With just eight days until Selection Sunday and six until the Terps play in the Big Ten tournament, much of the talk surrounding Maryland basketball is about seeding.
Most knew -- with some exceptions -- the importance of the first step in determining the team's outlook as the Terps blew out Illinois on Thursday, which allowed them to clinch a double-bye in the Big Ten tournament. This meant they would drop no lower than the No. 4 seed.
"I didn't even know that." said Robert Carter Jr. "I had no idea. Only thing we knew is if Iowa had won we would have had a chance to tie for first. But I didn't know anything about byes or anything like that."
Frankly, the tournament isn't on the Terrapins' minds just yet.
There's been a rush to talk about seeding before Maryland plays its final game, a big one against the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington. Though there's no pressure in terms of losing their double-bye, game preparation won't go any differently for Mark Turgeon.
"I don't like that approach because then you set yourself up for embarrassment sometimes," said Turgeon. "I see what you're saying, we should go out there and play free and play hard. I hope we're excited, we're playing the league champion in their building, I think we've played all the top teams in their buildings this year."
After finishing Sunday's game, the Terps will have played the rest of the top eight teams in the conference, excluding the Hawkeyes, on the road. In nine true road games this season, Maryland is 4-5.
"It's the biggest challenge we have left this year because we won't play a team on a home court the rest of the year,"said Turgeon.
Though the outcome against Indiana won't move Maryland up or down much in terms of NCAA Tournament seeding, the team still has something to prove in Bloomington -- just an hour away from where the Big Ten tournament will be held in Indianapolis.
They have only come away successful on the road against top teams just twice: at Ohio State and Wisconsin. A win could provide a serious resume booster and up the team's chances to stay closer to home for the NCAA tournament.
Problem is, the Hoosiers have been red hot recently, winning over Purdue and Iowa. They've been bolstered by senior Yogi Ferrell, freshman Thomas Bryant and own the conference's second-best 3-point shooting percentage. This could end up being one of Maryland's toughest road games of the season.
There's no better way to track improvement than to do it against the a good team on the road in March. Maryland's final regular season game has importance that weighs heavier than any Big Ten tournament seeding could have.