NCAA

George Mason seeks resume-building wins in paradise

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George Mason seeks resume-building wins in paradise

Coming off a loss at Bucknell, George Mason looks to rebound this weekend island-style, though there doesn't figure to be tons of toes in the sand time during the Patriots' jaunt to St. Thomas.

Without a pair of suspended sophomores, Paul Hewitt's squad faces Atlantic Sun program Mercer on Friday at 1:30 p.m., the first of three games in four days for the Patriots (1-1). After the meeting with the Bears, Hewitt will have the services of imposing center Erik Copes and swingman Vaughn Gray for the final two games. Before the season, the sophomores were each suspended three games for conduct violations.

The matchup with Mercer stands as potentially one of three games that will boost Mason's all-important RPI. Yes, it's important to live in the moment, especially when you're in, hello, paradise, but this tournament is tremendous opportunity to help the Patriots NCAA Tournament at-large resume.

Following Mercer, George Mason faces either New Mexico, an NCAA Tournament team last season, or Illinois-Chicago. No. 23 Connecticut and Wake Forest loom on the other side of the bracket along with Iona and Quinnipiac. With a little luck, the Patriots could leave the island with three matchups the bracketology community will love in addition to the two already in the can.

Facing a comparable scenario last season in the NIT Tipoff, the Patriots fell to upstart Florida International in the early rounds. That meant rather than playing Virginia Tech, George Mason took on the underwhelming trio of Monmouth, Brown and Albany.

Junior point guard Bryon Allen, the reigning CAA co-Player of the Week, scored five of his 13 points in the final minute of George Mason's season opening win over Virginia. Swingman Sherrod Wright leads the Patriots in scoring (15.5) while shooting 60 percent from the field.

The Bears (2-0) have won their games this season by an average of 37 points, though it's hard to gauge what to make over victories against Sewanee (?) and Oglethorpe (???). There is no mistaking the Macon, Ga. program's accomplishments last season as anything but impressive. Four starters return from a 27-win team that knocked off Georgia Tech during the regular season and captured a postseason championship in the College Insiders.com tournament. Guard Travis Smith (11.5 ppg) leads in scoring, though the Bears are expected to be without All-Conference point guard Langston Hall (ankle).

Beat Mercer and George Mason plays the New Mexico/UIC winner on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. Lose and the Patriots second game is 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Regardless of the path, the third game will be on Monday.

2019 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship: Bracket, schedules, teams

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USA TODAY Sports Images

2019 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship: Bracket, schedules, teams

All of a sudden, we are down to four.

The NCAA Men's Lacrosse semifinals are set, with Penn State, Yale, Virginia, and Duke fighting for the title.

The semifinals will be played on Saturday, setting the stage for the National Championship on Monday.

Here is everything you need to know.

What schools are playing for the NCAA Men's Lacrosse title?

The four schools remaining are Penn State, Yale, Virginia, and Duke.

Penn State faces Yale in the first semifinal, with Virginia and Duke clashing in an ACC battle for a spot in the National Championship.

When are the NCAA Men's Lacrosse semifinals and final?

The first semifinal matchup is on Saturday, May 25, at 12:00 p.m. The second semifinal will take place roughly 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game, with an anticipated start time of 2:30 p.m. 

The National Championship will be held on Monday, May 27, at 1 p.m.

Where can I watch and live stream the NCAA Men's Lacrosse semifinals and final?

All three games will be aired on live television on ESPN2.

Each game is available for stream on WatchESPN.

How did each team get here?

The No. 1 overall seeded Penn State Nittany Lions have cruised into the Final Four. They defeated Loyola (Md.) 21-14 in the quarterfinals after beating UMBC 25-10 in the first round. Penn State has lost just one game all season and should be the favorites to take home the title.

In one of the best games of the tournament, Yale narrowly edged University of Pennsylvania 19-18 in the quarterfinal for the opportunity to face Penn State in the semifinals. Yale defeated Georgetown in their opening game of the tournament.

In a controversy game-tying goal with just seconds remaining, Virginia edged out Maryland 13-12 in overtime for a spot in the semifinals. They cruised by Robert Morris, 19-10, in their first-round matchup.

The third one-goal victory of the quarterfinals belonged to Duke, who defeated Notre Dame 14-13 in the quarterfinals. The Blue Devils have been tested throughout the tournament, as they just slid by Richmond, 12-11, in their opening matchup.

If the past couple rounds are any indication, his weekend should bring exciting lacrosse for everyone.

Terrapins get huge commitment from 7-foot-2 internet phenom Chol Marial

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Screenshot: Courtside YouTube

Terrapins get huge commitment from 7-foot-2 internet phenom Chol Marial

The Maryland Terrapins just added a huge piece to their 2019 recruiting class. Literally. 

The Terps officially signed 7-foot-1 center Chol Marial (AZ Compass Prep, Chandler, Arizona), the team announced Monday. 

Depending on who you ask, Marial is either a three-star, 210-pound or a four-star, 220-pound recruit (247Sports, ESPN), but he's unquestionably taller than seven feet. He also has a 7-foot-11 wingspan that Maryland coach Mark Turgeon expects will make him "an excellent rim protector."

"I've watched Chol the last three years and I can't say enough about him as both a person and a basketball player," Turgeon said in a release from Maryland, which lists Marial at 7-foot-2 and 230 pounds. 

"One of the top players in his class when healthy, Chol's tremendous size and length make him an excellent rim protector. Chol possesses a humble demeanor and a strong work ethic that will fit well with our family. We can't wait to have him in College Park and look forward to helping him reach his dreams."

Originally from Rumbek, South Sudan, Marial moved to the U.S. as a middle-schooler in 2014. He also previously attended IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. 

ESPN ranks Marial as the No. 2 center in Arizona and the No. 14 center nationally, while 247Sports says he's No. 6 and No. 26 in those two respective categories.

He visited Maryland on April 26, according to 247Sports, and also received offers from Georgetown, Florida State, Arizona State, Iowa, UConn and West Virginia.

"I want to thank Coach Turgeon for giving me this opportunity," Marial said in a release from the school. "Coach Turgeon and I have gotten along really well and I really enjoyed spending time with the rest of the coaching staff and players. Bruno Fernando and I have similar backgrounds and I saw how much he improved as a player at Maryland. I'm looking forward to getting better every day and playing for Terp Nation."

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