Northwestern women's lacrosse opens NCAA Tournament Sunday

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

And other spring sports (besides baseball) are doing well, too!

Being a casual Northwestern lacrosse fan is what I imagine it's like to be a casual Kentucky men's basketball fan.  Regular season, yeah yeah whatever, just wake me up when the NCAA Tournament starts.

So, it's tournament time in women's lacrosse, and let's check how our Wildcats are doing.  WHAT???!!! 6 LOSSES???  NO ALC CHAMPIONSHIP???

Oh ok, we still made the tournament.

Our Wildcats, 12-6 overall, are the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tourney and have a first round bye, after dropping the ALC Championship game to archrival Florida, 9-8, this past weekend.  Northwestern, seeking its eighth national championship, will host the winner of Ohio State/Louisville at 1 p.m. CT Sunday at Lakeside Field.

Should the 'Cats win, they'll have a rematch against No. 4 seed Florida, in the third round.

Let's have a look-see around the rest of the Northwestern spring sports.

SOFTBALL

The Wildcats, 32-15 overall, 14-9 in Big Ten play, will host the conference tournament this week at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. Northwestern, the No. 5 seed, will open with Michigan State, the No. 12 seed, on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT, in apparently the first ever night game at home.

Winner goes on to play No. 4 seed Wisconsin at 7 p.m. CT Friday. The tournament is single-elimination, and the Wildcats will be looking to solidify their seeding for the NCAA Tournament.

WOMEN'S TENNIS

NU once again won the Big Ten title for the 16th straight year. Ho hum.

The Wildcats are the No. 15 overall seed and will host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament at home.

Northwestern faces Miami (Ohio) in the first round on Friday, and winner advances to meet either Notre Dame or DePaul.

The Wildcats have reached the Sweet 16 in each of the last four seasons, with a 2009 trip to the Elite Eight the high point.

Individually, seniors Veronica Corning (ranked No. 37) and Belinda Niu (No. 41) will compete for the NCAA singles championship later this month, while Corning and sophomore Alicia Barrett (the duo is tanked No. 28) will vie for the doubles championship.

MEN'S TENNIS

No. 32 Northwestern got its third straight berth in the NCAA Tournament and will make the very scenic drive to the South Bend regional to take on No. 38 Mississippi in the first round on Saturday. Winner moves on to face either No. 13 Notre Dame or Green Bay.

NU made it to the second round of the NCAAs last year.

Individually, senior Raleigh Smith, ranked No. 41, will be playing in the NCAA singles championship later this month.

MEN'S GOLF

The Wildcats finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships and will be the No. 10 seed at the NCAA San Antonio Regional next weekend. This is the 15th NCAA postseason berth for the Wildcats.

Top five finishers will advance to the NCAA Championships in Hutchinson, Kansas.

WOMEN'S GOLF

After finishing third in the Big Ten Championships, the Wildcats head to Suncadia, Washington, as one of 24 teams in the NCAA West Regional. NU earned its fifth straight NCAA postseason berth and will be the No. 7 seed. A top-8 finish will advance Northwestern to the NCAA Championships in Tulsa.

The Wildcats made it that far for the second time in school history last year.

BASEBALL

And finally, baseball, the red-headed stepchild of the Northwestern spring sports scene. Our Wildcats are, sigh, 13-31 overall, 5-15 in conference, most recently dropping two of three to Michigan.

We are, unsurprisingly, in last place in the Big Ten, though we do have a better overall win percentage than Purdue!

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