The Washington Times - May 3, 2009, 10:39PM

You’d think a team that’s seeking its fourth national title in 11 seasons might have entered the postseason as a serious favorite a fair amount.

You’d be wrong.

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Virginia, recipient of the No. 1 seed (and a Sunday date with Villanova) in the NCAA lacrosse tournament, took the top spot for only the third time in the event’s 38-year history.

The Cavaliers were also the top seed in 1980 (finalist) and 2006 (champions).

“I thought there were a couple other teams that would make a similar argument, but it speaks to the body of work over the whole year,” Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. “I’m not sure there’s a more challenging thing to do in sports than start as No. 1 and finish up that way. We’re proud of what we’ve done, but all that goes behind us now.”

By the way, it’s no shock that Johns Hopkins and Syracuse have plenty of top-seeded teams to their credit. Here’s a look at the schools that have taken the top spot entering the postseason in tournament history:

11: Johns Hopkins (1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1995, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)

7: Syracuse (1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 2000, 2001)

5: Maryland (1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1987)

4: Cornell (1971, 1975, 1977, 1978)

3: North Carolina (1982, 1991, 1993)
3:
Virginia (1980, 2006, 2009)

2: Duke (2007, 2008)
2: Princeton (1996, 1997)
2: Loyola (1998, 1999)

Patrick Stevens