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College basketball bracketology: Maryland drops in latest projections following Minnesota loss

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Maryland had a chance to climb the seed line last week after several teams ahead of it suffered losses. But then the Terps lost to Minnesota, making all of that irrelevant.

Sung-Min Kim

Last Wednesday, the Terps were given a golden opportunity to take advantage of losses by several teams ahead of them in NCAA Bracketology projections. Oklahoma, Iowa and North Carolina all lost, meaning if Maryland could defeat a Minnesota team that was winless in Big Ten Conference play, as well as handle a Michigan team at home later that week, they could be knocking on the door for a No. 1 seed.

Instead, Maryland suffered its worst loss of the year, by far, losing to the Gophers 68-63. That loss was really bad for a lot of reasons. It prevented Maryland from being able to capitalize on losses by other teams ahead of them in terms of NCAA Tournament resumes, but it also gave Maryland its first bad loss of the season. Prior to the Minnesota loss, the worst defeat Maryland had suffered this year, according to Ken Pomeroy's rankings, was on the road against Michigan, which is ranked 48th in KenPom.

Let's take a look at Maryland's Tournament resume as of Wednesday:

Maryland Terrapins, 23-5, (11-4 B1G)

RPI ranking: No. 10

Ken Pomeroy ranking: No. 20

Coaches Poll: No. 9

AP Top 25: No. 10

Top-50 wins (via KenPom):
No. 9 Iowa (home)
No. 16 Purdue (home)
No. 25 Connecticut (neutral)
No. 37 Wisconsin (road)
No. 48 Michigan (home)

Loses outside top 50 (via KenPom):
No. 162 Minnesota (road)

Maryland has a chance to pick up two more top-20 wins in the regular season, but both games are on the road (at No. 16 Purdue and at No. 19 Indiana). If Maryland wants to ensure a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament, the Terps need to win two of their final three games, but even that doesn't guarantee a double bye.

The Terps probably have virtually no shot at a No. 1 seed after the Minnesota loss. Even if they win out and win the Big Ten Tournament, there still might be four teams with a better resume ahead of them. It's not impossible, but it's also close to it. If the Terps can win two of their final three and win a game or two in the B1G Tournament, depending on who they face, they should be either a No. 3, perhaps a No. 2 seed when the bracket comes out in two and a half weeks.

Here's where Maryland stands as of today. Maryland's average seed, according to bracketmatrix.com, is 3.25. The highest any bracket has the Terps right now is a No. 2 seed and the lowest is a No. 5 seed. 

CBS Sports Bracketology

Maryland is currently a No. 3 seed in the West, where they would face UNC Wilmington. We all remember what happened the last team those schools faced off in the NCAA Tournament.  Oklahoma is the No. 1 seed in the region, where Oregon is the No. 2. It also includes Duke as the No. 4 seed, Purdue as the No. 5 seed and UConn as the No. 9.

ESPN Bracketology - Joe Lunardi
The world's favorite bracketologist has Maryland as a No. 3 seed in the Midwest, where Kansas is the No. 1 seed. In Lunardi's projection, Maryland would once again be facing UNC Wilmington. Other notable schools in the region include North Carolina at No. 2 (call this the Mark Turgeon Connection Bracket), the Monmouth Bench at No. 11, and Arizona at No. 4.

Sports Illustrated Bracket Watch
Maryland is a No. 3 seed in the South, where old ACC friend Virginia is the No. 1 seed.

Sporting News Bracket projections
They don't project out regions, just seeds. Maryland checks in as a No. 3 seed.

RealTimeRPI Bracket Projections, Men's basketball
Based on RPI alone, Maryland would be a No. 3 seed in the East, where Villanova is the No. 1 seed.

Bracketology: NCAA Tournament bubbles are bursting all over the country - SBNation.com
Maryland is a No. 3 seed in the South, where Oklahoma is the No. 1 seed. The Terps would face off against Yale in the first round.

Bracket Brad's Big Board - Yahoo! Sports
Brad Evans has Maryland as a No. 3 seed.