NCAA Lacrosse: New Top-10 Rankings as Selection Sunday Approaches (4/29/2013)

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NCAA Lacrosse: New Top-10 Rankings as Selection Sunday Approaches (4/29/2013)
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Another wild weekend of Division I lacrosse shook up the rankings this week. As we close out on the regular season and finish up conference tournaments, fans finally have a clearer view of how the brackets will look on selection Sunday.

Let's take a look at an updated Top-10 poll.

My rankings are based on talent and overall perception, not by computer tally or any other methodical system.

 

10. Lehigh

Lehigh had no trouble in beating Bucknell on their way to the Patriot League title. Having won tournament games before, this year's Mountain Hawks will look to shock the world and go on a run in postseason play. They will need to win faceoffs to dictate pace of play against the nation's elite, but that might not be too much to ask of this inspired squad.

 

9. Penn State

Penn State may not get a ton of national attention, but they probably like it that way. Head Coach Jeff Tambroni has done a fantastic job in Happy Valley and has a team capable of the big upset. They will most likely not be favored in their first-round bout, but those who have watched them this year know that they can be lethal on the road.

 

8. Loyola

The Greyhounds were able to break their losing streak against Hopkins with a big win on Homewood Field on Saturday. The Hounds certainly have a talented roster but are another victim of inconsistent play on the defensive side of the ball. Depending on their matchups, the defending champions may be looking at an early exit in this year's tournament.

Winslow Townson/Getty Images

 

7. Duke

Duke has been playing fantastic lacrosse but struggled against a less-than-stellar Virginia squad in the ACC Tournament. The loss could prove as a benefit for a team that had only tasted success for weeks on end. Look for Duke to be a contender in the tournament, along with everyone else in their conference.

 

6. Notre Dame

Notre Dame was the most recent No. 1 to take a fall in the rankings. The Irish struggled against Syracuse in the Big City Classic, when they had an opportunity to ice a high seed in the tournament bracket. Notre Dame's defense always shows up in the tournament, but their inconsistent play makes them unpredictable moving forward.

 

5. Denver

Although Denver lost some big games this year, they also showed they could win late in the fourth quarter and in overtime. As we have seen in 2013, most games come down to the wire, so their experience in that area could serve as a valuable asset as they look to make noise in the postseason.

 

4. Maryland

Maryland has not been playing great in its last few games, but don't let that fool you. Their offensive woes will come to a halt in the NCAA tournament, as goalie Niko Amato looks to win a national championship in his senior year. Maryland will take its blows from its grueling conference schedule and use them as building blocks for a deep tournament run.

Who deserves the top seed in the NCAA Tournament?

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3. Syracuse

The Orange handled No. 1 Notre Dame in the Big City Classic on Saturday, even further proving their depth and talent. JoJo Marasco and company will take part in the Big East tournament this weekend, with an opportunity to boost their postseason resume.

 

2. Cornell

Rob Pannell and Steve Mock put on an offensive show at MetLife Stadium against Princeton. Pannell had nine points, boosting his chances at winning the Tewaaraton Trophy, given to the player of the year nationally. Although Cornell's offense was great, goalie AJ Fiore seems to be playing his best when it counts, which bodes well for the Big Red. They will face Princeton on Friday night in the semifinals of the Ivy League postseason tournament.

 

1. North Carolina

The Heels finished off a fantastic 2013 campaign by winning the ACC Tournament title on their home turf Sunday. By taking charge of the toughest conference in the nation, they certainly deserve the top spot this week. Unless Cornell puts up absurd numbers in the Ivy League tournament next weekend, UNC should be the first seed in the bracket.

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