Johns Hopkins’ 7-4 victory over Maryland not only snapped a stretch in which the team had lost three of its last four games, but it also moved the program into the top 20 of the most recent Rating Percentage Index list – also known as RPI – released by the NCAA on Tuesday morning.
The Blue Jays (7-4) climbed to No. 16 from No. 22 as they added the win over the Terps (8-2), who dropped from No. 4 to No. 8. Johns Hopkins, which has victories over No. 23 Virginia (5-7) and No. 28 Towson (7-6), probably must still win its three final contests of the season – including an April 27 date with No. 10 Loyola (9-3) – to advance to its 42nd straight NCAA tournament.
Maryland fell, but the team still has wins against No. 7 Duke (10-4), Loyola and No. 20 Villanova (5-6) and could further enhance its tournament resume with a victory over No. 12 Yale (7-3) this Saturday.
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The reigning national champion Greyhounds dropped a heartbreaking 13-12 overtime loss to No. 1 Denver last Saturday and has lost to the Terps and Duke. Loyola has beaten No. 14 Ohio State (8-3) and must get a win against the Blue Jays to strengthen its bid for an at-large berth. But the Greyhounds can take all the guesswork out of the equation by capturing the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament on May 2-4.
After Denver, Notre Dame (9-2), North Carolina (9-3), Penn State (9-3) and Syracuse (9-2) make up the top five. Cornell (10-2), Duke, Maryland, Penn (6-4) and Loyola round out the top 10.
Towson fell to Penn State, 10-8, last Saturday and saw its profile get a little weaker with Massachusetts (5-7) and Hofstra (7-5) moving out of the top 20 to No. 21 and No. 22, respectively. The Tigers can still get to the NCAA tournament via the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.
UMBC (5-6) moved to No. 46 from No. 49 after Saturday’s 13-12 decision against Stony Brook. The Retrievers face No. 11 Albany (9-3) this Friday night and would advance to the NCAA tournament by winning the America East tournament.
Mount St. Mary’s (4-9) slipped to No. 49 from No. 47, and Navy (3-8) fell to No. 52 from No. 50.
The RPI, a rating that accounts for record and strength of schedule in that stronger opponents yield higher RPIs, is one tool that the NCAA selection committee will evaluate prior to finalizing the field for the NCAA Tournament. The 16-team bracket will be unveiled on Sunday, May 5 at 9 p.m.