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NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer for Americans everywhere, but for one special breed it’s the end and culmination of something great—the NCAA Division I lacrosse season. The Lax “Final Four” traditionally takes place this weekend, with the semifinals held on Saturday and the championship going down on Memorial Day itself.

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This year, some big names are not in the in the “Final Four,” such as 11-time national champs and this year’s number two seed Syracuse, while some less familiar but talented teams are, including Notre Dame and Ivy League runner-ups, Cornell.

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In a sport that has only seen four different schools win national championships since 1991, this is a big deal, and speaks to lacrosse’s exploding popularity and resulting NCAA parity. Still, the University of Virginia Cavaliers, lacrosse big-dogs and 4-time champions, are here and expected to win, unless the oft favored but championship-less-Duke Blue Devils can pull of the upset.

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Images via LAX

In any case, fans from neo-lax hotbeds Texas, Southern California, Florida, and Colorado will be tuning in to the games, along with those from more traditionally active Mid-Atlantic and North Eastern states.

In recent years major players Nike and Reebok have jumped into the lacrosse field with their own products (PopSci magazine JUST featured the Reebok 10K Lacrosse System in the June 2010 issue). And…New Balance now owns two of the biggest manufactures of lacrosse products, Brine and Warrior. Food for thought.

The fun kicks off Saturday, May 29, at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium (home of the NFL’s Ravens), when ACC rivals Duke and UVA match up for the weekend’s first game. Look for the games on ESPN2 and ESPN.

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