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Photo: M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

From 1978 to 2009, five schools — Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, North Carolina and Virginia — won every Division I men's lacrosse national championship. Since then, they have won just three.

The state of play: Meanwhile, four first-time champions were crowned last decade — Duke, Loyola (Md.), Denver and Yale — and three of the current top 20 teams — No. 2 Penn State, No. 7 Maryland and No. 19 Ohio State — play in the Big Ten, a lacrosse conference that didn't even exist until 2015.

What's happening: Lacrosse has been the fastest-growing high school team sport for the past two decades and has expanded far beyond its east coast roots, but the number of men's D-I programs has remained relatively flat, especially compared to the women's game (75 men's D-I squads vs. 118 for women).

"With a larger talent pool to draw from and a similar number of programs competing for recruits, a lot more teams are now landing what used to be top-10 talent. It's kind of flattened that pyramid at the top and allowed programs like ours to climb the ladder."
Mike Murphy, Penn men's lacrosse coach, tells Axios

Between the lines: While football powers like Florida, USC and Oregon have added women's lacrosse programs in recent years, they haven't added men's teams partly due to Title IX.

  • "Vast football squads, without any female equivalent, must be balanced with several women's teams; creating another men's team only makes the math more difficult," writes NYT's Matthew Gutierrez.

The big picture: Michigan, Utah and Marquette are the only three big-time athletic programs that have gone D-I in men's lacrosse this century, but as the sport continues to grow in popularity, more could follow their lead.

Go deeper

24 mins ago - Sports

China pulls Celtics games after Enes Kanter criticizes Xi Jinping

Celtics center Enes Kanter. Photo: Jim Michaud/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

China will no longer stream Boston Celtics games after center Enes Kanter called Chinese President Xi Jinping a "brutal dictator" in a social media post over his government's repressive policies in Tibet, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Kanter's criticism of Beijing has sparked another round of trouble for the NBA in China, one of its largest and most restrictive markets.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's new venture could be peak SPAC

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Former President Trump last night announced plans to launch a digital media network called "Truth Social," and said it would go public via a SPAC called Digital World Acquisition (Nasdaq: DWAC).

What to know: So far, this is a joke. The press release didn't contain even basic information, such as the new company's CEO. In fact, the only execs mentioned are Trump (as chairman) and veteran TV producer Scott St. John as head of a subscription streaming service.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Tesla is outrunning the supply chain crunch

Expand chart
Data: FactSet and company release; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Tesla, citing a "structural shift" in demand for electric vehicles, reported its highest-ever quarterly profit of $1.6 billion and $13.8 billion in revenues despite supply chain problems.

The big picture: The company's third-quarter report says the chip shortage, port congestion and other woes have affected its factories but argues that "flexibility" and "ingenuity" are a counterweight.