Blogs and Commentary

posted 03.30.2011 at 8.35 a.m. by Jac Coyne

Morning Jac: Wednesday Game Watch

There are nearly 60 games from NCAA Division II & III, along with the MCLA today. Here are the noteworthy match-ups.

Nazareth (4-2) at Alfred (7-0), 4 p.m.

Don't laugh. Alfred is undefeated. They won't be after this game, but we'll put them on the board this once in appreciation for their start to the season.

No. 5 RIT (5-0) at No. 4 Cortland (4-1), 4 p.m.

With RIT, St. John Fisher and Stevens leading the way, the Empire 8 is acting a lot like a power conference worthy of multiple bids to the tournament. Here's another chance to prove it. The Tigers will have to find a way to unlock the Cortland defense that has been sitting idle for 10 days after the loss to Stevenson. The Red Dragons will try to make this a statement game -- more so to prove to themselves they aren't the plodding offensive team that played the Mustangs -- so RIT better be ready from the first whistle.

No. 12 St. John Fisher (7-0) at Ithaca (4-1), 4 p.m.

The cutthroat Empire 8 season with half a dozen teams battling for four conference tournament bids and both of these teams have designs on making it. Ithaca pulled a rabbit out of a hat last year to make it and winning this one would get them on the good foot. Fisher cruised into the E8 tournament in 2010, but are now eyeing bigger prizes. The Cardinals have already whacked Geneseo, so pocketing the Bombers would mean a 10-0 record heading into the Stevens game on April 9.

No. 8 RPI (6-1) at No. 19 Skidmore (6-1), 4 p.m.

It's a pretty good bet that this will be a preview of the Liberty League championship game. St. Lawrence, Union, Clarkson and Hamilton may have something to say before it's all over, but these two teams are the class of the conference at this point. RPI is predicated on its defense while Skidmore likes to run if they can. Last year, the Engineers snuck out a 10-9 win over the Thoroughbreds at home. RPI is on the road this time, and Skidmore already has one Top 10 upset to its credit. Look out.

Widener (3-2) at FDU-Florham (4-2), 7 p.m.

This is likely to be a preview of the MAC championship game, and it's going to be a low-scoring affair. These teams have the two best defenses in that conference, so don't be surprised if they combine for less than 10 goals. This one is a toss-up.

Springfield (3-3) at Bowdoin (2-3), 7 p.m.

This is the "What Could Have Been" Bowl. I had high expectations for both of these teams, but they've both been underwhelming. Springfield is ticketed to the NCAA tournament out of the Pilgrim, but if the Pride can win, there might be a glimmer of hope that they could make it past the first round. If Bowdoin wins, the Polar Bears will be a miserable draw for some contender in the NESCAC tourney.

Boston University (2-1) at No. 9 Boston College (3-2), 7 p.m.

This Beanpot clash has more meaning than usual. With UNH appearing past prime and BU routing Florida and scaring Florida State, Boston College's biggest competition in the PCLL may come from the Terriers. BU doesn't need this one -- the conference AQ is their only possible ticket to Denver -- but they can prove to themselves that they can hang with the Eagles. That will be important later.

Best & Worst
Best thing about today: A solid 59 games today in the bushes. Should be a busy little Wednesday.

Worst thing about today: While looking for a decent movie on the treadmill this morning, the only thing besides infomercials was the new installment of the 'Dawn of the Dead' franchise; the one with Ving Rhames. A stunningly bad cinematic effort.