What We’re Watching: Conference Championship Week

It is the best time of year to be a lacrosse fan. The playoffs are here and teams will be either be celebrating or hanging up their cleats for the year. Most teams are fighting for their lives to extend their season and make it into the NCAA playoffs. For most teams, winning their conference championship and getting in through the automatic qualifier is their only way in. That is why these games are the best and why you will see such emotion from the players winning these championships. I was lucky enough to experience winning the MAAC Championship last season with Canisius and it is a moment I will never forget.

There are dozens of games this weekend that all have the potential to be nail biters and there are even more conference championship games going on in D2 and D3. The weekend will culminate in the NCAA Selection Show where teams will nervously wait to see where they end up on the playoff bracket. Here are the D1 conference playoff games going on this weekend that we cannot wait to watch.

Thursday 5/2

CAA Semifinals
#1 UMass vs #4 Drexel on Lax Sports Network at 5 PM
#2 Towson vs #3 Delaware on Lax Sports Network at 7:30 PM

Towson had been the CAA favorite all season long until UMass upset them. The CAA Championship is anyone’s to claim in games that will likely be some of the wildest of the weekend.

America East Semifinals
#2 Vermont vs #3 Albany on America East TV at 4:30 PM
#1 Stony Brook vs #4 UMBC on America East TV at 7 PM

The America East is anyone’s to claim as Albany’s years of domination are over. Will we have a new America East champ?

Big Ten Semifinals
#1 Penn State vs #4 Rutgers on Big Ten Network at 5 PM
#2 Johns Hopkins vs #4 Maryland on Big Ten Network at 7:30 PM

Johns Hopkins and Rutgers are fighting for their playoff lives and must win the Big Ten Championship to get in. Penn State and Maryland will get at large bids regardless, but definitely will want to hoisting the Big Ten trophy on Saturday. Hopkins barely snuck in with their upset win over Maryland last weekend.

SoCon Semifinals
#1 High Point vs #4 Jacksonville on ESPN+ at 5:30 PM
#2 Air Force vs #3 Richmond on ESPN+ at 8 PM

High Point is having its best season in history and will want to cap it off with a SoCon Championship. They will have to get through Jacksonville, who beat them earlier this season, and then through whoever makes it out of the battle between two talented teams in Air Force and Richmond.

NEC Semifinals
#1 Mount St Mary’s vs #4 Robert Morris on NEC Front Row at 5:30 PM
#2 Hobart vs #3 Sacred Heart on NEC Front Row at 8 PM

Mount St Mary’s has been one of the biggest surprises of the year and could continue to surprise the lacrosse world with an NEC Championship. They will have to make it through a great Hobart squad and the always gritty Sacred Heart and Bobby Mo squads.

MAAC Semifinals
#2 Quinnipiac vs #3 Detroit Mercy on ESPN+ at 4 PM
#1 Marist vs #4 Canisius on ESPN+ at 7 PM

I am going to be a little biased here and root for my alma mater Canisius to repeat as MAAC Champs, but the road to hoisting the trophy will not be easy in the Wacky MAAC. Marist beat Canisius just last weekend and Detroit Mercy will be hungry for redemption after losing in the championship last season. The Griffs are ready to make another run to the championship as the #4 seed again and will definitely be looking good doing it with their new playoff helmets.

Friday 5/3

Patriot League Semifinals
#1 Loyola vs #4 Army on CBS Sports Network at 5 PM
#2 Lehigh vs #3 Boston U on CBS Sports Network at 8 PM

Can anyone knock off Loyola? Army will get their chance first and if Boston can get by Lehigh they will likely have the best chance as they upset Loyola in the regular season and could do it again to win a Patriot League Championship.

Ivy League Semifinals
#1 Penn vs #4 Brown on ESPNU at 6 PM
#2 Yale vs #3 Cornell on ESPNU at 8:30 PM

Penn went on a tear through the Ivy League going 6-0 and claiming the regular season title, but all these teams are capable of making some May Magic happen. Yale and Cornell especially will not go quietly into the night, but Penn is ready to claim another Ivy League trophy.

Saturday 5/4

MAAC Championship
TBD on ESPNU at 10 AM

America East Championship
TBD on ESPNU at Noon

SoCon Championship
TBD on ESPN+ at Noon

ACC Championship
#1 Virginia vs #3 Notre Dame on ESPNU at 2 PM

Virginia barely made it past a desperate UNC team and will now face the Irish who have come on strong when it matters the most. Notre Dame will have to match the scrappy never so die play of the Wahoos who pulled out a miraculous win against UNC.

CAA Championship
TBD on Lax Sports Network at 1 PM

NEC Championship
TBD on NEC Front Row at 4 PM

Big East Championship
TBD on CBS Sports Network at 4:30 PM

Big Ten Championship
TBD on Big Ten Network at 7 PM

Sunday 5/5

Ivy League Championship
TBD on ESPNU at Noon

Patriot League Championship
TBD on CBS Sports Network at Noon

NCAA Selection Show
On ESPNU at 9 PM

Good luck to all of the teams this weekend and especially the Seniors who will be doing anything to keep their careers alive and make it to the playoffs. The feeling of hoisting the Conference Championship trophy knowing you have another week with your brothers to try and make a run at the National Championship is truly special.

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