Maryland men’s lacrosse will enter the 2017 NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, the NCAA announced during its Selection Sunday show. It’s their second straight year earning the tournament’s top seed.
Maryland sits at 12-3 this season. The Terps beat Ohio State on Saturday in the Big Ten tournament title game, 10-9, to repeat as conference tournament champions.
In an exciting back-and-forth affair, the Terps and Buckeyes showcased why they are among the best teams in the country. Junior Connor Kelly led the way with a career-high five goals, surpassing Matt Rambo as the team’s leading goal scorer this season. Thanks to an jaw-dropping clutch goal by Colin Heacock late in the fourth quarter, Maryland secured an NCAA-best 15th consecutive trip to the big dance.
When you look at the Terps’ season as a whole, their No. 1 billing is fair and just.
They won the regular season and tournament title in the toughest conference.
Maryland finished 4-1 in conference play, winning the regular season title and conference title game in what most analysts call the toughest conference in college lacrosse.
Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State and Johns Hopkins are all within the top seven of RPI rankings, with the Terps holding the No. 1 spot.
In the title game, Big Ten commentators Joe Beninati and Mark Dixon argued that whoever won the game would most likely be dubbed the tournament’s top-overall seed.
Maryland played a lot of ranked opponents, and won.
Going 4-1 in conference play is difficult, especially when you consider the Terps went into every conference matchup with the opponent being ranked.
Maryland finished with seven wins over current ranked opponents, and played just three games in which the opponent was not ranked going into the game.
The Terps hold out-of-conference wins over Albany, Yale, and defending national champion North Carolina. Plus, they downed undefeated Penn State when the Nittany Lions were the No. 1 team in the country.
The losses have been *really* close.
Maryland lost three games this season to Villanova, Notre Dame and Ohio State by a combined three goals. That’s exactly one goal each time.
The 5-4 loss to Notre Dame was a slugfest, with both offenses struggling to put up anything from start to finish. Ohio State and Villanova both beat Maryland in overtime, two games that could’ve gone differently had one or two plays broke the Terps’ way instead.
Maryland is set to face the winner of Bryant vs. Monmouth, beginning the latest quest to end the 42-year championship drought. A win moves the Terps to the quarterfinals in Newark, Delaware, with eyes on the Final Four in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
We’ve updated this story with game locations and the full bracket: