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NCAA tournament plotlines from ESPN men's lacrosse analyst Paul Carcaterra

ESPN analyst Paul Carcaterra won't cover any games this weekend, but he will be in the network's studio offering analysis when the 18-team field for the NCAA tournament is unveiled Sunday night. The former Syracuse midfielder, who can be followed on Twitter via @paulcarcaterra, provided his thoughts on several storylines that could have a significant impact on the makeup of the tournament field.

How many teams from the Ivy League will qualify for the NCAA tournament?

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You have 10 automatic qualifiers and four at-large [bids] from the ACC. I think Georgetown or Marquette will probably get in. I think everyone has always thought of the Big Ten as being a two-bid conference. And then you have the Ivy League where that could easily be a three-bid conference. So I think the Ivy League has to shake out and there are teams that might have stronger resumes that could be in a scenario to be in the NCAA tournament. I think the Ivy League is a tough one to call right now because two weeks ago, I was looking at [No. 4 seed] Yale as a lock. Now I think they have to win that semifinal game [against top-seeded Brown] to really feel comfortable. I think [No. 3 seed] Princeton, if they lose, they're out. So there are so many pieces to the puzzle here. Princeton beat [Johns] Hopkins. If they win their first game against [No. 2 seed] Cornell and lose in the Ivy League championship, how do you take Hopkins over Princeton? So there are a lot of dominoes to fall. You want the teams that beat you to play really well for your RPI and strength of schedule and overall body of work. To me, I do think this is a three-bid league. I think it's the champ and two others. If Brown loses, you've got to figure that Brown is still in a pretty good spot because they whipped Cornell a couple weeks ago and they beat Princeton head-to-head. So I think Brown is the one team that could probably afford a loss in the [semifinal] round as opposed to the others.

Which bubble team could lodge an upset in the first round?

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I look at Hopkins as a really good team. If you look at their body of work, they lost to Princeton by a goal. They were right there against North Carolina until the final minute. They lost in overtime to Virginia. They played Syracuse really well up at the [Carrier] Dome. That game was totally in their grasp in the fourth quarter. This is a team that is dangerous, this is a team that is good. They have really skilled players, and if you look at their season, they've been in every game. So I don't look at them as a team that should be taken lightly. If they get into the playoffs, they're going to drive some team nuts in that first round.

Is there a team that benefited the most from last weekend's results?

I think North Carolina really got a boost on Saturday night when Maryland lost to Johns Hopkins because if Maryland had won that night and then won the Big Ten, you'd have to think that because they beat Carolina head-to-head, the top three seeds would be Syracuse, Notre Dame and Maryland, putting North Carolina at four. And who would be No. 5? Denver. They would have had to go out to Denver for the quarterfinals to play them, and that would have been a nightmare for North Carolina. 'Hey, congrats on a great year. Here's your reward. You're going out to Denver.' To me, it's been a race to get to [the No.] 3 [seed] because [the Nos.] 4 and 5 [seeds] are going to Denver, and it's going to take a monster effort to beat Denver in Denver in that quarterfinal game. You could argue that you'd rather be a [No.] 6 or 7 [seed].

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