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May 3, 2015 — The No. 1 seed nobody wants

Heading into this evening’s selections for the NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse tournament, I find it interesting that the top four teams in the latest ILWCA poll are all coming off a loss.

Huh?

Yep. The last 10 days have seen a number of results which are scrambling the ratings percentage index (RPI) and strength of schedule (SOS) indices that the NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse committee use to determine the bracket and the top seeds for the tournament.

Last weekend, No. 2 North Carolina and No. 4 Duke both failed to win the ACC Tournament. The eventual victor was No. 3 Syracuse, which had been seeded sixth in the tournament. But the Orange yesterday lost a non-conference game to Loyola, which had won the Patriot League.

Even more stunning had to have been the 11-10 defeat that Ohio State hung on top-ranked Maryland last Friday. It was the first defeat that Maryland had suffered in 13 months, spoiling an undefeated season.

But more importantly for Terp opponents, Ohio State was able to spin a 7-1 run in the second half in a nationally-televised game. Footage of that second half is likely already in the hands of many coaches to use as an example how to solve the Rubik’s Cube that is the Maryland defense.

Given Syracuse’s loss yesterday, it’s likely that Maryland is likely to receive the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, followed by Carolina, Syracuse, Duke, Stony Brook, Boston College, and Virginia.

There will, however, be intrigue in today’s Big Ten tournament final; Penn State is playing Ohio State for the conference’s AQ, and the Nittany Lions need to win in order to nail down an eighth seed (in other words, home-field advantage in the octofinal round). If Ohio State wins, that bid is likely to go to Northwestern, even though Penn State beat the Wildcats on Friday.

Go figure.

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