse team, which will face Temple on Saturday in the Final Four, is 10-1 in national semifinal games. The two-time defending national champion Terrapins also have been in the championship game six of the past seven years.
With another victory, Maryland (19-1) would establish a school record for victories, besting last year's total.
History on Shoremen's side
Fresh off its overtime upset of Salisbury State, Gettysburg will play at Centennial Conference rival Washington College in the Division III semifinals.
Washington College, the conference champion, beat the Bullets, 18-9, this season and leads the all-time series 9-4. The Shoremen have outscored their six Centennial opponents 118-35.
Pub Date: 5/13/97