So after the first weekend in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, the University of Maryland's road to the Final Four in Baltimore just got a bit easier....on paper. Notre Dame traveled to Princeton, New Jersey and beat the Ivy League Champs 8-5 in a defensive battle.
Senior goalie Scott Rodgers made 14 saves for the Irish, Will Yeatman's former school, while the long poles in front of him held the #6 Tigers to just 1 second-half goal. They earned their 6th win in the NCAA Tournament and will now face your Maryland Terrapins on Saturday @ 12PM in Princeton.
In the bottom portion of the Terp's bracket, Army pulled off a monumental upset over 2-time defending champ, Syracuse. The Black Nights won in double overtime by a final score of 9-8 as the final seconds of the 2nd OT ticked away.
They will play Cornell who held off Loyola after blowing a 8-2 lead. The Big Red avoided another heartbreaking overtime loss...lasting 3OTs in their first post season game since losing to the Orange in last year's title game. The winner of that game will play the winner of UMD-ND in the national semi-final.
UNC took down the University of Delaware 14-13 after a rain/lightning delay. Billy Bitter (2010 ACC Player of the Year) and Curtis Dickson (2010 Tewaaraton Finalist) were shut down in the contest; the focal points of the opposition for sure. They will play fellow ACC power house Duke who put up 18 goals in a dominating 1st round win. That game should take a bit out of both schools before the winner of that quarterfinal will play the survivor of UVA-Stony Brook.
With Army taking down Syracuse and Notre Dame pulling the other 1st round upset, Maryland's road appears easier. With their upcoming potential games, they could be the favorite to make it out of their bracket and get to the Championship game.
Later in the week, I will take a look at Notre Dame's season. From their game today, I saw a suffocating defense and a big, physical team; one that won't back down to Maryland's imposing size on both sides of the ball.