Our weekly rankings are in!
This was it. This was the last week of voting with every team still out there. Conference tournaments start this week, and while the top 20 is all definitely still playing, by this time next week, it won’t be. So here’s where your real regular season rankings are; everything from here on out becomes king of the hill.
Public ballots and weekly rankings are nothing without praise and shame, so here is our scoreboard:
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Ryan Conwell’s picks aligning with the national poll: 4
Nick Zoroya’s picks aligning with the national poll: 3
Everyone agreeing: None. Not a single pick.
If you’d like to see our previous polls, you can find them here:
RC’s Ballot – NZ’s Ballot
2021 NCAA DI Men’s Weekly Rankings – Week 12 Top 20
Note: The following are the official Inside Lacrosse Media Poll ballots are from Lacrosse All Stars’ Ryan Conwell and Nick Zoroya.
1 Maryland (RC) – North Carolina (NZ)
National Poll: Maryland (10-0)
Maryland had the week off, but I kept the Terps at the top of my weekly rankings, as did most of the national voters. Nick did not join us, though. He saw UNC’s effort to claim a share of the ACC title and said, “Yup, that’s the best team in the country right there.” He’s not alone (nine others also did), and one can’t blame him. UNC finished a single point behind Maryland in voting despite having four fewer first-place votes.
2 North Carolina (RC) – Maryland (NZ)
National Poll: North Carolina (11-2)
As you suspect with the above description, if you had Maryland at No. 1, UNC is No. 2. If you had UNC as No. 1, Maryland is No. 2. They ain’t far apart, folks.
3 Duke (RC) – Notre Dame (NZ)
National Poll: Duke (12-2)
After losing its second game, Duke falls a spot to No. 3 and did not get any first place votes for just the second time this year. With this loss, the Blue Devils also lost their sole claim to the ACC title, splitting it with UNC. For Nick, Notre Dame took this spot, which I also can’t fault him for. That demolishing of Syracuse was intense.
4 Rutgers (RC) – Duke (NZ)
National Poll: Notre Dame (7-3)
I actually dropped Rutgers back a spot in my weekly rankings, because it just felt right with Duke and UNC splitting the ACC crown to be No. 2 and No. 3 in my ballot. But I still am a big believer in Rutgers this year. Nick had Duke here as the third ACC team while the national ballot has the Irish. Man, we’re four picks in and this whole thing is already a mess.
5 Notre Dame (RC) – Denver (NZ)
National Poll: Virginia (10-4)
And once again, none of us agree. I have Notre Dame here, which still feels a little low, but I still love the four teams ahead of the Irish. It’s crazy to think that at least one of these teams will not make championship weekend. For Nick, Denver as the top team in the Big East takes the fifth spot while the national ballot bumped idle UVA up due to the Georgetown and Lehigh losses.
6 Denver (RC) – Rutgers (NZ)
National Poll: Rutgers (8-2)
The national poll brought Rutgers (and Denver behind it) up three spots as the major beneficiaries of the big upsets. Nick was also right there with Rutgers, while I have Denver slightly higher. Still, none of us are that far apart.
7 Virginia (RC) – Virginia (NZ)
National Poll: Denver (11-3)
While Denver jumped up three spots, Nick and I agreed on giving UVA the No. 7 spot in our weekly rankings despite its lack of a game. Yes, the Cavs lost to Cuse. But Cuse’s loss to UNC was really bad, and even though they lost to the Orange twice, they look better overall. The ACC is an odd one.
8 Lehigh (RC) – Villanova (NZ)
National Poll: Georgetown (10-2)
I only dropped Lehigh two spots in my rankings despite its loss, because it still has looked pretty dominant in the Patriot League. I do find some humor in Nick and I having Lehigh and Villanova ranked in the same spot given that’s who finally beat Lehigh. For the national poll, Georgetown took a little bit of stumble after its setback to Loyola. We’ll call this mini-Patriot/Big East challenge a draw.
9 Georgetown (RC) – Georgetown (NZ)
National Poll: Syracuse (6-5)
Nationally, Syracuse fell just a single spot despite one of its worst games….ever? It was pretty bad. The Orange were major beneficiaries of the other losses around this part of the rankings. Luckily, Nick and I once again agreed on something and kept Georgetown as a top-10 team despite the Loyola loss.
