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NCAA Tournament: Ohio State lacrosse gets respect but tough first round opponent

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COLUMBUS -- The Ohio State men's lacrosse team earned the No. 3 seed in the 2017 NCAA Championship and will host Loyola (Md.) at 5 p.m. Sunday in Ohio Stadium, with the game televised by ESPNU.

The 2017 NCAA Championship bracket includes 18 teams, with a play-in game Wednesday. The Top 8 teams were seeded and will host first round games, with the eight winners advancing to quarterfinals in Hempstead, N.Y., or Newark, Del., May 20-21. The winner of the game between the Buckeyes and Greyhounds will take on the winner of a matchup between No. 6 seed Johns Hopkins and Duke in the quarterfinals at noon or 2:30 p.m. May 20 at James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. The 2017 NCAA Championship will be held at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., May 27 and 29.

Tickets for the game between the Buckeyes and Loyola (10-5), the Patriot League champion, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday at the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office and online through OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Tickets will be $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and free for children under 2. Ohio State students with a valid BuckID will receive free admission.

The Buckeyes are 13-4 overall this year and coming off an appearance in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. The squad has six wins over teams in the 2017 NCAA bracket – No. 1 Maryland, No. 5 Denver, No. 6 Johns Hopkins, Marquette and Towson.

Ohio State is making its sixth appearance in the NCAA tournament and its third in the last five years. In 2015 the team, an at-large selection, posted a road win at Duke in the first round before falling to eventual national champion Denver in the quarterfinals in Denver. The squad reached the quarterfinals in 2013 as the No. 3 seed after earning the ECAC's automatic berth into the field with the league's tournament title. Ohio State was an at-large selection in 2008 (when it reached the quarterfinals for the first time) and 2003 and received the Great Western Lacrosse League's automatic bid as the regular-season champion in 2004.

In all, four Big Ten Conference teams earned a spot in the 2017 NCAA bracket, with all four earning a Top 8 seed. Maryland is the No. 1 seed and hosts the winner of the play-in game, No. 6 seed Johns Hopkins hosts Duke and No. 7 Penn State hosts Towson.

Ohio State and Loyola, who faced off as members of the ECAC from 2010-13, have met eight times, with the series dating to 1961. The last matchup was an 18-11 victory by the Buckeyes in the semifinals of the 2013 ECAC Tournament. Loyola claimed both meetings in Columbus in 2013 and 2011.

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