Division I quarterfinals
No. 7 seed Maryland (12-3) vs. Bryant (16-4)
Saturday, noon, ESPN2
Outlook: These two teams will meet for only the second time in their respective histories and for the first time in the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs, the Northeast Conference tournament champion, burst onto the national scene with Sunday's 10-9 upset of second-seeded Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. Bryant's 2-1 record in the postseason includes wins against Siena and the Orange in this year's tournament, but this is the program's first appearance in the quarterfinal round. The Terps, the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season co-champion, rallied from a 5-1 halftime deficit to edge Cornell, 8-7, a week ago and are making their sixth quarterfinal appearance in the last seven years. If Maryland hopes to advance to its third Final Four in the last four seasons — all under coach John Tillman — senior attackman Mike Chanenchuk (30 goals and 18 assists) and the offense must find a way to solve Bulldogs sophomore goalkeeper Gunnar Waldt (7.52 goals-against average and .610 save percentage).
Saturday, 2:30 p.m., ESPN2
Outlook: These teams also will meet for only the second time and for the first time in the NCAA tournament. The Great Danes, the America East tournament champion, secured just their second postseason victory when they stunned third-seeded Loyola Maryland, 13-6, a week ago. But the program has never advanced to the semifinals, losing to Cornell, 12-11, in overtime in a 2007 quarterfinal. Albany is riding an eight-game winning streak. The Fighting Irish, the ACC tournament champ, walloped Harvard, 13-5, in the first round a week ago and have advanced to the quarterfinals in five consecutive seasons. Notre Dame has averaged 13.0 goals during its four-game winning streak but could be hard-pressed to keep up with a Great Danes offense headed by junior attackman Lyle Thompson (48 goals and 74 assists) and senior attackman Miles Thompson (79, 36).
No. 1 seed Duke (14-3) vs. Johns Hopkins (11-4)
Sunday, noon, ESPNU
Outlook: The Blue Jays and Blue Devils will meet for the sixth time in the postseason, with Johns Hopkins owning a 3-2 edge. Hopkins improved to 13-2 in first-round action after upending eighth-seeded Virginia, 14-8, on Sunday. The Jays will make their third quarterfinal appearance in the last four years, but have not advanced to the Final Four since 2008, when they fell to Syracuse in the NCAA title game. Duke, which shared the ACC regular-season crown with Maryland, thumped Air Force, 20-9, in the first round. The Blue Devils are seeking their eighth consecutive Final Four berth; they have not lost in a quarterfinal since 2002. Senior goalkeeper Eric Schneider (8.15 goals-against average and .568 save percentage) anchors a Johns Hopkins defense ranked eighth in the country after surrendering an average of 8.3 goals, but the unit will face its toughest test in a Duke offense that ranks second in scoring (14.8) and has a Tewaaraton Award finalist, senior attackman Jordan Wolf (54 goals and 30 assists).
No. 5 seed Denver (15-2) vs. Drexel (13-4)
Sunday, 2:30 p.m., ESPNU
Outlook: The second game of this doubleheader features two of the hottest teams left in the NCAA tournament. The Dragons, the Colonial Athletic Association tournament champion, have won nine consecutive games. Drexel, which is making its first appearance in the postseason, overcame a 6-4 deficit in the second quarter to beat fourth-seeded Penn, 16-11. As torrid as the Dragons have been, the Pioneers, the Big East tournament champ, have been even hotter, having won 12 straight contests. After disposing of North Carolina, 9-5, on Saturday night, Denver is making its fourth consecutive appearance in the quarterfinals. The Pioneers are seeking their third berth in the past four Final Fours. Drexel got a spark from junior faceoff specialist Nick Saputo, who ranks fourth in the nation with a .638 percentage and sixth with 9.6 ground balls per game. He could be instrumental in keeping the ball away from a Denver offense that ranks third in scoring (13.2) and is paced by a pair of 60-point attackmen in junior Wesley Berg and sophomore Jack Bobzien.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun