Q&A with ESPN's Paul Carcaterra

Former Syracuse All-American midfielder discussed, among other topics, which team should get the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament

April 22, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

ESPN analyst Paul Carcaterra provided color commentary for No. 4 Notre Dame’s 13-9 victory over Villanova last Saturday, an outcome that lifted Fighting Irish into a three-way tie for first place in the Big East. The former Syracuse All-American midfielder, who can be followed on Twitter via @paulcarcaterra, will be part of the crew covering Saturday’s Konica Minolta Big City Classic pitting No. 7 Cornell against No. 12 Princeton and No. 4 Notre Dame against No. 5 Syracuse. Carcaterra discussed which team would get his vote for the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, which upset shocked him the most, and which game this weekend intrigues him.

If the season ended today, who should be the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament?

If the season ended right now, I think it would be Notre Dame, and I say that because of the amount of top 20 [RPI] wins they have. They have five top 20 wins, and no other team can measure up to that standard. Their quality wins – particularly head to head – outweigh their bad losses. They’ve beaten [No. 10] Penn State head-to-head, they’ve been [No. 1] Denver head-to-head, they’ve beaten [No. 3] North Carolina head-to-head, they’ve beaten [No. 2] Duke head-to-head, they’ve beaten [No. 9] Ohio State head-to-head. Those are monster wins. So I think when you look at their body of work and what they’ve done to the other teams in consideration, it’d be hard to argue with the Irish if the season ended today. They measured up to the top teams earlier in the season, and it paved the way for them to be rewarded on Selection Sunday if they take care of business from here.

Could Notre Dame lose in the Big East tournament and still get the No. 1 seed?

I think it all depends with North Carolina, Duke and [No. 6] Maryland in the ACC [tournament]. I think if Duke or North Carolina wins the ACC, it would be hard to put those teams ahead of Notre Dame because Notre Dame beat those teams. I think if Maryland wins out and Notre Dame stubs its toe between now and Selection Sunday, I think Notre Dame would probably lose that top spot in the NCAA tournament. But there’s still a lot of lacrosse to be played, and I think Denver’s loss [to Fairfield] takes them out of equation for the No. 1 seed. Notre Dame has to take care of business to be a No. 1 seed. It would make it interesting if North Carolina or Duke won the ACC and you put either of those teams ahead of Notre Dame when Notre Dame beat them, but I think if Maryland wins the ACC, [Notre Dame is] going to have to beat a couple of quality teams here or at least one in the championship game.

Which upset was more shocking: No. 5 Syracuse’s 13-12 loss to Hobart last Tuesday or Denver’s 10-9 overtime loss to Fairfield last Saturday?

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