The NCAA is going back to an old haunt and exceptionally new ground with the 2013 men’s lacrosse quarterfinals.
The penultimate weekend of the tournament will be played at Maryland’s Byrd Stadium and Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium. Notre Dame is the host school for the quarterfinal in Indianapolis.
It’s the first time Maryland, a mainstay as the home of the final four for much of the 1990s, will host a quarterfinal since 2001. Towson, Johns Hopkins and Navy have all served as quarterfinal hosts since then.
So that’s the local angle. The more significant development is the look to the west, a relative term in a sport with a substantial number of its schools on the East Coast. It will be the first quarterfinal beyond the sport’s usual realm along the Atlantic seaboard.
Yet there was a growing sense of inevitability the growth of the game would send at least a quarterfinal —- if not a championship weekend —- westward. Notre Dame made the national title game in 2010. Denver reached the final four this past spring, and that came two weeks after hosting the first NCAA tournament game west of the Mississippi.
The 2013 final four will be played in Philadelphia.
—- Patrick Stevens