Maryland clinched the outright Big Ten Championship last Saturday following an 12-5 win over Johns Hopkins. The top-seeded Terrapins will take on No. 4 Penn State in Thursday's first Big Ten Tournament semifinal, followed by second-seeded Ohio State facing No. 3 Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays, Terrapins and Nittany Lions all clinched their third straight Big Ten Tournament berths, while host Ohio State will be appearing in the annual conference tournament for the second time.
The 2017 Big Ten men's lacrosse All-Conference teams and individual award winners were announced on Tuesday, with Maryland's Matt Rambo earning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors from the conference's coaches. The Terrapins' Tim Muller was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year, Ohio State's Jake Withers earned Specialist of the Year honors for the second consecutive year, while the Buckeyes' Tre Leclaire was named Freshman of the Year. Maryland mentor John Tillman received Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.
Johns Hopkins won the inaugural Big Ten Tournament Championship in 2015, while Maryland won the second annual event last season.
Five Big Ten teams currently rank among the top 12 of the NCAA RPI. No. 1 Maryland leads the way, followed by No. 4 Penn State, No. 5 Johns Hopkins, No. 7 Ohio State and No. 12 Rutgers. Michigan is rated No. 21 in the RPI.
In conference games only, Maryland's Connor Murphy led the Big Ten with 3.60 goals per contest, while the Terrapins' Matt Rambo paced the conference with 5.6 points and 2.8 assists per outing. Ohio State's Jake Withers led the Big Ten with 8.4 ground balls per game, while Maryland's Dan Morris posted a goals against average of 9.02, the lowest among goalies that appeared in all five Big Ten games.
For the first time in the three-year history of Big Ten men's lacrosse, four conference teams have won 10 or more games. Maryland secured its 15th straight double-digit win season in the finale against Johns Hopkins, the longest-active streak in the nation.