Peter Koutroumpis – firstname.lastname@example.org
DURHAM/CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The third-ranked and defending NCAA-champion Duke Blue Devils received the top seed while the ninth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels earned an at-large bid in the upcoming 2014 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Tournament as announced on Sunday night.
The two teams were among all six Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams that made it into the postseason tournament field.
While the Tar Heels (10-4) used the open date to rest and recover following a 13-11 loss to eighth-ranked Virginia in the two teams’ ACC Showcase game last week, the Blue Devils (13-3) finished their regular season with a 16-11 road win over the Boston University Terriers on Sunday afternoon.
North Carolina made the NCAA tournament for the eighth year in a row and 29th in its history, and for only the third time ever as an unranked participant.
The Tar Heels will travel to face the fifth-seeded Big East-champion Denver Pioneers for the third year in a row in a first round matchup that will take place on Saturday.
Despite holding an 8-3 record in the two teams’ all-time series, North Carolina has lost both previous postseason games against the Pioneers.
Denver won in the first round at Fetzer Field in 2012 by a 16-14 score, and beat North Carolina 12-11 in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals last year at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.
The Blue Devils will host the winner of the play-in match-up between the ECAC-champion Air Force Falcons (10-5), and Atlantic Sun-champion Richmond Spiders (6-10) at Koskinen Stadium on Sunday.
Duke holds a 4-2 all-time record against Air Force while never having previously played Richmond, a first-year Division I program.
The Blue Devils, the tournament top seed for the third time in their history, are 28-15 all-time in NCAA tournament games and will seek to defend their title by trying to earn an unprecedented eighth consecutive trip to Final Four weekend, and to capture a championship trophy for the third time in the past five seasons.