10 Syracuse (RC) – Lehigh (NZ)
National Poll: Lehigh (9-1 ) *TIED AT NO. 9
Tied in the national poll with Cuse was Lehigh, who Nick also had in the spot. I had Cuse, so it’s kind of a wash. The best way to explain the Orange is they are a team capable of winning the national championship, but they have some major, major kryptonite out there. They will go as far as their defense takes them.
11 Drexel (RC) – Drexel (NZ)
National Poll: Army (7-3)
The Dragons had a close call with Towson but are now marching into the CAA Tournament with seven-straight wins. Their only two losses on the season were back in March to Delaware and UMass. The Minutemen are their first game in the tournament, and they will likely meet Delaware after. Nothing like a little bit of redemption en route to the NCAAs. Yes, they already beat both of those teams in their second matches, but work with me here.
National Poll: Villanova (7-4)
Villanova was a big winner this week by beating Lehigh. I also like this spot of No. 12 for it. Lehigh was a huge win, but Nova is still definitely behind Georgetown and Denver in the Big East. The Wildcats winning the league would be a major shock and really make things tough on the selection committee.
National Poll: Drexel (8-2)
It’s a little odd to see Army and Navy on the same line, but Nick and I are in agreement about one thing: Navy one spot ahead of Army. The Midshipmen proved it on the field, and unless something happens in the Patriot Tournament to sort things out, it’ll stay that way.
14 Army (RC) – Syracuse (NZ)
National Poll: Navy (6-2) *TIED AT 13
The national poll had two positional ties this week, the second one being at the No. 13 spot with Navy and Drexel. Nick, on the other hand, is selling hard on Syracuse, dropping it all the way to No. 14 in his weekly rankings.
15 Richmond (RC) – Richmond (NZ)
National Poll: Delaware (10-2)
Speaking of upsets, Richmond was another team that really made things funky by losing to Air Force. What I love about that game is it sets up Air Force as the fourth seed in the SoCon Tournament, meaning these two get to play each other again right away. I’m going with Richmond in round two.
16 Delaware (RC) – Delaware (NZ)
National Poll: Loyola (7-5)
One spot behind where the national poll has them, Nick and I slated the Blue Hens into the No. 16 spot in our weekly rankings as the second-place CAA team. It won’t be an easy road for them, though. Next up is Hofstra, who they only played once and beat by a single goal. Delaware has good wins, but it is still in the hunt for an AQ or bust to see the NCAA Tournament.
17 Loyola (RC) – UMBC (NZ)
National Poll: UMBC (8-2)
I have Loyola a spot behind the national poll following its huge win over Georgetown. But UMBC slides in here for Nick and the nation as it hosts the America East Meatgrinder Invitational. These conference tournaments are tough to predict, but that one is downright impossible.
18 Ohio State (RC) – Loyola (NZ)
National Poll: Vermont (7-4)
Vermont had the biggest jump of the week, technically going up 11 spots in terms of points gained – beating two of the top four teams in your league in a week will do that. I still have Ohio State here, but I’m definitely in the minority. In terms of voting, the Buckeyes dropped to the last place in the Big Ten in just one week, even falling behind Penn State.
19 Vermont (RC) – Vermont (NZ)
National Poll: Saint Joseph’s (8-3)
Nick and I agree on Vermont here. The difference is that Nick has UMBC higher, and I don’t even have the Retrievers ranked. Even though UMBC is the top seed in the AE, I like Vermont more when it’s played its best. But I will absolutely admit that UMBC has been more consistent. Fortunately, there’s a whole tournament coming to sort this all out for us.
20 Saint Joseph’s (RC) – High Point (NZ)
National Poll: Richmond (6-5)
In the national poll, Richmond fell a whole five spots, which does not speak too well for the national sentiment on the SoCon. But Nick brought the league’s No. 2, High Point, into the mix. I round out the top 20 with Saint Joseph’s, who is leading the way in the NEC.
RC’s Dropped Out:
Stony Brook (19), Albany (20)
NZ’s Dropped Out:
Stony Brook (17), Albany (19), Ohio State (20)
RC’s Next Teams In:
These are the ones with the best shot at making the top 20 in the coming weeks, not in order: High Point, UMBC, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, Manhattan.
NZ’s Next Teams In:
RC’s Who Did I Leave Out?
UMBC (18), Saint Joseph’s (20)
NZ’s Who Did I Leave Out?
Saint Joseph’s (19)