Yale Earns No. 1 Ranking in Final Nike/USL Division I Men's Top 20


Yale's Ben Reeves swims over the outstretched stick of Duke's JT Giles-Harris in the NCAA championship game Monday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Yale took down Duke 13-11 in Monday’s national title game to secure its first NCAA tournament title.

It also capped a postseason that didn’t significantly alter the perception of many teams (with Georgetown and Robert Morris perhaps the exceptions).

Duke and Yale entered the postseason as Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the Nike/US Lacrosse rankings. Eventual semifinalists Albany and Maryland followed at Nos. 3 and 4.

Of the tournament’s quarterfinals, only Denver opened the tournament outside the top eight. The Pioneers checked in at No. 9 after falling in the Big East championship game.

As a result, the postseason top 20 has a familiar look to it. There might be a few quibbles, but there is one certainty: Yale has earned its No. 1 ranking.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Division I Men’s Top 20

May 30, 2018 (Final)




1 Yale 17-3 2 Season complete (NCAA champ)
2 Duke 16-4 1 Season complete (NCAA runner-up)
3 Albany 16-3 3 Season complete (NCAA semifinalist)
4 Maryland 14-4 4 Season complete (NCAA semifinalist)
5 Johns Hopkins 12-5 5 Season complete (NCAA quarterfinalist)
6 Loyola 13-4 6 Season complete (NCAA quarterfinalist)
7 Cornell 13-5 7 Season complete (NCAA quarterfinalist)
8 Denver 13-4 9 Season complete (NCAA quarterfinalist)
Notre Dame 9-6 8 Season complete 
10 Georgetown 12-5 11 Season complete
11 Virginia 12-6 10 Season complete
12 Syracuse 8-7 12 Season complete
13 Ohio State 8-7 13 Season complete
14 Rutgers 9-6 14 Season complete
15 Navy 9-5 15 Season complete
16 UMass 12-5 16 Season complete
17 Robert Morris 13-5 19 Season complete
18 Bucknell 11-4 17 Season complete
19 Villanova 10-6 18 Season complete
20 Penn State 8-6 20 Season complete
Also considered (alphabetical order): Lehigh, Michigan, North Carolina, Princeton, Richmond, Vermont



Robert Morris (+2)

The list of teams that were impressive in the midst of losing in this year’s NCAA tournament is a short one. Robert Morris headlines the group. The Colonials took out their frustration of getting relegated to the play-in game by handling Canisius 12-6 in the first round, but they really made an impression in their first round trip to Maryland.

Robert Morris led 3-1 after a quarter and 6-3 at halftime, not looking remotely fazed at facing the tournament’s No. 1 seed and the defending national champion. The Terrapins asserted themselves in the third quarter en route to a 14-11 victory, but Robert Morris warrants its modest jump — the largest in a tournament that wasn’t filled with surprises.

Denver (+1)

Not only did the Pioneers avenge a regular-season loss to Notre Dame with a 9-7 victory over the Irish in the first round of the tournament, they did something no other losing team in the quarterfinals, semifinals or national title game accomplished: Lead, even for a little bit. The Pioneers held a one-goal edge for 1 minute, 23 seconds in the second quarter against Albany, but bowed out 15-13 as faceoff ace Trevor Baptiste’s college career came to an end.

Georgetown (+1)

The Hoyas nearly pulled off the upset of the tournament in the first round, taking a five-goal lead deep into the third quarter before falling 10-9 in overtime at Johns Hopkins.

It was a breakout year for Kevin Warne’s program, which had won a combined six games over the previous two seasons. With the Hoyas back on track — and owning a Big East title after defeating Denver in the league final — it will be interesting to see if they can repeat that success moving forward without the benefit of an influential senior class.

Yale (+1)

The Bulldogs entered May at No. 1, fell a spot after a misstep in the Ivy League final, but cruised through the NCAA tournament to become a deserving national champion. In 240 minutes of postseason action, Yale trailed for just 3 minutes, 9 seconds — all in the first half of a first round game against Massachusetts. Bumping the Bulldogs up to No. 1 was the easiest ranking decision of the season.


Bucknell (-1)

The veteran-laden Bison got squeezed out of the field when Cornell and Georgetown earned automatic berths in conference tournaments. Bucknell didn’t have the chance to offer a postseason response to a team like Robert Morris, which moved past it in the final top 20 on the strength of its showing at Maryland in the first round.

Duke (-1)

The Blue Devils entered the tournament at No. 1 in the rankings, in large part because Yale fumbled the top spot away with its worst showing of the season in the Ivy League title game. The Blue Devils were the national runner-up to Yale, and another flip-flop of the No. 1 and No. 2 teams is appropriate after Monday’s championship game.

Notre Dame (-1)

The ACC champion swaps spots with Denver, hardly a surprising development after the Pioneers went to South Bend and claimed a 9-7 victory over the Fighting Irish in the first round.

Villanova (-1)

The last at-large team into the NCAA tournament, the Wildcats were swamped early at Duke, narrowed things a bit in the third quarter and then succumbed to a dominant stretch from the Blue Devils. Villanova is one of two teams hopscotched by Robert Morris thanks to its strong showing this month.

Virginia (-1)

The Cavaliers returned to the NCAA tournament after a two-year absence but were bounced 14-12 by Loyola in the first round after a lengthy lightning delay. Virginia swaps spots with Georgetown, which pushed Johns Hopkins to overtime in a first round loss.

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