Duke Ranked No. 1 in LM's Preseason Top 20
|Duke and Syracuse battled for the NCAA championship last May and begin 2014 atop Lacrosse Magazine's preseason top 20. (Kevin P. Tucker)|
BALTIMORE – With several key players returning from last year's NCAA championship team, the Duke men's lacrosse team tops Lacrosse Magazine's NCAA Division I preseason rankings for 2014.
The Blue Devils, who have advanced to seven straight NCAA final fours and won titles in 2010 and 2013 under coach John Danowski, were 16-5 in 2013, winning 14 of their final 15 games.
All six members of the revamped ACC are ranked in the top 10, with 2013 NCAA runner-up Syracuse and North Carolina right behind the Blue Devils at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. Notre Dame (No. 6), Maryland (No. 7) and Virginia (No. 9) gave the expanded conference a dramatic presence at the top of the rankings.
Denver is the only non-ACC squad in the top five, earning the No. 4 nod after a trip to the NCAA semifinals last year. The Pioneers will make their Big East debut this season.
The rankings were compiled by Lacrosse Magazine staff after consultation with college coaches.
Lacrosse Magazine will continue its 2014 college lacrosse preview throughout January and into February, with team-by-team breakdowns of the top teams in NCAA Division I, II and III men's and women's lacrosse. Follow the countdown at LaxMagazine.com/LMranks and on Twitter at #LMranks.
Lacrosse Magazine NCAA Division I Men's Preseason Top 20
3. North Carolina
5. Notre Dame
8. Penn State
13. Johns Hopkins
15. Ohio State
19. St. John's