Looking Back at the 2008 NCAA Tournament: Part 1

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As the 2018 NCAA Tournament first round gets underway tomorrow we thought we would look back a decade to the 2008 NCAA Tournament. We will be looking back at the 2008 Tournament round by round as the 2018 tournament progresses.

Qualifying Teams

There were seven teams that gained automatic bids to the NCAA due to winning their conference tournament or conference. There were only five conferences that hosted tournaments at that time. Also, the ACC did not have an auto bid because they did not have six teams which is similar to their case today. There other nine teams received at-large bids from the selection committee. 

Auto Bids

Canisius (MAAC) - This marked the very first NCAA tournament appearance.

Colgate (Patriot) - Colgate won the very first Patriot League conference tournament.

Hofstra (CAA) - Hofstra won the CAA tournament.

Notre Dame (GWLL) - Notre Dame won the Great Western Lacrosse League which is now defunct.

UMBC (America East) - UMBC won the America East tournament.

Loyola (ECAC) - The ECAC did not hold a tournament so the top team won the conference.

Cornell (IVY) - The Ivy League did not hold a tournament so the top team won the conference.

At Large Bids

Duke (ACC)

Virginia (ACC)

Syracuse (Independent)

North Carolina (ACC)

Johns Hopkins (Independent)

Maryland (ACC)

Denver (GWLL)

Navy (Patriot)

Ohio State (GWLL)

The Bracket

Notable Names

Just like every year 2008 had some names that were followed and are still followed today. It really is amazing how many of these guys either still play or are involved in the game today.


Ned Crotty - Junior, Midfielder

Zach Greer - Senior, Midfielder

Matt Danowski - Senior, Attackman


Rhamel Bratton, Freshman, Midfielder

Shamel Bratton, Freshman, Midfielder

Danny Glading, Junior, Attackman

Ben Rubeor, Senior, Attackman

Ken Clausen, Sophomore, Defense

Adam Ghitlelman, Freshman, Goalie


Matt Abbot, Junior, Midfielder

Joel White, Freshman, D Midfielder

John Galloway, Freshman, Goalie

Jovan miller, Freshman, Midfielder

Stephen Keogh, Freshman, Attackman

North Carolina

Billy Bitter, Freshman, Attackman

Ryan Flanagan, Freshman, Defense

Chris Madalon, Sophomore, Goalie

Johns Hopkins

Matt Bocklet, Senior, LSM / Defense

Paul Rabil, Senior, Midfielder

Michael Evans, Senior, Defense

Notre Dame

Scotty Rogers, Junior, Goalie

Sean Dougherty, Senior, Defense


Jeremy Sieverts, Senior, Midfield

Brian Phipps, Junior, Goalie

Drew Snider, Sophomore, Midfield

Jake Bernhardt, Freshman, Midfield


Max Seibald, Junior, Midfield

Ohio State

Kevin Buchanan, Senior, Midfield


Chris Eck, Senior, Midfield


Mike Unterstein, Senior, Midfield

First Round 

The first round in 2008 featured some great games that included overtime games and even a few upsets as well. 

 1. Duke vs Loyola

  Duke would beat Loyola 12-7 in an exciting game where Duke's Matt Danowski would break the NCAA career points record. Danowski is still in the top three on the career points list. 

2. Virginia vs UMBC

   Virginia would beat UMBC 10-9. Virginia's Garrett Billings would score with 6:50 in the game to get his third on the day and win it for the Cavilers.

3. Syracuse vs Canisius

   Syracuse attackman Mike Leveille would have put up 4 goals to help the Orange steamroll Canisius 20-3 ending the Griffs first ever NCAA tournament run.

4. North Carolina vs Navy

   Navy would go into Chapel Hill and upset 4 seeded North Carolina by a score of 8-7. The Mishipmen would be lead by Nick Mirabito and his 4 goal performance. 

5. Johns Hopkins vs Hofstra

   Johns Hopkins would defeat Hofstra by a score of 10-4 as Paul Rabil would help lead the Blue Jays to victory. 

6. Notre Dame vs Colgate

   The Fighting Irish were hosting their first ever NCAA tournament as they were able to defeat Colgate 8-7 in overtime.

7. Maryland vs Denver   

   The Maryland Terrapins defeated the Denver Pioneers 10-7 in a hard fought tight battle. 

8. Cornell vs Ohio State

   The Ohio State Buckeyes would pull off the first upset of the tournament as they knocked off Cornell by a score of 15-7.

Coming up next...

   We will be back with part two next week as we cover the quarterfinals which ended up being record setting in itself.