By Todd Carton –
It’s poll time again and since it might be taxing for some of you to keep up with the shifting opinions of the media and coaches (at least on the men’s side) we here at inthecreaselax.com will do that work for you. Because only four surveys remain before the start of the post season, each poll becomes increasingly important in trying to gauge your favorite squad’s NCAA Tournament chances.
The top of the men’s poll remained relatively unchanged with Albany and Maryland holding down the top two spots. Yale nudged into the three spot flip-flopping with Denver which fell to number four. Johns Hopkins and Duke did the same with the volatile Blue Jays landing in fifth – their first time in the top five this season.
The Big Ten’s Penn State Nittany Lions made the biggest jump of the week leaping from 21st to 16th. They were followed by Bucknell as the Bison chewed up four spots to reach number 14. There’s probably no correlation between the national championship captured by the Notre Dame women’s basketball team and the fall of their lacrosse squad out of the top 10 but the Fighting Irish suffered the biggest drop of the week plunging from number seven to number 12. Robert Morris saw its five game winning streak reach an end and the loss to Bryant pushed the Colonials a similar five spots to number 19.
The conference power shift from the ACC to the Big Ten that became evident last year continues to hold sway with Rutgers joining Maryland and Hopkins in the top 10. Five of the six B1G squads are ranked in the top 20. Curiously, the only B1G team missing from the rankings is 2017 national runner-up Ohio State.
The ACC has four of its five teams ranked with North Carolina holding the 24th spot in the media poll. The 6-5 Tar Heels are ranked 20th in the Coaches Poll which tends to favor the ACC a bit more than the media poll spotting Duke ahead of Johns Hopkins and placing Virginia 11th to the media’s 13th. Both polls place Syracuse at number eight.
At 10-0, the Rochester Institute of Technology took the top spot in the Division III poll. They were followed by York, Tufts (the only other undefeated team – 7-0), Weslyan and Cabrini round out the top five. Local powerhouse and 12 time D III national champion Salisbury held on to the number 11 spot for the second consecutive week. The current national champs fell out of the top ten after a 15-6 loss at York on March 24.
The top five teams in the Division I women’s poll remained unchanged with the two undefeated squads – Stony Brook and Boston College occupying the top two spots. Maryland, James Madison and North Carolina round out the top five.
Unlike the situation in the men’s poll, the ACC remains the dominant conference in women’s lacrosse with seven teams in the top 20. The only other Big Ten team to appear in the top 20 is Northwestern. The Wildcats victory over Penn pushed them to number nine equaling their highest ranking this season.