After going 26-6 in the regular season and being ranked eighth at the seasons end, the Maryland Terrapins have not only received a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, but they have also been placed in the toughest region in the country.
They did lose in the semi-finals of the Big Ten conference tourney to Michigan State, but that does not mean they deserve to essentially be placed as the 16th-best team in the nation. They will have a tough road in head of them, and it will start on Friday against Valparaiso.
This is where senior Dez Wells and junior Jake Layman are going to have to use their experience to their advantages. Although the round of 64 won’t be such a tough challenge for Maryland, their next game might be. With a victory in the first round, their next opponent will be either Buffalo or the very dangerous Mountaineers.
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The West Virginia men basketball team holds an overall record of 23-9 this year, and poses as the strongest No. 5 seed in the nation. That is likely what the Terps will be dealing with if they get that far.
If they win that game, then their next opponent could potentially be the mighty Kentucky Wild Cats, who are the only team in the nation that has yet to lose a game this season. There is a good chance that this will not end well for Maryland, considering that no one has beaten them yet. Although there is a first time for everything, I don’t think the Terps would prefer Kentucky as an opponent in the sweet 16.
The top four teams in the midwest region are as follow: Kentucky Wild Cats (1), Kansas Jayhawks (2), Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3), and the one and only Maryland Terrapins (4). That is a tough lineup. West Virginia and Butler follow with the strong Wichita State Shockers standing at No. 7.
The Shockers are undoubtedly the best No. 7 seed in the nation, losing only four games and being ranked No. 12 overall in the nation. That doesn’t sound like No. 7 seed materiel to me.
The thought process heading into selection Sunday was that the Terps would receive a No. 3 seed and at the very worst be placed into a region other than the midwest. The worst case scenario occurred for Maryland, and they will have to deal with it.
Maryland will have an extremely tough task at their hands, and the journey will begin on Friday. Get out your pens, print out your brackets, and let’s get this party started!