Following a season in which Maryland basketball landed a No. 6 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the Terrapins are projected to take a slight step backwards this year, according to Sports Illustrated’s first bracket projection of the 2017-18 season.
In the projected bracket released Tuesday morning, Maryland is placed in the Midwest Region of the bracket as a No. 7 seed and pitted against the No. 10 seed Nevada Wolf Pack. The Wolf Pack finished last season as Mountain West Conference champions and received a No. 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where they put Iowa State on upset alert before falling 84-73 in the first round. This matchup would surely be a highly competitive game, but also a tough first round test for the Terrapins.
Overall, Maryland’s region is undoubtedly the most stacked of the four, as they are grouped with top-tier programs such as Wichita State, Kansas and Louisville, plus last year’s champions in North Carolina. If the actual bracket that’s released in March is anywhere similar to this projected one, it will be a daunting task for the Terrapins to reach the Final Four.
Though it’s hard to project what March will look like before a game is played, it’s fun to speculate.