Testudo Times Roundtable
NCAA Tournament Edition
Q: What do you think of Maryland men's basketball getting the No. 5 seed in the South regional?
Bartley: They are right where they should be seeded.
Jake: As Patrick Stevens put it on Twitter, a 5 is right for Maryland because the Terps didn't mess up but didn't distinguish themselves either.
Todd: I'm not wholly convinced. To me it appears that one win or one loss weighs unduly heavily in the seeding. I just don't know what's there that jumps ISU to a four and drops Maryland to a five. However, assuming both win the first round game, the only difference between four and five is the color of your uniform in the round of 32.
Brian B: They may have deserved a four seed, but the difference between a four and a five seed is pretty minimal. I don't think it will have any effect on Maryland trying to make a deep run.
Andrew K.: Initially I was ticked off that Maryland got slotted as a 5 seed. But when Indiana also was chosen as a 5 and MSU wasn't given a #1 seed, I thought that the selection committee had taken a pedestrian view of the B1G. But it turns out that so do all of the pundits, as only MSU got any love from the analysts breaking down the brackets.
Noah: Maryland has only itself to blame. The Terps were inconsistent throughout the season and failed to get good wins away from home.
Sammi: I think the No. 5 seed is fine with me. Sure, the Terps are a great team with lots of talent, but due to their inconsistency and rough end to the season (not to mention their struggles on the road), I think their seeding is appropriate and has justification behind it.
Q: Our own Thomas Kendziora pointed out that Maryland shares a lot in common with the 2013 Michigan team that lost in the title game to Louisville. One of those commonalities is that both teams drew South Dakota State in their first game of the tournament. The Wolverines would go on to defeat Kansas in the Sweet 16. Is this something or nothing?
Bartley: It is just a coincidence, nothing more.
Jake: I see the similarities between the two teams, but there's a fundamental difference. John Beilein always has a plethora of 3-point shooters. Maryland does not.
Todd: I'm going with Bartley on this one. Coincidence.
Brian B: I think we are more like Baylor, who drew South Dakota State in the first round of the 2012 NCAA tournament.
Andrew K.: Coincidence.
Noah: I don't believe in coincidences! If the Terps are locked in, especially on defense, they have the talent to beat Cal and Kansas and make a deep run.
Sammi: It's an awesome coincidence, but I think they can go pretty far. They just have to keep it clean and consistent, and get in the mindset of winning.
Q: On a scale of 1-10, what is your level of confidence that Maryland makes the Sweet 16?
Bartley: Provided the team that played Nebraska shows up, the Terps will do well. I hope they really learned the do's and don't's from Saturday's game and execute what worked. If so, they will be going deep.
Jake: 7. That's mostly giving a bit to the potential tournament upsets that come, but I feel confident. They got a No. 12 seed that's not particularly threatening relative to who else they could have gotten. And Cal isn't a particularly imposing No. 4 seed.
Todd: I have no idea and this isn't a "Todd won't make a prediction" moment. I think Maryland will win the first round game, but the sentence I just wrote represents more than I could write about Cal or Hawai'i's men's basketball teams.
Brian B: 4. South Dakota State had an impressive win on the road this year against a Big Ten foe when they beat Minnesota by 14. Since the transitive property always holds true in sports, Maryland is pretty much boned right off the bat. I don't know much about Cal, but they won 8 of their final 9 regular season games, with a win over Oregon and the only loss coming at Arizona by 3 points. It appears the Golden Bears are kind of headed in the opposite direction of the stagnant Terps.
Andrew K.: 9 out of 10. I'm thrilled that most of the pundits are dumping on Maryland. It should put a huge chip on the shoulders of the Maryland players. Assuming that the Jackrabbits don't make jackassess of the Terps, Maryland's next opponent will most likely be Cal. They're a talented squad, but I think their lack of post-season experience will hurt them. I also think Robert Carter will take the Cal front men to school.
Sammi: I'm confident in them so let's go with an 8 out of 10. If Melo can show up and if the Terps play like they did against Nebraska in the Big Ten Tournament, there should be no problem getting to the Sweet 16. However, the biggest thing the Terps have to do is play like a team and control the game.
Noah: I will also say 8 out of 10. I think that this team can and should make the Sweet 16, but I wouldn't be shocked if Cal beat them either.
