May Madness has arrived.

The NCAA announced college lacrosse’s postseason brackets on Sunday night and — as is usually the case — they’re full of local teams and players, including the Maryland and Johns Hopkins men and Loyola women, which all earned seeds in the national postseason.

The Terps (10-5) and Blue Jays (11-5) are seeded fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 17-team Division I men’s tournament and will each host first-round games. Maryland hosts Patriot League champion Army (12-3) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in College Park while Hopkins welcomes America East champion Bryant (12-4), a top-10 scoring offense nationally, at noon Sunday at Homewood Field.

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Meanwhile, in the 29-team Division I women’s bracket, Patriot League champion Loyola (17-2) nabbed the eighth overall seed. The Loyola women, who were ecstatic during a live shot on ESPNU’s selection show as their position was announced, face Fairfield (14-4) in the first round at noon Friday at Ridley Athletic Complex. The winner will play either Penn State or Stony Brook. “It’s such an honor and a privilege to get to play in the NCAA tournament and have the opportunity to host,” Loyola coach Jen Adams said.

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Indeed. One of the biggest surprises of Selection Sunday is that Big Ten runner-up and perennial NCAA title contender Maryland (14-6) is unseeded for the first time since 2006 and on the road for its first-round game. The Maryland women will face Drexel (12-5) in the first round at 5 p.m. Friday in Harrisonburg, Virginia on the campus of James Madison (17-2), which is seeded seventh and will host a first- and second-round pod on Friday and Sunday.

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While the Terps women enter the NCAA tournament unseeded, their resume suggests at least a quarterfinal run is a possibility. Five of the Terps’ six losses this year are to teams seeded in the NCAA tournament’s top seven, including a pair of defeats to top overall seed Northwestern (17-1), the most recent in the 14-9 loss in the Big Ten women’s championship game on Saturday night.

Maryland beat Drexel, their first-round opponent, 15-9, in the regular season back in February and played potential second-round opponent James Madison to a one-goal decision on March 1. A rematch could be in the offing on Sunday with a Round of 8 bid on the line against the Dukes, who are led by Tewaaraton Award-nominated attackman Isabella Peterson (Hereford).

“We’re capable of a lot of great things. Our biggest challenge to overcome is ourselves,” Terps coach Cathy Reese said after Maryland’s loss to Northwestern in the Big Ten title game on Saturday night, noting another lackluster shooting performance (28% overall and 1-for-5 on free-position shots). “We just take it one at a time no matter who we play. We’re going to keep getting better and we’re going to use this to fuel our fire as we step on the field to compete on Friday.”

Johns Hopkins (8-8) also made the women’s bracket as an at-large team and plays unseeded UMass in the first round at 2 p.m. Friday. The winner will take on No. 2 Syracuse in the second round in central New York.

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Duke (13-2), Virginia (11-3), and Notre Dame (10-2) — all from the ACC — are the top three seeds in the men’s tournament, semifinals and final of which will be held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, home of the NFL’s Eagles, over Memorial Day weekend. In the men’s bracket, seeds host first-round games and two quarterfinals will be held on May 20 in Albany, N.Y., in addition to the pair of May 21 games in Annapolis.

The Division I women’s semifinals and final are also Memorial Day weekend at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Seeded teams host first- and second-round games, and higher seeds host quarterfinals next weekend.

Arguably the biggest story heading into Selection Sunday on either the men’s or women’s sides was the Michigan men’s unexpected Big Ten tournament championship this week at Homewood Field, not only for its history-making nature — the Michigan varsity program, coached by former Johns Hopkins midfielder Kevin Conry, is only 12 years old — but also how it shook up the tournament bubble.

The Wolverines (9-6) were not even a bubble team heading into the Big Ten postseason, then beat top-seeded Penn State 17-15 and thumped Maryland 15-4 in two games in three days in Baltimore. Michigan’s run made the Big Ten a four-bid league for the NCAA tournament with them grabbing the Big Ten’s automatic qualifying (AQ) bid and making the other Big Ten semifinalists safe at-large teams, taking three of the eight non-AQ spots up for grabs in the process.

Maryland, Hopkins and Penn State, which got the fifth seed in the NCAA tournament, have been ranked in the top 10 nationally most of the year.

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Maryland, the defending national champ but with a dramatically different roster than a year ago, ranked second nationally in schedule strength and had a big win over Virginia earlier in the year and were sixth in RPI, a metric used by the NCAA selection committee to rank teams that weighs win percentage and opponents’ win percentage.

“We play a schedule where you don’t have a lot of easy games,” Maryland coach John Tillman said before the Big Ten tournament. “There is that risk where you might lose a few more games, but I’m a big believer in strength of schedule. Good teams are going to force you to be your best, but also figure out your weaknesses, and they’ll expose them during the year... and then hopefully by the end of the year, you’ve seen just about everything and hopefully you can make a real go in May at your conference championship and the NCAA championship.”

The Blue Jays had the sixth toughest strength of schedule and were fourth in RPI. Their position as a high seed wasn’t in doubt even after losing to Maryland in the Big Ten semis. “We’re excited for the opportunity to compete again and earn ourselves more time together,” Johns Hopkins men’s coach Peter Milliman said after that game Maryland, already looking ahead to the NCAA tournament.

On the other hand, the Loyola men (9-8), who lost to Army in Sunday’s Patriot League men’s final yet beat Maryland way back in February, was on the wrong side of the bubble with a ninth-ranked schedule strength but 23rd-ranked RPI. And strength of schedule didn’t help the Maryland women, who had the fifth toughest in the nation.

Two other local storylines worth noting: Tewaaraton Award candidate Matt Brandau (Yale, Boys’ Latin) will lead the Ivy League runner-up Bulldogs against seventh-seeded Georgetown (12-3) at 5 p.m. Saturday in the first round; and Division III national title contender Salisbury (18-1) hosts Colorado College (9-6) at noon Saturday in the 38-team D-III men’s tournament.

Corey McLaughlin is a veteran writer and editor who has covered sports in Baltimore for a decade, including for Baltimore magazine, USA Lacrosse Magazine and several other publications.

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