Terps earn No. 1 seed in NCAA men's lacrosse tournament; Johns Hopkins, Navy also in field

Although the Maryland men's lacrosse program has not captured an NCAA Division I championship since 1975, the team did put an end to another decades-long drought.

For the first time since 1987, the Terps were awarded the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Big Ten regular-season and tournament champion will open its quest for the school's first national title since 1975 on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Maryland Stadium in College Park when it hosts the winner of Wednesday's play-in game between Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament title winner Quinnipiac (11-3) and America East tournament champion Hartford (11-6).


Thanks to Saturday night's 14-8 victory over Rutgers, Maryland improved to 14-2, extended its winning streak to 13, and became one of just four top seeds to win its conference tournament. But even coach John Tillman was unsure whether the team had earned the No. 1 seed until the 18-team field was unveiled Sunday night.

"I did not [know]," he said. "When the committee's in there, there are so many variables and so many things that happen even on Sunday that you're kind of wasting your time spending too much on that. So I certainly did not know what we would be, but we're excited regardless of the seeding that we get."


Loyola Maryland, the Patriot League tournament champion, earned the No. 7 seed and will play at home in the first round for the third time in its last four postseason appearances when it hosts Duke (11-7) on Saturday at 12 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore.

The Greyhounds (12-3) have not played since dominating Army, 14-6, on May 1. They lost to Duke, 15-6, on March 12. Coach Charley Toomey said the No. 7 seed was surprising.

"It seems to me the committee really went off of RPI and if that was going to be the case, we did have a strong chance of having a home game," he said. "With some of the wins that happened over the weekend, I saw us as a 7, 8, 9 team. You could easily justify Loyola going to Duke based on head-to-head, but because they went RPI, Duke is on the road and coming back up here."

Johns Hopkins, which lost to Rutgers in Thursday night's Big Ten tournament semifinal, was awarded one of the eight at-large berths and will visit No. 5 seed Brown (14-2) on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Providence.

Despite a pair of losses to the Scarlet Knights, the Blue Jays (8-6) had the eighth-best Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) and a Top-10 RPI win over No. 9 Syracuse (11-4) to bolster its resume.

"We felt like we may have put it in other people's hands," coach Dave Pietramala said. "Based off the critera, it appears they went very much by the criteria of RPI and [strength of schedule]. And we were able to get in. We don't select the tournament, but we are privileged to be a part of it."

Towson, which outlasted Fairfield, 4-2, to capture the Colonial Athletic Association tournament crown on Saturday afternoon, will play Hobart (10-6) in Wednesday's play-in game at 4 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson. If the team wins, it will face No. 1 seed and reigning NCAA champion Denver (13-2) on Sunday at 3 p.m.

The Tigers (14-2) will participate in a play-in game for the second year in a row because their RPI was among the four lowest of the teams that captured their respective conferences’ automatic qualifiers. Coach Shawn Nadelen declined to get involved in the Internet debate of whether Towson deserved an improved standing in the tournament.
“It’s in the hands of the committee, and we’re excited,” he said. “The one thing we knew for sure was that we are in the NCAA tournament. Regardless of where they put us or anything, we’ve got another game to play, and we’ve got more practices with each other, and you’ve got to go from there. Our guys are excited about that. Whether our body of work warranted a play-in game or not, that’s not for us to decide. That’s what the committee is for and you play the hand you’re dealt and move forward.”
Navy was one of the final teams to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament as it will play at No. 4 seed Yale (13-2) on Sunday at 5:15 p.m. in New Haven, Conn.
The Midshipmen (10-4) lost, 9-3, to Army in a Patriot League tournament semifinal on April 29, but had a strong enough profile to make an impression with the selection committee.



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