June 1, 2016
The year-end Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Division I Men's Top 20 reflects a fitting end to a crazy season. (John Strohsacker)
The year-end Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Division I Men's Top 20 reflects a fitting end to a crazy season. (John Strohsacker)

Nike/LM Division I Men's Top 20: Fitting End to Nutty Season

by Lacrosse Magazine Staff | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Rankings

Division I Men's Top 20
Division I Women's Top 20
Division II Men's Top 15
Division II Women's Top 15
Division III Men's Top 20
Division III Women's Top 20

The final Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Division I Men's Top 20 of the season is, of course, topped by Carolina blue.

The Tar Heels, previously ranked ninth in the last Nike/LM rankings of May 9, went on an incredible NCAA tournament run, beating sixth-seeded Marquette, third-seeded Notre Dame in the quarterfinals and seventh-seeded Loyola in the semifinals before winning an overtime classic against No. 1 Maryland on Monday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

In the end, the Tar Heels, which hadn't won more than two games in a row until the NCAA tournament, became the first team to win a Division I men's crown with six losses. The next team with at least six losses in the Nike/LM Top 20 is Duke, which comes in at No. 13.

A fitting end to a topsy-turvy season.

W-L
Last Week
Results
Next
1
North Carolina 12-6
9
W, Maryland 14-13
Season Complete
2
Maryland 17-3
1
L, North Carolina 14-13
Season Complete
3
Brown 16-3
3
L, Maryland 15-14 OT
Season Complete
4
Loyola (Md.) 14-4
12
L, North Carolina 18-3
Season Complete
5
Notre Dame 11-4
5
L, North Carolina 13-9
Season Complete
6
Towson 16-3
11
L, Loyola 10-8
Season Complete
7
Denver 13-3
2
L, Towson 10-9
Season Complete
8
Syracuse 12-5
4
L, Maryland 13-7
Season Complete
9
Navy 11-5
13
L, Brown 11-10
Season Complete
10
Yale 13-3
6
L, Navy 13-10
Season Complete
11
Marquette 11-5
8
L, North Carolina 10-9
Season Complete
12
Albany 12-4
10
L, Syracuse 11-9
Season Complete
13
Duke 11-8
7
L, Loyola 16-11
Season Complete
14
Rutgers 11-5
14
W, Johns Hopkins 14-12; L, Maryland 14-8
Season Complete
15
Johns Hopkins 8-7
15
L, Brown 17-8
Season Complete
16
Air Force 15-3
16
L, Notre Dame 15-7
Season Complete
17
Villanova 9-5
17
L, Marquette 14-9
Season Complete
18
Harvard 8-8
18
W, Brown 13-12; L, Yale 14-9
Season Complete
19
Penn St. 8-7
20
L, Maryland 16-9
Season Complete
20
Quinnipiac 12-4
NR
L, Maryland 13-6
Season Complete

Also considered (alphabetical order): Bucknell, Hartford, Hobart

Who's Hot?

North Carolina (+8): The definition of peaking at the right time, North Carolina went on an emotional-filled run through the NCAA tournament in qhich its offense at times looked unstoppable. The Heels shot 50 percent against Maryland in the title game.

Loyola (+8): The Greyhounds were a bit of a surprise final four team, but the draw opened up for them when Towson knocked off second-seeded Denver in the first round. Attackman Pat Spencer smashed Loyola single-season recirds as a freshman and is part of what appears to be a great foundation for the program for the next couple years.

Who's Not?

Duke (-6): The Blue Devils has the top strength of schedule in the country on Selection Sunday, but if you are what your record says you are, and Duke finished 11-8 with a loss to Loyola in the NCAA tournament first round, losing in that round for the second straight season.

Denver (-5): The Pioneers, who had been ranked at or near the top of this list all season long, saw their season come to an uprupt end at home in a first round loss to Towson. But this Pioneers' roster is loaded with talent, and when he was at Princeton, it took more than one try for Bill Tierney's Tigers to repeat as NCAA champs as well.

Who's New?

Quinnipiac (20): The Bobcats won the MAAC  tournament title when beat surprise America East champion Hartford in the NCAA tournament play-in game, which pitted them against top-seeded Maryland.

Dropped Out?

Hartford (19): The Hawks shocked Albany in the America East semifinals and won the conference crown, but couldn't carry the momentum quite far enough to get them in the NCAA tournament.


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