With Maryland only playing one game this past week, not much has changed in regards to NCAA Tournament seeding. The win at Nebraska is currently a Quadrant 1 win, but wasn’t enough to move the needle.
The Terps are now 18-6 overall, and moved up to 23rd in the NET, 22nd in BPI and 19th in KenPom this past week. They’re 4-4 in Quadrant 1 games and 6-2 in Quadrant 2, which when combined with the metrics listed above means they’re safely in the tournament field.
CBS’s Jerry Palm has Maryland as a No. 6 seed, FOX Sports’s Howie Schwab has Maryland as a No. 7 seed, and ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and Sports Illustrated’s Michael Beller both had the Terps as a No. 6 seed heading into this weekend. I also have the Terps as a No. 6 seed, heading to Hartford to play No. 11-seed Syracuse (gulp). The Orange have overachieved in recent NCAA Tournaments thanks to their signature 2-3 zone and would be going up against a team that struggles against zone defense. Maryland did see it in the Carrier Dome last year, but it wasn’t exactly promising.
Whoever wins that matchup would advance to play the winner of No. 3-seed Marquette and No. 14-seed Bowling Green, with the winner going to Washington, DC for the Sweet 16. Even with the nightmare first game, this would be an ideal scenario for Maryland, who would stay on the east coast for the first two weekends.
Unlike last week, the Terps have two big opportunities to improve their seeding. A home game at Purdue and a road game at Michigan are both Quadrant 1 games and won’t be easy. The Boilermakers have won eight straight games and are the hottest team in the Big Ten, while the Wolverines are undefeated at home and are one of the best defensive teams in the country. Two wins would move Maryland back into the top 16 discussion (and probably out on the West Coast for the first weekend), but the odds of that happening are incredibly slim.
The selection committee announced its top 16 seeds for the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, so I’ve tried to keep my bracket as close to that based on the results since then. Like last time, the regions are matched in Final Four pairing, so Duke would play Gonzaga and Tennessee would play Virginia in the Final Four. Feel free to post any questions you have in the comments, and I’ll try to answer them.
EAST (Washington, D.C.)
(1) Duke (ACC) vs. (16) St. Francis PA (NEC)/Monmouth (MAAC)
(8) Baylor vs. (9) Buffalo
(4) Nevada (Mountain West) vs. (13) Hofstra (CAA)
(5) Virginia Tech vs. (12) New Mexico State (WAC)
(3) Marquette vs. (14) Bowling Green (MAC)
(6) MARYLAND vs. (11) Syracuse
(2) Michigan State vs. (15) Texas State (Sun Belt)
(7) Kansas State vs. (10) Alabama
Salt Lake City
(1) Gonzaga (WCC) vs. (16) Sam Houston St. (Southland)
(8) TCU vs. (9) Washington (Pac-12)
(4) Louisville vs. (13) Vermont (America East)
(5) Texas Tech vs. (12) Davidson (Atlantic 10)
(3) Houston (AAC) vs. (14) Northern Kentucky (Horizon)
(6) Florida State vs. (11) Butler/Minnesota
(2) North Carolina vs. (15) Radford (Big South)
(7) Auburn vs. (10) Wofford (Southern)
(1) Tennessee (SEC) vs. (16) Prarie View A&M (SWAC)/Norfolk State (MEAC)
(8) Clemson vs. (9) Oklahoma
(4) Wisconsin vs. (13) Yale (Ivy)
(5) Villanova (Big East) vs. (12) Belmont (Ohio Valley)
(3) Kansas vs. (14) South Dakota State (Summit)
(6) Iowa vs. (11) Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun)
(2) Michigan (Big Ten) vs. (15) Loyola-Chicago (Missouri Valley)
(7) Texas vs. (10) Ole Miss
MIDWEST (Kansas City)
(1) Virginia vs. (16) Bucknell (Patriot)
(8) Ohio State vs. (9) Saint John’s
Salt Lake City
(4) Iowa State vs. (13) Old Dominion (Conference USA)
(5) LSU vs. (12) Seton Hall/Nebraska
(3) Purdue vs. (14) UC Irvine (Big West)
(6) Mississippi State vs. (11) Indiana
(2) Kentucky vs. (15) Montana (Big Sky)
(7) Cincinnati vs. (10) NC State
Last Four Byes: Ole Miss, Alabama, Syracuse, Indiana
Last Four In: Butler, Seton Hall, Minnesota, Nebraska
First Four Out: Arizona St., Creighton, VCU, UCF
Next Four Out: Utah State, Temple, Florida, Oregon