The Maryland men’s lacrosse team has earned the No. 1 overall seed for the third consecutive NCAA Tournament, drawing a matchup between the winner of Robert Morris and Canisius on Sunday in College Park.
Albany, Yale and Duke round off the top four national seeds. Like the Terps, Duke, Denver and Yale all lost in their respective conference tournaments, which likely played a large role in Maryland obtaining the top spot.
Robert Morris (12-4) and Canisius (8-8), the two lowest-ranked automatic qualifiers, will play on Wednesday to determine which will make the trip to Maryland Stadium to take on the Terps in the first round. Robert Morris won the Northeast Conference tournament as the No. 3 seed, as did Canisius as the No. 4 seed in the MAAC tournament.
Maryland will make an appearance in its NCAA-best 16th consecutive tournament, but for the first time in that stretch, will be defending a national championship. The Terps have played in the last three title games and have advanced to the Final Four in each of the last four years.
This year’s Maryland team (12-3) lost two of its last four games: the Big Ten championship on Saturday against Johns Hopkins and at home three weeks ago to an Ohio State team that was left out of the tournament. The other loss was earlier in the season against Albany.
The Terps’ strength of schedule and RPI was impressive enough to the committee, though, to offset the conference tournament loss. Albany (14-2) had one fewer loss and the win over Maryland, but playing in a weaker conference and losing to unranked UMBC in the middle of the season perhaps tarnished its resume. The Great Danes are the only of the top four seeds to win their conference tournament.
Maryland’s first-round game will be Sunday at noon ET. If the Terps advance, their quarterfinals matchup would be played in Annapolis against the winner of No. 8 Syracuse and Cornell. The men’s Final Four will be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Memorial Day weekend.