With No. 2 Notre Dame getting upended by St. John’s, 8-7, in Thursday’s semifinal of the Big East tournament, it would seem that the competition for the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament involves No. 1 Massachusetts (14-0), No. 3 Loyola (14-1) and No. 5 Duke (13-4).
According to Laxpower.com, the Greyhounds have the No. 1 ranking in RPI, the Minutemen are No. 2 and the Blue Devils are No. 4. In terms of strength of schedule, Duke is third, Loyola is 23rd and Massachusetts is 27th.
The Greyhounds, who beat the Blue Devils, 13-8, on March 10, are clearly in the conversation for the No. 1 seed, but coach Charley Toomey said the program doesn’t need to lobby for it.
“I think there’s a lot of lacrosse still to be played,” he said Saturday. “Our goal was to play at home. Our goal was to advance after the first round. Those are our goals. Our goals were to never be No. 1. We’ll let the tournament committee figure that out. I think we have a strong resume, but I also think that there are three or four other teams that have strong resumes as well. So I know there’s going to be a challenge for all of us no matter who you play. Again, the kids are excited. I think we have a great opportunity to play lacrosse at Ridley one more time this year.”
Toomey won’t present his case before the NCAA selection committee Sunday despite being a member of the committee. That’s because he will recuse himself from any discussion regarding Loyola.
“That’s the right thing to do,” Toomey said. “That’s the way it’s been for the last two years. Whether you’re a bubble team or a seeded team, anytime that it comes to talking about Loyola or potential matchups, I’m not in the room. I’ll enjoy my cup of coffee this year being out of the room.