Q: What will Maryland have to do in order to beat Kansas if they meet in the Sweet 16?
Bartley: Defense, defense, defense, drawing fouls and making foul shots will make a difference.
Jake: Get Trimble and Sulaimon going at the same time, win the backcourt battle and play the kind of defense that they did against Michigan State.
Todd: If they score more points, that should do it.
Brian B: As my illustrious high school JV coach once said, "We have to put the ball in the basket more than the other team puts the ball in the basket." For those who are curious, we went 0-20 that season.
Andrew K.: The Terps have to shut down Perry Ellis and try to get him into foul trouble. They'll have to really crash the boards against the Jayhawks.
Noah: Brian B.'s JV coach sounds like he and Todd have the same coaching philosophy. I think Maryland needs to be focused on defense and rebounding. Kansas can beat you in a lot of different ways. On offense, Maryland's guards need to limit their turnovers and attack the basket. Jake Layman will be my X-Factor in this game.
Sammi: Defend, make their free throws and play like they did against Nebraska. If the Terps do that, they should be fine.
Q: Is Maryland men's basketball a Final Four team?
Jake: They have the talent. Just a matter of whether it all comes together.
Todd: I haven't seen anything that makes me believe that. I've seen instances where the sum of some teams is greater than the individuals. To me, from what I've seen of the Terps men's team this season, the opposite is true.
Brian B: No. Many of the elite teams are starting to put it together, and the Terps simply haven't. While I certainly hope a last second spark ignites the Terps to prolonged success in this year's tournament, I just don't see it happening.
Andrew K.: The potential is there. What prevents me from being super confident is that the Terps could have a game in which the team plays poorly in the first half, turning the ball over 10 times. Other than the MSU game, the Terps haven't fared particularly well after being down by double digits at the half. If they can avoid terrible starts, then this is a possible Final Four team.
Sammi: This question makes me grit my teeth. They are. They really are. They have the talent. The pieces are all there, but it's just a matter of putting those pieces together. The Terps need to have better starts to their games and they need to play better defense. That's what will make them a Final Four team.
Noah: Maryland is one of the most talented teams in the field, but I haven't seen the consistency and great guard play that this team will need in order to make it to Houston.
Q: Maryland women's basketball got the No. 2 seed in the Lexington Regional. Perennial powerhouse Notre Dame is the top seed in the region. The Fighting Irish have made the last five Final Fours and played in the title game in four of those five years. Notre Dame has also won four in a row against Maryland, three of them by 20 points or more. Should the Terps be happy with where they ended up?
Sammi: I think they should be happy. With the talent that's out there, it's a great place to sit. They've worked incredibly hard to get to this point and have been playing great basketball. Plus, they get to play those first two games at College Park.
Noah: Maryland is not in UConn's regional. That alone is reason enough for the Terps to be happy with where they ended up.
Q: The Terps have made two straight Final Fours. Will they make it three in a row this year?
Bartley: Yes, and I think they will be in the final and WIN.
Todd: Unlike Bartley, I don't have great confidence that the Terps will make a third straight trip to championship weekend. They need better guard play and need to limit their turnovers to have any chance.
Noah: Notre Dame is an elite team and the Fighting Irish have had Maryland's number in recent years. If Maryland limits its turnovers and gets the ball inside to Brionna Jones early and often, I think the Terps could make their third straight Final Four.
Sammi: I hope so, but again, it depends on how the team plays. Given Maryland's propensity for putting up points, the Terps should be just fine. However, they'll need to limit their turnovers and improve their defense if they hope to make a deep run.
Q: On a scale of 1-10, what is your level of confidence that Maryland women's basketball makes it to the national championship game?
Bartley: 10. There is something about them that just feels really good to me. Let's hope I am right.
Todd: Bartley, I do hope you're right. However, at 2.5, I don't share your confidence level.
Brian B: 4 or 5, it all depends on who they might run into along the way.
Noah: 7. This team went toe-to-toe with UConn in what was essentially a de facto road game. Ending up on the opposite side of the bracket from the Huskies is a huge boon for Maryland. The Terps are a big, deep and talented team that can definitely make it to the title game.
Sammi: Let's go with a 5. I hope they do great, but again, they need to fix the little things that can make a big impact. If they stop turning the ball over, maintain possession and come out ready to play game in and game out, their chances will be better.