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Favorite: Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish (9-2) are built upon a defense that allows just 7.8 goals against per game (No. 6 in the country). They own quality wins over Duke, Penn State, North Carolina, Denver and Ohio State, and will play Syracuse in the Big City Classic. Barring a major collapse, they are in line for a top seed in the NCAA tournament with the No. 2 spot in the RPI.
Contenders: Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown, St John's
Villanova (5-6) sits atop the conference after upsetting Syracuse on March 23. After a 1-5 start, they have won four of five. 'Nova runs an offensive pattern best described as organized chaos. With an RPI rated at No. 20, the Wildcats must keep winning — and they host the conference tournament.
Syracuse (9-3) lost a Tuesday night shocker to Hobart. Midfielder JoJo Marasco has 28 assists, just six behind Paul Gait's school record for a midfielder. Georgetown (5-7) and St. John's (7-4) have been too erratic to support. I'll be surprised if either Notre Dame or Syracuse doesn't win the league bid May 4.
May 6, 2012