The Maryland Terrapins showed that they belong in the national title discussion this weekend. After dropping regular season contests to UNC and UVA earlier, they battled back and defeated the Tar Heels by 8 in the ACC Semi-final and played Virginia close before the new #1 team in the country went on a 5-0 run to close out the game and beat the Terps 10-6. But Coach Dave Cottle showed that he can change his game plan and adjust to an opponent after UNC frustrated UMD in the 9-7 loss in March.
With their impressive showing in the ACC Tournament, they moved up to the #3 spot in the country in the first RPI rankings of the year. Maryland actually leapfrogged Syracuse according to the computers yet remained behind ACC foe UNC. Virginia is now the #1 team again after losing the top spot to the Orange, with resounding wins over Duke and your Terps.
In the Nike Division 1 Top 20 Poll, Maryland was ranked 3rd behind UVA and Syracuse. Duke rounded out each poll and the RPI rankings at #5. The USILA Division 1 Coaches Poll has the same top 5 spots as the Nike poll.
Following the ACC and Syracuse, who have separated themselves as the clear-cut favorites as the NCAA tournament nears according to Quint Kessenich, are Loyola University, Princeton University, and Stony Brooke University. Cornell and UMass occupy the #9 and #10 spots respectively in each poll, with the Coaches putting the Big Red at #10.
The ACC Tournament was a great weekend and showed how strong a league it really is. Syracuse is the other team in the top 5...a top 5 that is head and shoulders above the rest of the Lacrosse world. Hopefully the Terps can win their last two tune-ups before the big dance. Catch all the action right here on wmucsports.com. Go Terps!