Ever-expanding Big Ten adds Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse

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Johns Hopkins did not make the NCAA tournament for the first time in 42 years. (USATSI)

After 130 years as an independent and nine NCAA championships, Johns Hopkins’ men’s  lacrosse team will join the Big Ten in 2015 and become the conference’s first affiliate member.

The ever-expanding conference will add lacrosse as a sport that year and form six-team men’s and women’s leagues. Johns Hopkins’ women’s team will remain independent.

"This decision may represent the single greatest change in Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse in more than a century," Johns Hopkins president Ronald Daniels said, via the Baltimore Sun. "I am grateful for the thoughtful process that has led us to this historic place, and I am confident in the success of our shared endeavor in the years to come."

For the Big Ten, adding the Blue Jays men is a coup. They own the most wins in college lacrosse history and 44 overall national titles, and they made 41 straight postseason appearances until the streak ended this year. For Johns Hopkins, the move gives the team another way to qualify for the NCAA tournament -- as conference champ.

The Big Ten men’s league consists of Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. On the women’s side, Northwestern will be the sixth team. Maryland and Rutgers are set to join the Big Ten as full members next year.

"Johns Hopkins is an outstanding institution with a legacy of success in men's lacrosse that is simply unmatched in intercollegiate athletics," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Monday, via the Associated Press. "Lacrosse is an emerging sport among our current schools and is a long-held passion among our East Coast institutions."

Last week, Duke beat Syracuse for the 2013 men's lacrosse title.

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