Weekend picks: March 3

Nicole and I posted identical 24-7 (.774) records last week picking the first round of the playoffs. Let’s see how we do for Friday. On the year, I am 381-127-63 (.735), while she is 343-165-63 (.667).

Friday, March 3

Lindenwood vs. Robert Morris
Candace: I think the Colonials are on a mission to make their first NCAA tournament. Robert Morris 3-1
Nicole: Robert Morris has the momentum and the incentive, so I’m picking them to win. Robert Morris 4-1

RIT vs. Syracuse
Candace: The Tigers have a history of coming out of nowhere to win this tournament, but I think the Orange stop them cold. Syracuse 4-2
Nicole: Honestly, I think we all want to see Syracuse and Robert Morris duel, so it’s Syracuse here. Syracuse 3-0

Saturday, March 4

No. 8 Princeton vs No. 3 Clarkson
Candace: Princeton is on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. A win against Clarkson would help immensely, but unfortunately the Tigers won’t get it. Clarkson 3-2
Nicole: I never underestimate a team playing for its life. The Tigers have come on strong in the second half, but I’m not sure if they have enough to corral Mercer. I give this one to Clarkson, but wouldn’t be surprised to see the Tigers steal it. Clarkson 3-1

No. 7 Cornell vs No. 4 St. Lawrence
Candace: This game could go either way, but I think the Saints will squeak by. St. Lawrence 3-2
Nicole: I’m going to have to pick one upset and I think this is it. Cornell is another team playing for its life and I think they’ve got enough offensive power to overcome the Saints. There’s been flashes of greatness from the Big Red some weeks and now’s the time to put it all together. Cornell 3-2

Vermont vs No. 6 Boston College
Candace: The Eagles losing this weekend won’t surprise me, but losing this game would. Boston College 3-1
Nicole: A big part of me wants to pick Vermont here, especially after BC just eked by Merrimack in game two last week, but I think there’s a lot to be said about the fact that BC is incredibly experienced in the postseason and knows how to handle the timing, stress, and expectations. I’m picking BC, but rooting for Vermont. Boston College 4-3

Northeastern vs Boston University
Candace: It’s BU’s offense vs. Northeastern’s defense, and I think the latter makes the difference. Northeastern 3-2
Nicole: This game might just be a toss-up. Each team won in convincing fashion during the regular season. I think I’m going with Bugalski in goal to carry Northwestern here. Northeastern 5-3.

No. 2 Minnesota Duluth at No. 5 Minnesota
Candace: This, to me, is the game of the weekend. I go with the Gophers’ experience and belief. Minnesota 3-2
Nicole: I’m picking the Bulldogs because I think they’re much stronger than they were when they lost in Minneapolis last time around and because I’m really interested to the chaos that ensues in seeding from a Gophers’ loss. Minnesota Duluth 3-1

North Dakota vs. No. 1 Wisconsin
Candace: North Dakota had a tough series last weekend against Ohio State, and while that preparation will help, it won’t be enough. Wisconsin 4-1
Nicole: The Fighting Hawks played the Badgers close in all of their previous matchups this season and I don’t see it being any different here, but they say big players step up in big games and Wisconsin has quite a few big players. If Wisconsin was virtually unbeatable in the regular season, I expect that to be exponentially more true in the playoffs. I think the Badgers have just too much experience and depth for UND to overcome. Wisconsin 4-1


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