NCAA D-2 Playoffs Expands!
Recently the NCAA has announced the expansion of the tournament playing field for both Men’s and Women’s Division 2 Lacrosse. The men’s tournament field has increased to 12 teams while the women have expanded to 16 teams. This is a step in the right direction for division two lacrosse, which is usually regarded as the red head step child of college lacrosse for some reason. What makes D-2 lacrosse so great is that anyone in the top 15 can beat each other on any given day which is rarely seen in division 1 or division 3.
Gone are the days of one bad loss ruining your season. Teams don’t have to rely on tough out of conference schedules or steamrolling their conference schedules to convince the selection committee to include them in the playoff dance. We now can potentially see more unusual match-ups such as teams down South coming up North to play games.
Why does this hurt?
This takes away everything that made D-2 lacrosse special! This only benefits the bubble teams such as Pace University, Mercy College, Chestnut Hill, Molloy College and most teams down south. We’ll see more teams that go 15-1 playing a cupcake strength of schedule potentially making the dance compared to a team like Mercyhurst that typically plays a tougher strength of schedule who may have a bad hiccup every now and then.
Gone are the days of one loss and your out. Gone are the importance of non-conference games. You couldn’t afford to lose a nonconference game a few years ago. These games often were as intense as regular conference games. The last three games of your season were played at a rigor which you may not see on any other level. No groundball was allowed to go uncontested. A miss pass can ruin a season.
Overall, This is a good thing
As salty as I am about the change, I believe this is a right step in the direction for D-2 lacrosse. Hopefully, games will stay intense. I would love to see teams from the South come up North for some Northern comfort. I’m just happy that it is almost lax season!