On what turned out to be an unpredictable Selection Sunday, the Maryland Terrapins were assigned a #5 seed and placed in the South Regional Bracket. As a 5-seed, the Terps are set to play the #12-seeded South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Friday in Spokane, Washington. Tip-off is set for approximately 4:30 on TBS, though start time is dependent on the California-Hawaii game.
Given the team’s inconsistent play down the stretch of the season and a 1-5 record against top-25 teams, this was not a bad draw. Geographically, however, this is not an ideal situation for Maryland and their fans. As big as Terps Nation is, Washington is all the way across the country and Louisville (where the Sweet 16 will be played in the Southern bracket) is over 600 miles away from campus, making it a difficult trek for many fans, students, or alumni.
Also of concern are the possible matchups the Terps may face if they advance past the first round. On the path to the final 4, the Terps can possibly face a NBA-prospect laden California team, the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks, or the very solid Villanova Wildcats. That is a tough slew of games for any team to get through, especially in the high pressure tournament away from a fanbase. But if any team has enough talent to pull it off, the Terps are on the very short list of teams that have the ability.
Coach Turgeon’s Outlook (quotes from dbknews.com):
“You have five or six teams that are really, really good and everybody’s going to say these are the five or six that can win the national championship.Then you have teams like us that can get hot and are talented enough to get it done.”
He’s right. To win big in the tourney, your team is either too good for opponents or on an unbelievable hot streak. Although many people no longer consider the Terps to be apart of those elite teams, Turgeon’s squad definitely has the talent to match those five to six teams he’s referring to. But to beat them, Maryland has to be focused, as the coach stated.
“If our guys lock in, they’re really good. So if they can figure out how to lock in for two games this weekend, they should play well.”
Turgeon knows it’s about one game at a time, and if his team comes to play, they will find themselves in the Sweet 16, and possibly further.
“We’ve been shooting for this all year. So we’re excited and looking forward to it.”
Expectations have been high from the get-go, and it’s time to get the party started…