Notebook: Denver has sights on being NCAA championship site

•Denver will try to salvage a spot in the NCAA tournament with its game tonight against Duke in the Whitman's Sampler Mile High Classic. But it will also be a showcase for the city and the state on a big stage in a big stadium. NCAA championship officials will be in attendance, and Denver has made it no secret that the city thinks it is ready to host a final four. Officials will be evaluating the city for potential NCAA hosting duties.

"We certainly feel like this could send a message to the NCAA," Denver coach Bill Tierney said.

This year's finals will be held in Foxborough, Mass., and are set for Philadelphia and Baltimore the next two years. The 2013 quarterfinals have gone outside the box, with Indianapolis taking on hosting duties along with Maryland's Byrd Stadium.

•Chesapeake Bayhawks faceoff specialist Alex Smith (Boys' Latin) is hurt and will miss at least a few games, if not the entire summer, as the Bayhawks open their season Saturday. Adam Rand and Pat Muston (UMBC) will share the duties out of the gate, with Rand as the likely starter in the opener against Long Island. Rand won 41 percent of faceoffs last year in six games for Long Island. He was one of many stopgap solutions at the faceoff X for the Lizards, so he is in a familiar role.

•The Patriot League tournament, hosted by Colgate on Friday and Sunday, has become extremely competitive and highly contested. Colgate plays Bucknell and Lehigh plays Army in the first round. Both matchups were one-goal games in the regular season, and there have been seven one-goal games in the Patriot League this year. In the six games between the four tournament teams, all but one has been decided by one goal. The exception was a 15-13 Colgate win against Army.

•There was confusion among Big East Conference coaches when they learned that despite Georgetown's win against Syracuse last weekend, the Orange still clinched a spot in the Big East tournament because of the last tiebreaker scenario, and that the Hoyas will be left out. The Orange, the Hoyas and St. John's can all finish with the same record, which makes the tiebreaker go down to combined goal differential against the entire Big East, capped at plus- or minus-7 per game. The ACC, for example, uses only goal differential among the tied teams, which would result in Georgetown's getting the spot over Syracuse. Notre Dame and Villanova have the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively.

•Calvert Hall moved up to No. 5 from No. 9 in the Under Armour High School Rankings after its win over Loyola last weekend. The Dons are No. 9, with Gilman being No. 16 as the only other Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association squad in the rankings.

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