Sunday night, the NCAA released the field of 19 teams that will compete for the 2014 National Championship. Eleven of those teams come from conferences with automatic qualifiers and eight teams receive at-large bids. While the Terrapins received the number two overall seed, the balance of power clearly still remains in the ACC. Maryland's former conference placed six of its seven teams in the NCAA Tournament. Upsets in a number of conference tournaments likely knocked out some teams such as Michigan and Virginia that would have otherwise reached the field but likely had little impact on the top seeds.
The Tournament's top four seeds North Carolina, Maryland, Connecticut, and Syracuse will host first and second round (quarter final) games. The top three seeds, will play the winners of play-in games that match the six lowest automatic qualifiers. The play-in games will be played at Wednesday November 12 at campus sites. The round of sixteen begins Saturday and the quarterfinals will be played on Sunday the 16th.
Here is the complete bracket:
|FIRST ROUND||SECOND ROUND||SEMIFINALS||FINAL||CHAMPION|
|Saturday 11/15/14||Sunday 11/16/14||Friday 11/21/14||Sunday 11/23/14|
As noted above, the ACC led all conferences placing six teams in the field. Maryland's new conference, the Big Ten placed three teams in the field. The NorPac was the only other conference with multiple bids. The NorPac received its two bids when Liberty upset Stanford in the to win the conference tournament. Wake Forest was also an upset winner in the ACC. The combination of these two outcomes coupled with their semifinal loss to Northwestern in the B1G Tournament likely knocked Michigan and their number 10 RPI out of the field.
Because College Park will host the NCAA Tournament Final Four, Maryland has the opportunity to compete for a national title without leaving College Park. If the seedings hold, the Terps will host Wake Forest in their quarterfinal and defending National Champion Connecticut in the semifinal.