The Maryland men's basketball team has spent the last few weeks projected as a No. 2 or 3 seed in March's NCAA Tournament, a seeding that belies what's most often been a higher ranking in weekly polls.
But in a new seed list out on Saturday, ESPN's Joe Lunardi has Maryland on the top bracket line, as the No. 4 overall seed in his bracket.
Saturday seed list (CAP=AQ): 01-OKLA, 02-NOVA, 03-Kan, 04-Md, 05-UNC, 06-UVa, 07-IOWA, 08-Xav, 09-ORE, 10-Wvu, 11-MichSt, 12-Miami, 13-UK...— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 13, 2016
...14-IowaSt, 15-DAY, 16-A&m, 17-Purd, 18-Texas, 19-Zona, 20-Usc, 21-NDame, 22-Bay, 23-Duke, 24-SoCar, 25-Prov, 26-WICH, 27-Flor, 28-Ind...— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 13, 2016
...29-Utah, 30-ZAGA, 31-Cal, 32-Colo, 33-Pitt, 34-Mich, 35-VALP, 36-Conn, 37-Vcu, 38-StJoe, 39-MONM, 40-Cuse, 41-Hall, 42-Wash, 43-Lsu...— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 13, 2016
...44-TEMP, 45-FlaSt(L4), 46-StMary(L4), 47-Butler(L4), 48-Cinc(L4), 49-SDSU, 50-UALR, 51-STONY, 52-CHATT, 53-AKRON, 54-YALE, 55-SDAKST...— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 13, 2016
...56-HAW, 57-UNCW, 58-BELM, 59-SFA, 60-UAB, 61-NMST, 62-UNCA, 63-MONT, 64-UNF, 65-BUCK, 66-TEXSO, 67-HAMP, 68-FDU.— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 13, 2016
Lunardi projects six Big Ten teams will dance.
Conferences: ACC (8), Pac-12 (7), B12 (6), Big Ten (6), Big East (5), SEC (5), A-10 (3), American (3), WCC (2).— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 13, 2016
Still, Maryland is probably heading for a not-exactly-ideal bracket placement unless the Terps finish ahead of Villanova. The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 1 nationally, a spot ahead of Maryland, and would figure to take the top seed in the East regional. That would result in a No. 1-seeded Maryland being shipped away – perhaps all the way to the West.
Or it could lead to the Terps playing a de-facto road game in the Elite Eight against Villanova if the teams wind up in the same 16-team set. (The East's Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games are in Philadelphia this year, minutes from the Villanova campus.)
Maryland hosts Wisconsin on Saturday night.