Late upsets muddle playoff picture

5-7 seeds uncertain

UMBC probably moved from bubble to tourney

May 09, 1999|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- It has become an annual lacrosse custom.

Just when the brackets appear set, the final day of the regular season provides upsets that jumble up the men's playoff picture. Georgetown's victory over Syracuse makes the Nos. 5, 6 and 7 seeds somewhat uncertain, while UMBC's win vs. Maryland probably sorts out the bubble scene. Hofstra's upset of Johns Hopkins solidifies the Flying Dutchmen's chances for a bid but shouldn't hurt Hopkins' seeding.

Here's what the tournament might look like when the NCAA tournament selections are announced today at 3: 30 p.m.:

Top four seeds

Loyola, Johns Hopkins, Virginia and Duke appear locks for first-round byes. The Blue Devils nudge out Georgetown as a result of winning their head-to-head matchup.

North region

In the first round at Providence, R.I., expect Syracuse to fall to the sixth or seventh seed and play Maryland, and No. 8 Delaware to face Hofstra. Maryland probably will gain the final at-large bid from wins over the other bubble teams, Penn State and Navy.

The Flying Dutchmen, who play host to the north quarterfinals, should be placed in this region and will probably pull the Fighting Blue Hens to Rhode Island.

If No. 8 Delaware is sent north, that would mean top-ranked Loyola will play at Hofstra in the quarterfinals. If the Flying Dutchmen upset the Blue Hens, the Greyhounds would have to beat Hofstra at Hofstra Stadium to advance to the Final Four.

The other quarterfinal would then match Virginia, or possibly Hopkins, with the Syracuse-Maryland winner at Hofstra.

South region

In Towson, the first round will most likely feature Princeton against UMBC and Georgetown vs. Notre Dame.

The Tigers, the south quarterfinal hosts, will be bracketed in this region as the fifth, sixth or seventh seed. If in the seventh slot, Princeton will possibly see the Retrievers, who should have slid off the bubble with a win over Maryland yesterday to offset a regular-season loss to Penn State.

Georgetown probably leaped over Syracuse and Princeton with its win over Syracuse yesterday to claim the fifth seed.

Pub Date: 5/09/99

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