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ESPN's Quint Kessenich reviews the NCAA tournament field

ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins All-American goalkeeper Quint Kessenich has become the face and voice most associated with lacrosse games on television. While helping me on an article about Johns Hopkins’ midfield duo of Michael Kimmel and Brian Christopher, Kessenich answered my questions about Loyola’s omission from the NCAA tournament, a dark-horse candidate for the final four and possible first-round upsets.

You’ve said in your blog on that the selection committee got it right. Could you elaborate on why you think that?

Quint Kessenich: The only question mark is Loyola or Brown. While Loyola had a better strength of schedule, they lost every key game on their schedule. They lost a home game in conference to UMass, and that cost them the NCAA tournament. Meanwhile, Brown went to UMass and beat UMass. So there’s a common opponent there. Brown won two key games on the year. They beat Cornell and they beat UMass on the road, and that’s the difference. You can play the toughest schedule in the nation, but ultimately, you’ve got to win a game. Loyola lost every close game. So I have no problem with that.

Which top-four seed has the toughest road to the final four?

Kessenich: I think they’re all about equal.

Which game has the biggest potential for an upset?

Kessenich: The ACC in the last two years has suffered some home playoff losses. Last year, Carolina lost to Navy at home. Two years ago, Virginia lost to Delaware at home. So somebody in that conference at home is vulnerable. I’m thinking the Navy-Duke game or the UMBC-Carolina game could be the best games of the first round.

Is there a dark horse that could make the final four?

Kessenich: Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Maryland -- all of these programs are programs that have made the final four recently. Look at the coaching experience in this group. There are multiple coaches that have won national titles, and almost all of these programs have been to championship weekend at least once. UMass has been there, Maryland’s been there, Notre Dame’s been there, UMBC’s been close. There’s a tremendous amount of coaching experience here. So that’s why I think it’s wide open. I think there are about seven or eight teams right now that have shown that they’re good enough to win that big game.

Posted by Edward Lee at 2:04 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy, UMBC


Vander-Cottle has been to ZERO title games.

He can't coach his way out of a wet paper bag. Got completely smoked in each of his final four appearences (lost to umass?!).

TERPS do not deserve to be in the post season. They haven't earned it.

3-5 vs. Navy. are you kidding me? 1-6 vs. Hopkins? This a'int Salisbury. This a'int Loyola.

Please begin restoring our beloved and storied program by removing him immediately!


To be fair, although never to a championship game with the Terps, he has gone to the championship game with Loyola--19 yrs ago.

Also, to continue being fair to him, Dick Edell's record, Dino Mattesich, and Buddy Beardmore's record from the late 70s up to Coach Cottle's reign weren't much better.

That being said, he should have done better the last couple of years, including this year. He does know his x's and o's despite what you say, but something is definitely lacking when it comes to translating it on the field. While at Loyola he could never beat Brown, for whatever reason, and his record of unexplainable losses continue in College Park.

Cottle always puts his whole Offense and defense at start of year. That's why they win early. Later, he has nothing eft in his bag. That's why he has always fallen on his face by play-off time. He's a big name, but can't win the big game!

Miss "Big Man"-- Dick could coach and the kids would go through a brick wall to play for him. Buddy began to play favorites at the end, argubaly the worse thing a coach can do is not place the best on the field and get them in a position to win, hence the reason why my walk-on College Park roommate junior and senior year, who was All-America JUCO, "couldn't play" for Buddy because Beardmore "not smart enough" to recruit him. Frankly, given how the likes of Duke, Georgetown and Notre Dame have gone out and "bought" their programs, it is amazing to me UM continues to do as well as it has done, in terms of recruiting and on-field performance, coaching notwithstanding. They belong in the field, as Notre Dame will soon enough learn first hand-

Big Man beat Navy every time.
Big Man beat Hopkins regularly.

Big Man did not lose 3 in a row to UMBC. He is missed.

There is simply no reason why College Park should not be THE place to play men's lacrosse.

Soccer team won a national title. Women's basketball. Men's basketball. Football team won an ACC title.

Each of these is more daunting than a Men's Lacrosse national title.

It is past time to cut bait w/ Cottle.

I'd bet that Salisbury could beat half the D1 top ten and all of the D1 11 - 20.

Cottle has indeed made a title game - early 90's vs. Carolina.

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Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.

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