Tufts' biggest disadvantage--aside from points D-III makes--, as always in this game (3 years), is that Roanoke should be much farther along, losses notwithstanding, in reaching its peak than Tufts. As most of you know, north teams start later and NESCACs even later. Add the long bus ride.
However, as last year (13-12 Tufts), I think Tufts can win this game if they play offensive lax as they did against Skidmore (which, btw, has demolished all others they have played albeit they have been mediocre teams) and the kind of defense they played Sat against Williams.
The sad part: the game does not mean much other than "bragging rights" or moves up/down in national polls which also mean nothing since only real poll is in May.
In that sense, the Maroons may be at the greatest disadvantage. They already have two in region losses as does their potential arch ODAC rival, Lynchburg. One of them is probably not going to make the NCAA tourney. Accordingly, Coach Pilat might hold out some injured players tomorrow who otherwise could play but who could risk aggravating curent maladies, thereby rendering them unavail for near future in region/ODAC more important games.
Also, as I understand it, under the newest NCAA formula, all games are now considered as having been played on "neutral" sites so Tufts will get no "extra" points for winning at Roanoke just as Roanoke would not if it travelled to Tufts. This will further discourage future North/South match-ups, which is unfortunate on many fronts. Moreover, as I now understand it, the South will now get 10 slots in the tourney and the north 12. That is wrong, btw, if one runs the proportion of teams distributed between north/south. 14/8 was former split which was much fairer in terms of # of schools playing. But...what this also does is make Roanoke's in region games even more important. I think this will also, in the North, discourage tough out of conference in region games for those coming from the best conferences. For example, Tufts, which has one of the highest SOS this year, plays WNEC and Endicott, both away, in addition to its tough NESCAC schedule and Roanoke.
I think this Tufts team may have the potential to be extremely good, especially when McNally returns. As for Roanoke, yes, they have been "up/down" but that is how they were last year at this time. I remember well at the time trying on this forum to not let Roanoke fans abandon their team after the Salisbury debacle which I saw. And they did "right the ship".
It should be a great game.