After missing out in the first reveal of the season, Maryland women’s basketball appeared in the top 16 of the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s newest rankings, released Thursday night.
If the season ended now, the Terps would be the No. 13 overall seed and would host the first and second rounds of the tournament. They are currently slotted in the Spokane region, joining No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 5 Oregon and No. 12 Georgia as the other top-four seeds. Maryland won the Spokane regional in 2015, knocking off Duke and Tennessee to reach the Final Four.
UConn was once again the overall number one seed, with Mississippi State and Louisville joining the Huskies and Fighting Irish on the one line. Michigan was the only other Big Ten team in the committee’s rankings, checking in at No. 15. Ohio State and Rutgers both dropped out of the top 16 after appearing in the committees’ initial rankings on Jan. 18.
It looks like the committee was impressed enough with Maryland’s win over Ohio State to look past flaws in its resume. The Terps are just No. 23 in RPI, which is fourth among Big Ten teams, and their No. 81 strength of schedule is just the 12th-best in the 14-team league. The Terps also have just three wins against top-50 teams; only No. 14 Missouri has fewer wins among members of the top 16.
However, Maryland still has plenty of chances left to build on its resume. The Terps still have five games left against teams in the RPI top-50, not including the Big Ten tournament. They also have five of their last seven games on the road, and road wins are usually valued more by the committee. Four of Maryland’s final opponents are also dancing close or are on the bubble, so they will be important games for them as well.