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NCAA Tournament 2017: Maryland basketball writers attempt to fill out brackets

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Maryland Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. It’s NCAA Tournament Thursday.

Maryland and Xavier face off at 6:50 p.m. ET, but let’s not forget the 15 other games that constitute this pseudo-national holiday. Expect to see plenty of upsets and hear way, way too much of the CBS studio music. It’s tradition.

Today is also the day almost all of our “perfect bracket” pipe dreams get leveled to smithereens. We have over 250 people in our bracket pool (you can still join until noon). For at least the next few hours, we all have some semblance of confidence in our picks. Here’s my bracket, for example.

Actually, this bracket is dumb. It’s so dumb. Do you see this? I have Cincinnati going to the Final Four. Sure, maybe their physical style could mess up some of the high-flyers in the region, but all of them? Come on. I’ve named this bracket “lol what even are these picks.” My picks are dumb, but I can’t bring myself to change them. Because what if I’m actually right?

Anyway, Ryan did a bracket too. He decided on his picks pretty late, but here’s what he’s got. It’s surprising, really, how someone who writes about college sports for a living could possess such a lack of knowledge about college basketball. I have Gonzaga because the Bulldogs are the kind of No. 1 seed you can actually root for.

Matt Ellentuck: “This bracket is really trash because I put too much thought into it. My high hopes will get the best of me again. Also Justin Jackson will shut down lottery pick Jonathan Isaac in the Round of 32 even though I picked the Terps to lose.”

Here’s Lamar, who says: “I made these picks dying sick in bed clutching my computer. I have faith in my gut."

You’ll notice that all three of us have Maryland beating Xavier in what’s essentially a toss-up, but only Lamar has the Terps reaching the second weekend.

And then there’s Jared, who has them winning the whole damn thing.

His response: “Is this gonna happen? Not. A. Chance. But it's my first week here so I have to prove to everybody that I'm Jared Goldstein and I have Maryland Pride by having them beat Duke and UNC in Phoenix. (In real life, Kentucky over Nova.)”

Looks like we all went through the same process as this guy:

In other news

Here’s our preview for the Maryland-Xavier game, and here’s an exchange we had with SB Nation’s Xavier blog. (Here’s the flip side of that.)

Mike Francesa brought some hard-nosed #analysis about Maryland basketball to the airwaves.

In the middle of all this, we still wrote a football thing. Jared has five Maryland players who can help their case for the coming season in spring practice.

Our latest baseball roundtable discusses the Terps’ eight-game winning streak and loss at UNC that snapped it.

Old friend Dave Tucker joined our pre-tournament podcast.

Here’s espnW’s Michelle Voepel on Shatori Walker-Kimbrough as the senior enters her final NCAA Tournament.

Andrew Terrell is back on our screens for a Jay Bilas-esque interview with Jaylen Brantley.

We’ll be on Facebook Live before and after the game, hopefully with good things to talk about. Tune in on our page at 6 p.m., and like us if you don’t already.