Weekend Preview: The Key Games
by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – We’ve made it.
The last weekend of the regular season is here. Four months of action get wrapped up with a tidy little bow.
Of course, there are already some conferences about to unwrap their postseason packages.
UMLC-II, SELC-I, SELC-II, LSA-I, LSA-II and the CCLA will all crown champions at their respective conference tournaments this weekend and dole out a coveted automatic qualifying bid to the 2018 MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour.
In addition, SLC-I and SLC-II kick off their first round.
The conferences that will crown a champion on the weekend of April 28 still have some sorting out to do.
Below, broken down by division, are the games that will sort out the rest of the postseason picture.
Coming for you OSU. #civilwar in 2 days #goducks #oregon #lacrosse
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UConn at Buffalo, 12 p.m. – Sunday
Winner get an invite to the PCLL tourney; the loser ends its season. Pretty simple. The Huskies’ 7-0 start seems like a decade ago after getting waxed by Northeastern on Wednesday to drop to 1-3 in the league. The Bulls are still glowing after their UNH upset, so UConn will have its hands full.
Boston College at Northeastern/vs. New Hampshire, 8:45 p.m./2 p.m. – Fri./Sat.
A clean sweep in Greater Boston and the Eagles are the top seed in the PCLL and a couple of huge steps closer to an at-large lock. This is probably the toughest back-to-back possible within the league, so hopefully the rest helped.
Great team photo day! More photos available at the link in our bio! Thanks to Scott @redboxpictures
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Simon Fraser at Washington, 7 p.m. – Saturday
This one is for the top seed in the PNCLL. Fraser would have to be considered the favorite the way they are playing right now and the weapons they have, but home field advantage is nothing to sneeze at. If the Huskies lose, it could very well mean the third seed and a rematch with Oregon.
Boise State at Idaho, 7 p.m. – Saturday
Bragging rights in the Gem State will not only give a year’s worth of good vibes, but if Oregon beats Oregon State, it will send the winner into the PNCLL playoffs. This would be an amazing achievement for the Vandals.
No plans on Saturday? Come support your Buffs as they take on in-state rival @CSUMensLAX at Kittredge Field Saturday May 21st 1:00 MST. This is the Buffs last home game of the season and it is expected to be a thriller! pic.twitter.com/ityV6qKtkh
— CU Men's Lacrosse (@CUMensLacrosse) April 19, 2018
Colorado State at Colorado, 1 p.m. – Saturday
Now that the top seeds in the RMLC tournament have been hashed out with the result of the BYU-Utah affair, now it’s time to fill out the bracket with the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds.
Rankings say that this is a slam dunk for the Buffs, but the Rams showed some spark against Utah (albeit at home). The winner gets BYU and the loser gets Utah, so there isn’t much of a discount either way.
Who's punching their ticket to Salt Lake City this weekend out of LSA-I? #mcla18
— MCLA Tournament '18 (@MCLA_Tournament) April 17, 2018
Illinois at Illinois State, 2 p.m. – Saturday
The winner grabs the fourth seed in the UMLC East and will match up against the top seed out of the West, which will either be Missouri or Iowa State. The loser goes home.
Missouri at Iowa State, 1 p.m. – Saturday
The top seed out of the UMLC West is on the line in Ames as Missouri hopes to live up to its preseason favorite status. The loser gets the No. 2 seed, which isn’t a terrible consolation prize.
Which of the No. 1 seeds in the SELC-I Tournament is most likely to get upset Friday night? #mcla18
— MCLA Tournament '18 (@MCLA_Tournament) April 16, 2018
Sonoma State at Nevada/Chico State, 1 p.m. – Sat./Sun.
If the Seawolves go 1-1 this weekend against the two teams at the bottom of the WCLL table, they’re in. Honestly, Noma could go 0-2 and would still grab the No. 4 seed to the four-team conference playoff as Dominican (Santa Clara) and Stanford (Cal) are big underdogs and Sonoma owns the tiebreaker.
Grabbing a victory is obviously the safest choice, and Sonoma should be buoyed by the fact all of their playoff games will essentially be at home.
I see green, the boys logged in 14 and 1/2 hours of shoveling the past two weeks with help of @mahtomediglax and @TommiesLacrosse to get the feild cleared. pic.twitter.com/UJTRHOaFqD
— Mahtomedi Lacrosse (@Zephyrlacrosse) April 19, 2018
Colorado Mines at Montana State, 10 a.m. – Sunday
Mines’ win over Metro was an eye-opener, but the schedule is extremely thin. The Orediggers are into the RMLC tourney, but a win over the heavily favored Bobcats would give them a top seed.
Who is going to take home the LSA-II AQ this weekend in Austin? #mcla18 #RaceforSaltLake
— MCLA Tournament '18 (@MCLA_Tournament) April 19, 2018
St. Mary’s at UC Davis, 8 p.m. – Friday
Both the Gales and Aggies are into the WCLL tournament, but this game decides the third (winner) and fourth (loser) seeds. Loser gets Sierra Nevada. You don’t want that.
If average distance traveled by teams was the only consideration, where would the @MCLA hold the National Tournament? Which location the past 10 years has been the most "convenient"? @zacipson explores tournaments, locations, and #WestCoastBias. https://t.co/tG3ZdWKzkz pic.twitter.com/wrNkSqFPoQ
— Virtually Varsity (@vvlacrosse) April 19, 2018
NOTES: If you’re an LSA fan, or just want to see how the league will shake out, bookmark the StickStar Lacrosse YouTube page. They’ll have all four semifinals games on Saturday and the two championships games on Sunday. They are a fun crew to listen to and are interactive…keep an eye out on the MCLA Twitter feed for some potential Periscope feed from the UMLC-II Tournament in Mahtomedi…some all-conference teams should be dropping this weekend…coaches, get your nominations in for Commanding Performance of the Week on Sunday.