For the second time in three weeks, a somewhat surprising loss dropped Maryland out of the top five in the latest Rating Percentage Index list – also known as RPI – released by the NCAA Monday evening.
Friday’s 13-6 setback to unranked Virginia (7-8) caused the Terps (9-3) to slip from No. 3 in RPI to No. 7. Maryland encountered a similar fall after losing to Johns Hopkins, 7-4, on April 13 and slipping from No. 4 to No. 8.
Perhaps the only positive outcome from the loss to the Cavaliers was their move up to No. 20, which gives the Terps a fourth top 20 victory. Maryland has defeated No. 9 Loyola (12-10 on Feb. 23), No. 11 Duke (16-7 on March 2), No. 13 Yale (8-7 on April 20) and Virginia (9-7 on March 30).
The reigning nation champion Greyhounds (11-3) did not budge from last week’s position, but they added a top 20 win with their 8-4 triumph over the No. 17 Blue Jays this past Saturday. Loyola defeated No. 10 Ohio State, 9-4, on March 30, and will meet the Buckeyes again in the semifinals of the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament Wednesday night.
Johns Hopkins (8-5) slipped one spot from No. 16. The Blue Jays can enhance their tournament profile slightly with a victory over Army Friday night, but they still trail teams like No. 8 Bucknell (12-4), Ohio State (10-3), No. 12 Penn (8-4), Yale (9-4) and No. 15 Drexel (11-3) in RPI.
Towson (8-7) climbed from No. 29 to No. 27 after ending the regular season with a 13-6 rout of St. Joseph’s Saturday night. The Tigers’ best chance of advancing to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007 is winning the Colonial Athletic Association tournament this week.
UMBC (6-7) remained at No. 40 after edging Binghamton, 10-9, on Saturday. Like Towson, the Retrievers must capture the America East tournament to make their first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2009.
Mount St. Mary’s (6-9) finished its season at No. 47, dropping one spot. Navy (3-10) stayed at No. 50.
Notre Dame (10-3) leapfrogged Denver (11-3) for the top spot on the RPI list. North Carolina (12-3), Cornell (12-2) and Penn State (11-3) made up the rest of the top five. Syracuse (11-3), Maryland, Bucknell, Loyola and Ohio State rounded out the top 10.
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.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun