Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

2011 NCAA Mens Lacrosse Final Four in Baltimore is a case of multiple story narratives colliding head-on; NU-MD rematch for Women should be awesome!

ESPN video: Lacrosse Final Four breakdown

The Memorial Day weekend has long been one of my favorite weekend because it combines the sheer excitement and mystery of the Indy 500 and the tough grit of the NCAA D-1 Mens Lacrosse Final Four, where defense almost always trumps showy offense.

This year is no exception as the four teams playing at M&T Stadium in Baltimore are a clear-cut case of multiple story narratives colliding:
In the first game at 4 p.m., Denver vs. UVA, the new kid-on-the-block with the proven coach vs. the traditional power eager for redemption, while the second game pits Maryland vs. Duke, a return to glory for a traditional power vs. the new king-of-the LAX hill.

(As some of you may recall me having mentioned previously, my middle niece is a freshman at UVA, Charlottesville being one of my favorite cities. I'm rooting for a UVA-Maryland title match on Monday, which'll help make the crowd a big part of the game.)

On Friday night, courtesy of Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, DirecTV Channel 642, I was able to catch some of the D-1 Womens Semi-finals up in Stony Brook, Long Island.

I missed the first Semi of the night between Maryland and Duke, which saw the returning champion Terps defeat the Blue Devils, and caught the beginning of the second half of the North Carolina-Northwestern match.

In the past, I've caught LIVE or via tape all the Northwestern matches that have been telecast on the BigTenNetwork, but this year, I only saw one or two, so I was not as familiar with this group of Kelly Amonte Hiller-led Wildcats as years past, when Katrina Dowd channeled Isiah Thomas from our 1981 NCAA basketball title run, hustling, driving towards the net and either shooting or making crazy amazing passes.

It was a half largely dominated by the Wildcats, whose Shannon Smith scored with 18 seconds left in the match after UNC tied it twice in the last six minutes.

The win sends the Wildcats up against the Terps for a rematch of their classic title game last year in Towson which saw Northwestern's amazing title run end.
That might've been THE best sporting event I saw all year -by far.

Here's some information about watching the matches this weekend via TV or your nearest computer that may prove helpful for those of you reading this far from the sweltering madness of South Florida.

FYI: ESPN3 is ESPN's LIVE streaming channel, so you can watch the two Mens Sem-finals there on Saturday starting at 4 p.m., and the Championship match on Monday afternoon, too without Cable TV.

Women's Final

Sunday May 29th Division I Women's Lacrosse Final - Maryland (1) vs. Northwestern (2)
to be televised LIVE at 4 p.m. Eastern on Mountain West Sports Network (The Mtn.), Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (Plus) and joined-in-progress on The BigTenNetwork and streaming at www.NCAA.com

Mens National Semi-finals

Saturday May 28th 2011 Division I Men's Lacrosse Semifinal #1 - Denver (6) vs. Virginia (7)
to be televised LIVE at 4 p.m Eastern on ESPN2 /ESPN3.com.
Semi-final # 2 - Maryland vs. Duke (5), on the same channels around 6:30 p.m.

Mens title game on Monday May 30th at 3:30 p.m. on the same two channels.

I especially encourage you to take a moment and read the following columns about the growth of this great sport, NOT that you'd know this living in South Florida, where the University of Miami has neither a Mens or Womens D-1 lacrosse team despite having so many students from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, or even a D-1 Field Hockey team, which is why the U-M is such an unappealing school for smart and talented women athletes.
It's simply NOT competitive nationally, let alone, within the ACC.

While the U-M dithers, the University of Michigan announced on Wednesday the elevation of Men's and Women's lacrosse to D-1 status.

The Washington Post
2011 NCAA men’s lacrosse semifinals showcase growth of sport
By Christian Swezey
Published: May 27, 2011

New York Times
Observing a Lacrosse Pioneer, McPhee Style
By George Vecsey
May 26, 2011

New York Times
Denver Crosses Lacrosse’s Great Divide
By Adam Himmelsbach

Baltimore Sun

Q&A with ESPN's Paul Carcaterra

Richmond Times-Dispatch
Desire is there for U.Va. lacrosse team
By Michael Phillips
May 28, 2011

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