After a crazy first day of March Madness, the Maryland Terrapins will get set to start their tournament at 4:40 this afternoon against the Crusaders of Valparaiso. But before we get into the matchup that will take place later today, let’s discuss yesterday’s action for a little.
The round of 64 started with a great contest, as the No. 3 seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish squeezed out a victory against No. 14 Northeastern. However, the luck ran out for Notre Dame’s kind, as the next two No. 3 seeds would fall to their No. 14 seeded opponents.
The Iowa State Cyclones, who were ranked number three and picked by many to reach the final four, dropped a one-point game to the UAB Blazers. That in itself left very few brackets intact, but after No. 3 Baylor fell to the No. 14 Georgia State Panthers just about a half-hour later, there were very few brackets not busted at that point in time.
Garnet and Cocky
After day one of the wild action, only 273 out of the 11.57 million brackets submitted into ESPN this year remain perfect. That comes out to a percentage of exactly .0023. Just to sum up how low of a number that is, even I had a perfect bracket after day one of last years Madness. I lost my perfectness after the second game this year, though.
Maryland will try to avoid an upset tonight against a strong No. 13 seed. Valpo forward Alec Peters is averaging 16.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this year, leading the Crusaders in both categories. They ended the season losing just five games, and are ranked eighth in the nation when it comes to shooting percentage against, as they have allowed teams to shoot as low as 38% from the field this season.
The Terps are making their first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2009, when Greivis Vasquez and Co. were knocked out my Michigan State in the round of 32. The last time they faced Valpo was in the 1999 tournament, where they were victorious by a score of 82-60 in the first round.
Maryland will be making their 25th NCAA tourney appearance this afternoon. They have fell in the first round just twice. They have also been to two final fours (in back-to-back years) and were crowned the 2002 National Champions. Doing that again will be some task.
Freshman guard Melo Trimble, averaging a team-leading 16.3 points per game, will try to help Maryland get their run off to a great start. And hopefully he can lead the Terps into late March or even April. But let’s take this one game at a time, and the next obstacle overcoming this team and the only thing that should be on their minds is Valparaiso.