Three times defending lacrosse champion Johns Hopkins will be the host team against Maryland at Homewood Field in Baltimore Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the first round of the 11th NCAA tournament.
In the other upper-bracket firstround game Wednesday, No. 5 seed Virginia (8-3) will be at home against No. 4 seed Massachusetts (13-1) because the Minutemen's home field will not be available.
In the lower bracket, No. 2 North Carolina (9-0) will act as host to No. 7 Syracuse (7-3), and No. 6 Navy (6-4) travels to West Point to face No. 3 Army (10-3).
Hopkins, 11-0 and winner of 45 of its last 46 games, is the top seed in the eight-team tournament. Maryland, 9-4 and ranked seventh in the final regular season coaches poll, was dropped to the eighth seed by the NCAA tournament committee that conferred yesterday morning by conference call.
Virginia, last year's runner-up, has never played Massachusetts. Virginia may have to play without faceoff expert Steve Kraus, who has missed three games with a knee injury. The Minutemen have averaged 16 goals a game.
The Army-Navy matchup is one that both Navy Coach Dick Szlasa and Army Coach Dick Edell were expecting. Both believed that the committee would make the two academies, which are known to be the most physical of lacrosse teams, play each other. During the regular season, Army defeated Navy, 9-8, in Annapolis.