After posting a 24-8 record across the regular season and the Big Ten Tournament, Maryland basketball is headed to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 6 seed in the West Region.
The Terps will play No. 11-seed Xavier at 6:50 p.m. Thursday. This was the very last matchup announced on Selection Sunday, and with Maryland needing an at-large bid, things were starting to get tense.
“Once we weren't in the lower part of that bracket, I knew we were gonna be one of the last names called and my heart was coming through my sweater,” head coach Mark Turgeon told reporters Sunday evening. “You never know, there's no guarantees, but I was 99 percent sure were in.”
Maryland had been one of the first teams announced in each of the past two seasons, so the Terps weren’t used to waiting so long. It turned out to be worth it, though. Turgeon and his team went crazy when their name was called.
“To see all the teams go, and all the different seedings of our league, we didn’t really know where we were gonna end up,” freshman guard Kevin Huerter said. “It seemed like for almost every single announcement, we were on the tip of our toes, thinking this could be us.
“I think as it got on, we were a little nervous we weren’t gonna get in, so when they finally announced our name, it was a great moment.”
Even when a tournament berth is expected, it’s always satisfying. Maryland has made it to the dance three years in a row, which is worth at least acknowledging.
“I hope no one takes this for granted,” Turgeon said. “This is hard to do. That’s three years in a row, and we weren’t even picked to be in this tournament, I don’t think, at the start of the year.”
In other news
The women’s basketball team gets to go through a similar process Monday night. This squad is guaranteed a bid and will most likely end up as a 2-seed, but ESPN is televising the watch party at Xfinity Center. The show starts at 7 p.m. ET.
Maryland baseball swept a Sunday doubleheader with Bryant, winning games 9-2 and 4-0. That completes a three-game series sweep and a perfect five-game home stand. The Terps will take an eight-contest winning streak into Chapel Hill to face No. 13 North Carolina on Tuesday.
We’re still trying to find out what’s in Maryland’s Under Armour box, although Notre Dame might have given us a pretty good hint.
Maryland was the No. 23 overall seed, just five spots down from last year.
Here’s our old friend Alex Kirshner on how the committee punished the Big Ten for having a not-very-good season.
Wichita State got disrespected a whole lot by the selection committee. Read that, plus a bunch of other things from our wonderful overlords at SB Nation.
Finally, we’ve added Jared Goldstein to our team. He’ll be doing a little bit of everything for us going forward, so welcome him aboard!