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Maryland's Tournament Profile: Unpredictable Terps aren't the only frustrating NCAA Tournament team

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Maryland's Tournament Profile: Unpredictable Terps aren't the only frustrating NCAA Tournament team

Maryland will return to the NCAA Tournament in 2019 after missing the big dance in 2018.

A much-improved Terrapins squad, led by Anthony Cowan Jr. and Bruno Fernando, navigated through the brushes of the Big Ten and emerged as a team to contend for the league title. 

It also helps when your nonconference season was 9-2 with one of the losses to a future No. 1 seed, Virginia. 

Still, the Terps are inconsistent. Erratic play makes Bracketology projections difficult. There is no clear cut place for the Terps. Losses to Illinois and Penn State hurt to say the least and definitely dropped the team a seed line.

Good news from Terps fans is that there is not much to go but up the rest of the way.

Projected seed:

ESPN/ Joe Lunardi: No. 5 seed

CBS/ Jerry Palm: No. 5 seed

College BasketballTalk/ Dave Ommen: No. 5 seed

USA Today/ Shelby Mast: No. 5 seed

SB Nation/ Chris Dobbertean: No. 6 seed

Consensus is that Maryland is at the No. 5 seed line. Luckily for the Terps there really is nothing left on their schedule that could drastically drop them lower than the No. 6 that Dobbertean has them at. 

Quadrant I victories:

Minnesota (A) - NET: 56
Wisconsin (H) - NET: 17
Ohio State (A) - NET: 43
Nebraska (A) - NET: 71
Purdue (H) - NET: 11
Iowa (A) - NET: 41

The Terps are 6-7 against Quadrant I teams this season, 15-2 against everyone else.

Bad Losses:

Seton Hall (H) - NET: 63
Illinois (N) - NET: 92

One thing that benefits Maryland is that they do not have many bad losses. Really, the only one is the neutral site loss to the Fighting Illini, which still is a Quadrant II loss.

Comparable Teams:

Iowa State (20-9, 9-7 Big 12) - They have their fare share of big victories this season (vs. Kansas, @ Texas Tech, @ Kansas State), however they are consistent too. They also have a bad, neutral site loss against Arizona that drags them down. The Cyclones are also on the No. 5/ 6 seed line. 

Florida State (23-6, 11-5 ACC) - Some questionable losses to Pittsburgh and Boston College really killed a solid top 4 seed for the Seminoles. Florida State is not much different than the Terps, they're 5-4 in Q1 games and 18-2 against everyone else. No losses are below Q2.

Kansas State (22-7, 12-4 Big 12) - An early loss to Tulsa had many looking past the Wildcats this year but they could end up being Big 12 champs. Sure, the win against Kansas isn't exactly the same this year, but they've been impressive in marque matchups.

Villanova (22-8, 13-4) - Consistently inconsistent are the Wildcats this year. Just when it looks like Villanova could move into the top tier of the sport, they lose to Georgetown. That sounds oddly familiar (i.e. Maryland and Illinois).

Teams the Terps are competing against for seeding:

Marquette (23-6, 12-4)
Wisconsin (20-9, 12-6)
Kansas State (22-7, 12-4)
Florida State (23-6, 11-5)
Nevada (26-3, 13-3)
Virginia Tech (22-6, 11-5)
Mississippi State (21-8, 9-7)
Cincinnati (25-4, 14-2)
Villanova (22-8, 13-4)

Seed Ceiling: No. 3 seed

There are clear tiers during the 2018-19 season and already it has shaped for Maryland to be in the second tier of the Big Ten (behind Michigan and Michigan State). Even with Maryland running the table, and winning the Big Ten Tournament, the highest Maryland could climb in the NCAA Tournament is a No. 3 seed. That would also take some luck and other teams to fall.

No matter what madness may happen in conference tournaments, there is no way Maryland could go higher. They just simply do not have the wins and results that North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas Tech or even Kansas put up this year.

Realistically, if the team can win a Big Ten quarterfinal, perhaps a semifinal contest, they will climb to a No. 4 seed. Other than that they are locked into a No. 5 seed. 

Seed Floor: No. 7 seed

Falling to a No. 7 seed would be a crazy scenario. It would require the Terrapins to lose to Minnesota in the regular season finale and also lose to a bottom four team in the league tournament. 

Cincinnati would also need to win the American, Louisville and Auburn make a run in the ACC and SEC tournaments and no other team on the No. 5-6 line fall to a bad team.

