The NCAA Tournament is over. Syracuse underachieved and Duke won the title. Where have I heard this story before?
After dispatching with No. 1 Virginia in the semis, Duke defeated Notre Dame 6-5 in overtime to claim their first NCAA title and the first NCAA title not won by SU, Hopkins, Virginia or Princeton since 1991.
With a goal in the first minute of OT—the first five seconds, to be extact—the Duke Blue Devils won their first-ever National Championship. It was a close game throughout, as John Danowski said afterward, "Notre Dame was phenomenal. [Star goalie] Scott Rogers was... As [good as] advertised." And indeed, Notre Dame shocked the masses not just by reaching the title game, but competing with Duke once they got there.
As I mentioned in my SBNation piece, Duke now joins a very exclusive and very elite club of teams that have won an NCAA title in men's lacrosse (8). The Blue Devils' win doesn't exactly mean parity officially reigns in college lacrosse, especially considering Duke can make a strong case they're the 4th best team of the past ten years, but it does open the door jut a crack for that possibility. From here, it's up to Duke, and Notre Dame, to continue pushing themselves as viable contenders year in and year out in order to mash up the status quo.
Speaking of the Irish...so close. And what a win it would have been for the Big East Conference. Notre Dame still did enough to make its case but by winning a national title they would have leapfrogged to the top of the rivalry list with SU, provided the conference with a much-needed elite No. 2 and defeated an ACC squad in the process. Still, it was good news for the Big East that at least one of their teams got to the finals, even if it wasn't the one everyone expected.
Duke finally sheds its label as the 80's Houston Oilers of college lacrosse (great seasons, nothing to show for it). For Cornell and Virginia, they're settling into the way-too-comfortable territory of having great years, going far and always falling a little short. As for Johns Hopkins...they pretty much sucked.
That about sums it up.