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Testudo Times Bracketology: Maryland basketball still a projected No. 5 seed despite rough week

Even after losses to Penn State and Michigan, the Terps remain comfortably in the field.

Maryland basketball Eric Ayala vs. Michigan Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

Well, it’s finally the best month of the year to be a college basketball fan. March means conference tournaments, round-the-clock bubble talk, and of course, carefully researching the perfect bracket before your champion loses in the first weekend (this has happened to me the last three years).

Even though Maryland is in a rut right now, the Terps are still comfortably in the postseason field. Maryland didn’t drop too much after consecutive losses and still has a solid NCAA Tournament profile. The Terps are 21-9 overall, ranked No. 27 in NET, No. 26 in BPI and No. 19 in KenPom, and they’re 6-7 in Quadrant 1 games and 6-2 in Quadrant 2 contests. I have them as a No. 5 seed in my latest bracket, and most bracketologists will likely have them in the No. 5 to No. 6-seed range when they update them following the weekend’s results.

If the season ended today, I would have Maryland headed to Hartford as the No. 5 seed in the West region, taking on Atlantic Sun regular-season champion Lipscomb in the first round. The Bison like to push the pace, are a good three-point shooting team, and as one of the better mid-majors in the field, would be a tough first round matchup for nearly any team. Whoever wins that game would face the winner of Virginia Tech-Hofstra with a shot to advance to Anaheim for the Sweet 16.

If the Terps advance to the second round, either team would be an intriguing matchup. The Hokies are a former conference rival that have been rising steadily under Buzz Williams, while the Pride played Maryland tough at Xfinity Center in November.

While it’s easy to place Maryland in the field, other parts of this bracket are anything but. The bubble has barely shrank since the beginning of February, and with an awful Pac-12 and a Big East that continues to cannibalize itself, it’s murky as ever. Add in a 15-14 Indiana team coming off consecutive home wins over Wisconsin and Michigan State, and the picture just keeps getting fuzzier. This is the weakest bubble I’ve seen in my four years predicting the bracket, but the committee still has to find 36 teams for at-large bids, which means some mediocre squads will make the field.

I’ve attached my bracket below, and as always, feel free to post any questions in the comment section and I’ll try to answer them as best I can. I attached a screenshot, and have it written down below in case it’s too small to read. The bracket reflects Final Four Pairing, so Virginia would play Kentucky and Gonzaga would play Duke if the seeds hold.

East (Washington, D.C.)

(1) Virginia (ACC) vs, (16) Norfolk St (MEAC)/Prairie View (SWAC)
(8) Wofford (Southern) vs. (9) Ohio State

(5) Iowa State vs. (12) Belmont (Ohio Valley)
(4) Marquette vs. (13) Vermont (America East)

(6) Villanova (Big East) vs. (11) Clemson
(3) LSU (SEC) vs. (14) Old Dominion (Conference USA)

Des Moines
(7) Texas vs. (10) Washington (Pac-12)
(2) Michigan State vs. (15) Loyola-Chicago (Missouri Valley)

Midwest (Kansas City)

(1) Kentucky vs. (16) Iona (MAAC) /St. Francis PA (NEC)
(8) Syracuse vs. (9) Oklahoma

San Jose
(5) Florida State vs. (12) Seton Hall/Arizona St.
(4) Wisconsin vs. (13) New Mexico State (WAC)

(6) Louisville vs. (11) St. John’s
(3) Kansas vs. (14) Texas State (Sun Belt)

(7) Auburn vs. (10) UCF
(2) North Carolina vs. (15) Colgate (Patriot)

West (Anaheim)

Salt Lake City
(1) Gonzaga (WCC) vs. (16) Sam Houston State (Southland)
(8) Iowa vs. (9) Ole Miss

(5) MARYLAND vs. (12) Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun)
(4) Virginia Tech vs. (13) Hofstra (CAA)

Salt Lake City
(6)Kansas State vs, (11) Utah State (Mountain West)
(3) Texas Tech (Big 12) vs. (14) South Dakota St. (Summit)

Des Moines
(7) Nevada vs. (10) NC State
(2) Michigan vs. (15) Montana (Big Sky)

South (Louisville)

(1) Duke vs. (16) Campbell (Big South)
(8) Baylor vs. (9) Florida

San Jose
(5) Mississippi St. vs. (12) Creighton/Minnesota
(4) Houston (AAC) vs. (13) UC Irvine (Big West)

(6) Cincinnati vs. (11) TCU
(3) Purdue (Big Ten) vs. (14) Harvard (Ivy)

(7) Buffalo (MAC) vs. (10) VCU (Atlantic 10)
(2) Tennessee vs. (15) Wright St. (Horizon)

Last Four Byes: NC State, UCF, TCU, Clemson
Last Four In: Seton Hall, Arizona State, Creighton, Minnesota
First Four Out: Georgetown, Indiana, Alabama, Temple
Next Four Out: Furman, Saint Mary’s, Butler, Xavier