In the interest of transparency, here's how I voted in the Inside Lacrosse media poll this week. Some brief explanations follow the ballot.
- New this week: Albany. Dropped out this week: Army. Also seriously considered: Penn State, Army, and St. Joseph's (in no particular order). I actually thought long and hard about doing a straight swap with St. Joseph's and Bryant, but decided against it. I think that the Bulldogs are a soft 16, and with St. Joseph's kind of existing just on the fringe of the top 20, I couldn't pull the trigger. I may regret that after the Northeast Conference Tournament this week, or I could look pretty smart. Whatever. I pushed Albany back into the run; I'm still not sold that the Great Danes are a complete team capable of running through whatever stands in front of them, but there aren't 20 teams better than Albany. They are the heaviest matchup-driven team in the nation, and that makes them an odd duck in a ranking of "best teams."
- Notre Dame/Syracuse/Virginia/North Carolina/Maryland: The ACC Tournament did little to alleviate the competitive equality of the conference. I went with what's above, but it's not an accident that four of those teams are lumped right together on the ballot. I wouldn't freak out about specific placements at this point; the power of the poll -- in totem -- will smooth out the edges. I wasn't quite sure what to do with Virginia; it was tough to displace Pennsylvania and Cornell and thrust the Cavaliers ahead. It's really a block of these-teams-are-all-kind-of-the-same-to-me from four on back to 11.
- Harvard: I gave the Crimson a bump this week. They're the biggest mover mostly because I had been slow-playing them for a while. I originally had Yale in the 13-hole, but gave the Stags a push based on their win against Ohio State. Harvard-Yale is going to be a show in the first round of the Ivy League Tournament.
- 17-20: Your guess is as good as mine. I ended up leaving Lehigh exactly where I had them last week based on beating Navy and Army. I held on to Princeton despite seriously considering putting Penn State in that spot. I'm gambling on a Drexel move based on what the team has done in its winning streak and the Dragons' potential in the THUNDERDOME! Tournament.