The Virginia Cavaliers men’s lacrosse team has been seeded second in the upcoming NCAA Tournament with a rematch against the Atlantic 10 conference champion Richmond Spiders set for this Saturday at noon in Charlottesville. Earlier this season, the Wahoos blew the doors off the Spiders in a 25-8 victory at Klöckner Stadium.
Should UVA take care of business against the in-state foe, either #7 Georgetown or Yale will await in the quarterfinals slated to be in Albany, New York on Saturday May 20th. The winner of that game will then head to Philadelphia for the Final Four on Memorial Day Weekend with the semifinals played on Saturday and the National Championship on Memorial Day.
Here’s the full bracket:
For a couple of additional notes on the bracket, UVA gets to avoid arch nemesis Duke until a potential National Championship game matchup. Considering that the Cavaliers have won just three of the last 25 games between the two teams, avoiding Duke until then is undoubtedly a positive. Additionally, as the Maryland Terrapins have had Virginia’s number of late, seeing them in Duke’s half of the bracket isn’t the worst thing either.
If Georgetown and UVA both win in the first round, that would set up a quarterfinal rematch of 2021 when Connor Shellenberger (six goals, one assist) and the Wahoos stomped the Hoyas 14-3 on their eventual path to the program’s seventh NCAA Championship. While much of this Georgetown core wasn’t on that team, familiar ACC faces Tucker Dordevic (Syracuse) and Will Bowen (North Carolina) who transferred to Georgetown in the last two years will surely be looking for further revenge against Lars Tiffany’s program.
Oh, and a game against Yale in the quarterfinals would be a rematch of the 2019 National Championship game when the Cavaliers soundly beat Andy Shay’s team 13-8. So many championships, so many teams looking for revenge.
Should Virginia prevail through its first two games and reach the national semifinals, #3 Notre Dame or #6 Johns Hopkins would be the most likely potential opponents. UVA has beaten both teams this season with a pair of wins against Notre Dame (15-10 on March 25th and 12-8 on April 30th) and one against Johns Hopkins (18-13 on March 7th).
Obviously, like the contest against Richmond, playing a team for a second or third time in the NCAA Tournament is never particularly beneficial, especially when all prior results have been victories. But UVA matches up well with both the Blue Jays and the Fighting Irish and just because that scenario would provide another chance for those squads to get the upper hand, the ‘Hoos would be favorites going into both games because of the matchup advantages present.
All in all, this is a solid draw for Tiffany and company. Now it’s simply about executing and maintaining the rising level of play we’ve witnessed from this team in the past few weeks, getting healthy, and playing to the talent and experience level that this group has.