The Washington Times - May 2, 2009, 06:14PM

In the NCAA lacrosse tournament selection committee’s perfect world, it would select the correct 16 teams and hear not a bit of complaints for taking on their generally thankless chore.

Of course, there’s no way to know if the correct 16 teams were selected. And people being people, it’s a certainty someone will complain. If not more than one someone.

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But sometimes those complaints are invalid, and those who would make cases for themselves shoot themselves in the foot at the very last second.

That’s why, at least in terms of who is included, no one should really complain.

After all, Georgetown lost (at home) to Penn State in double overtime.

Loyola lost at Johns Hopkins in double overtime.

Brown, with an automatic berth on the line, went on the road, spotted Princeton eight goals and lost 11-7.

Colgate visited the Dome, gave up the first four goals, trailed by as many as seven and fell 13-7 to Syracuse.

So there it is. Assuming Notre Dame wins tomorrow, the at-large field will feature four ACC schools (Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia), two independents (Hopkins and Syracuse), an Ivy (Princeton) and a CAA member (Hofstra).

There will be a spot available to one of today’s losers, realistically either Brown or Loyola. Based on crunching numbers, overall record and accomplishments, those are the more worthy candidates.

But whoever is left out cannot complain. They had their chances and fell short. And when that happens, it’s left to others to decide a team’s ultimate fate.

Patrick Stevens