The Washington Times - March 29, 2009, 09:56PM

Just wrapping up for the night here in Indy, and figured it would be a good time to post my Inside Lacrosse ballot for the week.

March is a tough time, simply because the attempt to cover two (and with spring football, really three) sports at a time isn’t easy. And sometimes, you miss some great moments.


Such as yesterday’s seven-overtime thriller between Virginia and Maryland, the longest game in NCAA history.

Clearly, Virginia is the best team in the country as March turns into April. But the Cavaliers aren’t the sort of dominant regular-season team seen over the last three seasons (Virginia in 2006, Duke in ‘07 and ‘08).

That’s three one-goal victories for Virginia (Syracuse, Hopkins and Maryland) —- all against top-10 type squads. And while sometimes those close encounters don’t catch up with a team (think 2005 Johns Hopkins and its propensity to feel comfy in tight situations), the odds are a team will lose when it places itself in that scenario enough.

So here’s a prediction for the final two months of the season: Virginia will stumble at least once. Maybe against North Carolina. Maybe against Duke. Maybe in the ACC tournament. Maybe in the NCAA tournament.

But this isn’t 2006 all over again, and those three close calls already in the books portend at least a few more dangerous games by the time Memorial Day rolls around.

Onto the ballot, plus five extra teams:

1. Virginia (11-0)
2. Syracuse (7-1)
3. Notre Dame (7-0)
4. Princeton (7-1)
5. Cornell (6-1)
6. Maryland (6-3)
7. Duke (8-3)
8. UMBC (6-2)
9. North Carolina (8-3)
10. Johns Hopkins (3-4)
11. Hofstra (6-1)
12. Brown (7-1)
13. Colgate (6-3)
14. Albany (5-2)
15. Navy (7-3)
16. Massachusetts (5-3)
17. Harvard (5-2)      
18. Fairfield (5-2)         
19. Loyola (5-4)                    
20. Army (5-5)           

21. Denver (6-4)
22. Bucknell (5-5)
23. Towson (4-4)
24. Georgetown (3-5)
25. Ohio State (5-4)

—- Patrick Stevens