by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – My oldest son plays on a 7th-grade basketball team that qualified for the 32-team preseason state tournament in January.
They finished 23rd.
On his way out of the facility, he received a ribbon emblazoned with “23rd Place.” They went all the way to 32nd. Everybody walked away with something.
I chuckled and my son just rolled his eyes along with, collectively, the rest of his teammates. Even 12-year-olds realize that not everybody is a winner.
At Music City Judgement, everyone is certainly not going to be a winner. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if no team emerged unscathed.
With that said, in a broader sense, there will be no losers.
All eight of the ranked teams that show up at Vanderbilt this weekend – starting yesterday with No. 6 Grand Valley defeating No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast, 12-10 – are going to be better off on Sunday evening than they were prior.
A big reason is the credit they’ll receive for joining the party.
What's the Division II Game of the Week for the period ending March 8? #mcla20
— MCLA Tournament '20 (@MCLA_Tournament) March 2, 2020
One of the teams will likely go winless at Judgement, but will receive credit from the nine-man selection committee for testing themselves against the best.
There is also the competition aspect.
FGCU entered the even having not played a game this season – a rarity for a Florida team – but after battling the Lakers, Duluth and St. Thomas over a 43-hour period, they are going to a hardened, grizzled bunch.
Rhode Island is positioned to gain the most. Simply the Rams presence in Nashville signals that they are taking the next step in becoming a national player.
On the other end of the spectrum is the UMLC contingent, which will use this weekend to jockey for seeding at nationals.
No, there won’t be any participation trophies given out this weekend in Music City. But being in Nashville might produce a far better award in May: tickets to Salt Lake City.
Head up to the Upper Sports Complex this Saturday at 1pm as your #3 ranked Mustangs host the #2 ranked Golden Bears in a huge WCLL conference matchup right here in SLO! You won’t want to miss this. #gostangs #ridehighpic.twitter.com/x4xPlT6YDj
— Cal Poly Men’s Lacrosse (@CalPolyLax) March 5, 2020
Music City Judgement Schedule
No. 6 Grand Valley State d. No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast, 12-10
No. 3 Dayton vs. No. 2 St. Thomas, 12 p.m.
No. 1 Minn.-Duluth vs. No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast, 2:30 p.m.
No. 15 Missouri State vs. No. 6 Grand Valley State, 5 p.m.
No. 2 St. Thomas vs. No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast, 10 a.m.
No. 21 Rhode Island vs. No. 6 Grand Valley State, 12:30 p.m.
No. 1 Minn.-Duluth vs. No. 8 Kennesaw State, 3 p.m.
No. 3 Dayton vs. No. 21 Rhode Island, 8 p.m.
No. 3 Dayton vs. No. 1 Minn.-Duluth, 12 p.m.
No. 21 Rhode Island vs. No. 8 Kennesaw State, 3 p.m.
One year later, this is still an unreal taunt and goal
(via @Kiywii) pic.twitter.com/IxDj1NCe9T
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 3, 2020
CAN HUSKIES SHOW SOME BITE?
Things are setting up quite nicely for Washington to grab a signature win on Saturday in Boise when they square off with No. 10 Brigham Young. It’ll be the first game of the weekend for the Huskies and the third game in 47 hours for the Cougars. Very rarely does a three-for-one opportunity against a Top 10 come your way (UW will play Boise State on Sunday).
Washington is a young team. Of the 31 players on the roster, 19 are either freshmen or sophomores (61%). It might have played a role in the Huskies one-goal loss to San Diego State in the season opener. And nothing is ever a slam dunk against BYU. This is a contest to keep an eye on, however.
SLIDES & RIDES
- It reads Friday and Saturday on the calendar, but South Carolina’s games against No. 5 Georgia Tech and No. 12 New Hampshire this weekend are going to feel an awful lot like Monday and Tuesday in Salt Lake City – two quality opponents on short rest away from home.
View this post on InstagramBack in the Lab workin #RedRiverRivalry #HookEm @jakelabamba4
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- Minnesota will be banking on North Dakota State to be a good travel partner. The odd couple is heading to the Rockies to face Colorado and Colorado State this Friday and Saturday…Dominican and Santa Clara will have something to say about it, but No. 2 Cal at No. 3 Cal Poly on Saturday has the look of a WCLL title-game preview…SMU can take two more big steps toward the LSA top seed with wins over LSU and Texas Tech this weekend in Dallas.
- We’re a week into March and the SELC-I Northwest race is over. Liberty and Virginia Tech have locked up berths to the conference tourney. They just have to face each other on April 17 to determine the top seed.
- Yesterday’s game between Utah State and Montana State pretty much wrapped up the top seed in the RMLC Northwest for Montana State as they prevailed, 10-5…keep an eye on the Claremont-Northern Arizona game…it would appear that Sunday’s game between Sierra Nevada and UC Davis will be for the top seed in the WCLL tournament.
What's the MCLA Division I Game of the Week for the period ending March 8? #mcla20
— MCLA (@MCLA) March 3, 2020
- As always, coaches get your nominations for the weekly awards to email@example.com by noon on Monday.