Fresh off their 2016 Big East tournament championship win over Denver on Saturday afternoon, Marquette men's lacrosse learned on Sunday night that they will be playing host for their first ever NCAA tournament game. The Golden Eagles played their way into a #6 national seed in the Big Barbecue, and as a result, they'll be hosting North Carolina down at Valley Fields on Saturday, May 11. Faceoff is scheduled for 1:30pm Central on ESPNU.
The Tar Heels are 8-6 on the season and make their way into the field as an at-large selection. They lost to Syracuse in the ACC semifinals in their most recent outing, but they're 3-1 against opponents in common with Marquette. They have wins over Notre Dame, Duke, and Richmond to their name, but lost in overtime at home to Denver back on the first Saturday in March.
Marquette, of course, holds the Big East's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament thanks to their wins over the weekend against Villanova and Denver. The Golden Eagles are now 11-4 on the season, which is a new high water mark for wins in a season for the fourth year program. Five of those wins came at Valley Fields where Saturday's game will be contested as Marquette went undefeated at home in 2016. In fact, MU has never lost a game (5-0) while playing at Valley Fields.
The winner of Saturday's game between Marquette and North Carolina will advance to the quarterfinal round games hosted by Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. They'll be matched up with the winner of #3 Notre Dame vs Air Force, which will take place at 6:30pm Central on Saturday.
Only one other Big East squad made it into the NCAA tournament. Tournament runner up and defending national champion Denver is the #2 seed in the field. The Pioneers will host the winner of Wednesday's play-in game between Towson and Hobart.
You can check out the full NCAA tournament bracket right here.