Let the Madness Begin!

In Under Armour’s most recent, Under the Armour episode, Brandon Jennings, the starting point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks emphatically said, “The harder you work when nobody is watching, the less you bleed when you go out there and perform.” A sports season can reveal a person character, span a lifetime of emotions- the highest highs and the lowest lows- but in the end; when tournament time rolls around, no matter what sport he/she plays, the team who works the hardest and overcomes those lows walks out on top.

As part of Championship Week, the Virginia 529 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Women’s Basketball Championship took place at the Show Place Arena in Prince George’s County from Thursday, March 8 to Sunday, March 11. The first round featured no upsets with each game concluding according to seed: # 8 Old Dominion defeated # 9 Towson, # 5 University of North Carolina-Wilmington (UNCW) defeated # 12 Georgia State, # 7 George Mason defeated # 10 Northeastern, and # 6 VCU defeated # 11 William & Mary. On Friday, the top four seeds took the court as #1 Delaware cruised past # 8 Old Dominion with a double digit win, #5 UNCW defeated # 4 Hofstra in the highest scoring match of the tournament, #2 James Madison beat #7 George Mason, and #3 Drexel narrowly escaped #6 VCU.  The Semifinal games on Saturday were both blowouts with Delaware crushing UNCW, 66-39, and Drexel defeating James Madison, 67-50. In the Championship Game on Sunday, Delaware continued their dominance by beating Drexel, 59-43.  With the win, Delaware is guaranteed a spot in the Women’s NCAA DI Championship and will look to continue their hot streak on a quest for the title.  Just as the basketball season comes full circle, lacrosse players around the country rejoice as warm weather and spring arrive.  

For the sixth consecutive year, M&T Bank Stadium hosted the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic on Saturday, March 10th. The tournament provides an early heat check for several of the nation’s elite NCAA Division I lacrosse programs. According to Inside Lacrosse’s rankings on Ncaa.com, the tournament featured #1 University of Virginia (UVA), #2 Johns Hopkins University, #3 Cornell University, #8 University of North Carolina (UNC), #14 Princeton University and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC).

The first match of the tripleheader featured the Princeton Tigers squaring off against the UNC Tar Heels. In a nail bitter, the Tar Heels edged out the Tigers, 9 to 8. The second game pitted last year’s national champion, the University of Virginia Cavaliers, against the Cornell Big Red Bears. UVA and Cornell entered the match looking unstoppable in early season play with average margins of victory of 7.3 and 10.3, respectively. However, this match was only decided by one goal in an overtime thriller with UVA escaping victorious, 9-8, and remaining undefeated on the season. To cap of an exciting day of lacrosse, local powerhouse Johns Hopkins faced its cross-town competitor, the UMBC Retrievers. The Blue Jays stayed perfect on the year by defeating UMBC, 12-5. Each team will look to improve on their performance and be prepared when tournament time rolls around in late April and May.

In college athletics, March is one of the most significant months of a season. In football and baseball, March signifies a clean slate and a new beginning. In basketball, it means the beginning of the end of the season. And for lacrosse, March means ready or not the season is here!

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