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The Terps turned Hawks are hyped for these College Park G-League team uniforms

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The Terps turned Hawks are hyped for these College Park G-League team uniforms

The Atlanta Hawks' G-League affiliate unveiled their new uniforms for next season, and Maryland Terrapins everywhere have just found their new favorite developmental team. 

The College Park Skyhawks, who are entering their inaugural season, came out with uniforms that have Maryland alumni salivating. The Hawks have three former Terps on their roster, Alex Len, Kevin Huerter and 2019 NBA second round pick Bruno Fernando. Huerter took to Twitter to show his approval. 

The classic red, black and gold colors illuminate the Skyhawks' new threads resemble both Maryland and Atlanta's uniforms from years past. The Hawks announced they would move operations to College Park, GA from Erie, PA in February.

Len has been a serviceable backup center during his six-year NBA career. He averaged 11.1 points per game and started 31 games in his first year as a Hawk after five seasons with the Phoenix Suns. Huerter had himself a terrific rookie season, garnering Second Team All-Rookie honors. The 6-foot-7 shooting guard averaged 9.7 starts in 59 starts. 

The anticipation will be high from Hawks fans and Terps alike to see all three players out on the court at the same time come next year. Fernando, the 6-foot-10 Angola native, will provide athleticism and highlight reel dunks from the power forward position. 

With Len and Huerter joining the Hawks last season before drafting Fernando, the city of College Park took only a couple years to infiltrate Atlanta's ranks. Given Maryland has been ranked high in college basketball preseason polls, it will be interesting to see if the College Park to Atlanta pipeline continues. Whatever happens, the Skyhawks jereseys are awesome. 

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AP Top 25: Terps bounced from rankings following Temple loss, Cavaliers move up the charts

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AP Top 25: Terps bounced from rankings following Temple loss, Cavaliers move up the charts

California and Arizona State moved into the AP Top 25 college football poll to give the Pac-12 six ranked teams, the most for the conference in almost four years.

A weekend filled with blowouts left the top half of the AP media poll presented by Regions Bank mostly unchanged.

Clemson remains No. 1, with 57 of the 62 first-place votes, as the top nine held their spots Sunday. Alabama was No. 2, receiving five first-place votes, followed by Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Auburn and Florida.

The ninth-ranked Gators were the only top-10 team to play a competitive game. The others won by a combined 428-97.

Utah, the highest-ranked Pac-12 team, moved up to No. 10. The last time the Pac-12 had six ranked teams was Nov. 8, 2015.

POLL POINTS

The Pac-12 took a fair amount of grief the first week of the season after it suffered a few upsets to Mountain West teams and Oregon let a potentially big victory slip away against Auburn.

Now the conference has had a mini-resurgence, despite issues with some of its typically strong teams.

Stanford started the season ranked, but is 1-2 after getting dominated by UCF on Saturday. Southern California had a brief stay at the bottom of the rankings last week, falling out after losing in overtime at BYU on Saturday.

Overall, the results were OK this past weekend for the Pac-12. The conference went 8-4 in nonconference play, including Arizona State's victory at Michigan State and Arizona beating Texas Tech. Though Colorado's loss to Air Force put the Pac-12 at 4-4 against the Mountain West this season.

Utah is in the top 10 for the first time since November 2015.

IN

No. 25 TCU also joined the rankings this week for the first time this season. The Horned Frogs beat Purdue 34-13 in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Saturday.

OUT

--Michigan State fell from the rankings after its 10-7 loss to Arizona State. The Spartans were swept in a home-and-home by the Sun Devils the last two seasons by a combined 26-20.

--Maryland is out after one week. The Terrapins went from scoring 63 in a victory against Syracuse to losing 20-17 to Temple.

--The next three games for USC are against Utah at home, at No. 22 Washington and at No. 7 Notre Dame.

CONFERENCE CALL

For a second straight week, the Southeastern Conference has three top-five teams and half of the top 10.

SEC -- 6 (Nos. 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 17).

Pac-12 -- 6 (Nos. 10, 16, 19, 22, 23, 24)

Big Ten -- 5 (Nos. 6, 11, 13, 13 (tie), 18).

Big 12 -- 3 (Nos. 5, 12, 25).

ACC -- 2 (Nos. 1, 21).

American -- 1 (No. 15).

Mountain West -- 1 (No. 20).

Independent -- 1 (No. 7).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 7 Notre Dame at No. 3 Georgia. Return match from Georgia's 20-19 victory in South Bend, Indiana, two years ago.

No. 11 Michigan at No. 13 Wisconsin. Fox's first Big Noon game which is both big and starting at noon.

No. 8 Auburn at No. 17 Texas A&M. The whittling starts in the SEC West.

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