What We’re Watching: End of February NLL & College Action

It’s an action packed weekend for NLL and College lacrosse as both have kicked their seasons into high gear.

All 13 NLL teams will be in action this weekend as several teams play back to backs and the second half of the season gets underway. The rankings are still in flux as some teams are playing in their 3rd games while others will play their 5th or 6th. It’s still the early going, but some teams are already pulling away from the pack.

There are dozens and dozens of games going on this weekend, but here are the games we will be tuning into.

Friday 2/28

#13 Duke vs #20 Richmond
Watch on ACC Network at 5 pm ET

Both Duke and Richmond are looking for rebound wins after tough losses last week. The Spiders upset the Blue Devils back in 2016 and would love to do it again, but Duke will be playing with a purpose.

#3 Syracuse vs #19 Hobart
Watch on ACC Network at 7 pm ET

The Kraus-Simmons Trophy is on the line as these long time Upstate rivals meet in what could be the most exciting game in years. Hobart’s high powered offense has scored 69 goals in 3 games and could overwhelm an undefeated Orange squad, but Cardiac Cuse is never out of a game until the final whistle blows.

Jason Knox has been on fire for the Statesmen.

New England Black Wolves (5-3) vs New York Riptide (1-9)
Watch on B/R Live at 7:30 pm ET

The Black Wolves travel to Long Island to face the struggling Riptide who just lost one of their top scorers in Tyler Digby to a trade. Callum Crawford and company look to begin New England’s second half of the season push.

Saturday 2/29

#8 Princeton vs Johns Hopkins
Watch on ESPN+ at 1 pm ET

These ancient rivals meet in very different circumstances than recent years. Mike Sowers and a talented Tigers squad have taken the college lacrosse world by storm after downing Virginia. Hopkins has had 2 straight disappointing losses and is out of the Top 20. This would be a statement win for either team, but I don’t think the Jays have what it takes to stop the Sowers show.

UMass vs #1 Yale
Watch on LaxSportsNetwork at 1 pm ET

Yale claimed the #1 ranking from Penn State after handling them last weekend. The Elis could have their hands full with a gritty UMass team that could put up a fight if they can grind out some faceoff wins against TD Ierlan.

Logan Soelberg and Yale are ready to silence the UMass crowd just like they did against Penn State.

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#9 Penn vs #2 Penn State
Watch on ESPN+ at 1 pm ET

The 2020 version of the Battle of Pennsylvania could be the best so far as both teams feature dynamic playmakers on each team and have Final Four aspirations. Last weekend, Penn flexed their muscles as they took down Duke and Penn State showed some cracks in its armor losing to Yale. Can Penn contain Grant Ament and Mac O’Keefe like Yale did?

Rochester Knighthawks (1-8) vs New York Riptide (1-9)
Watch on B/R Live at 7 pm ET

In their only meeting of the season, the two expansion teams will find out who is in better shape in year 1. Both teams have struggled all season, but this would be a great win to build off of for the second half of the season. No matter what one team will walk away with win number 2.

Buffalo Bandits (6-3) vs Halifax Thunderbirds (7-2)
Watch for Free on B/R Live, Facebook, and Twitter at 7 pm ET

This will be a special night in Banditland as the Bandits put on the seventh year of the Tucker Out Lymphoma night dedicated to the memory of Tucker Williams, the son of former Bandits player and coach and current Colorado Mammoth assistant coach, Shawn Williams. It will also be the Game of the Week and should be an exciting game as Halifax comes to town.

Prediction: If Dhane Smith and Chase Fraser are healthy I give the edge to Buffalo, but if not then the T-Birds will take this one.

Saskatchewan Rush (6-2) vs Toronto Rock (6-3)
Watch on B/R Live at 8:30 pm ET

Two of the top teams in the league will clash up in Saskatoon in an all Canadian tilt. Both teams have been great so far this season and this could be a potential NLL Championship matchup if both teams continue their winning ways.

Philadelphia Wings (7-4) vs Colorado Mammoth (5-6)
Watch on B/R Live at 9:30 pm ET

Philly travels to the Loud House out in Denver to face a frustrated Mammoth team looking for a big win to get back on track.

San Diego Seals (4-6) vs Calgary Roughnecks (4-4)
Watch on B/R Live at 9:30 pm ET

Dane Dobbie dropped 6 goals in his return from suspension for the Roughnecks last weekend. The Seals went on a big run to pull out a win against Vancouver. This will be an up and down West Division rivalry game.

Georgia Swarm (5-4) vs Vancouver Warriors (4-7)
Watch on B/R Live at 10 pm ET

Both the Swarm and Warriors are reeling after stunning losses last weekend. The Warriors will have their rowdy home crowd on their side as they try to contain the deadly Swarm offense.

Sunday 3/1

#18 Ohio State vs #10 Cornell
Watch on ESPNU at 12 pm ET

Cornell has dominated teams in their first 3 games winning 60% of faceoffs and scoring almost at will with 4 players already having 12 points or more. Ohio State is also dangerous offensively and if it were not for a misstep against UMass the Buckeyes would be much higher in the Top 20. This will be a great game for a national audience to watch on ESPNU.

#14 Denver vs #4 North Carolina
Watch on YouTube at 2 pm ET

When Denver and UNC meet it is always a grudge match that goes down to the wire. UNC is a completely different team with the addition of offensive assassin Chris Gray, but Denver has reloaded with young talent and is ready to make a push back to the NCAA playoffs.

Chris Gray scored 8 goals against Hopkins like it was nothing.

New England Black Wolves (5-3) vs Halifax Thunderbirds (7-2)
Watch on B/R Live at 5 pm ET

Halifax has to make the overnight trip from Buffalo to Connecticut for this game and regardless of if they win or lose against the Bandits they will have to contend with a New England team that has turned some heads this season with their hot start and gotten great goaltending from Doug Jameison.

What games will you be watching this weekend? Are there any games that we missed?

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