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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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Maryland women's basketball commits to using platform for change

Maryland women's basketball commits to using platform for change

The University of Maryland women’s basketball team collectively added its voice Friday to those condemning social injustice and racial inequality in America.

In a video posted to the team’s official Twitter page, members of the team took turns reading pieces of a statement that the team also posted to Twitter.

“For far too long, we have seen social injustice and racial inequality continue to tear our nation apart,” said the players after expressing condolences to the families of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality. “Enough is enough. We will not be silent. We ARE and we MUST continue to speak up to advocate for all black lives.

“We should not have to fear the loss of loved ones because of skin color. We should not have to fear that one of our names could be added to the list of lives lost. We will fight as long as we have to for justice. It is our obligation to build a just and equal future for generations to come.”

The players were joined by head coach Brenda Frese in reciting the statement, which acknowledged the team’s respect for police men and women but said “there have to be consequences for actions for everyone, regardless of occupation.”

The team joins other Terps athletics squads in addressing social injustices, including the football team on Tuesday. In its statement, the football team outlined a plan for how it will be a leader in creating change. Likewise, the women encouraged people to become informed, raise awareness, sign petitions, donate, practice their rights and vote.

“We come from different backgrounds, communities, cultures and experiences,” said the team. “We are united in using our platform to generate change as ONE team, ONE family and ONE Maryland.”

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Maryland announces plan for football players to return to campus, resume workouts

Maryland announces plan for football players to return to campus, resume workouts

Maryland football players will be allowed to report back to the team’s facilities as soon as Monday, the athletics department announced in a press release Friday.

After the players each undergo a complete physical exam, mental health screening and COVID-19 education session, the team will hold voluntary individual workouts starting June 15 to begin preparing for the 2020 season.

“Our gradual, phased approach prioritizes the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff,” Athletics Director Damon Evans said in a statement. “We remain optimistic about the return of fall sports, and this plan will serve as our cautious and considered roadmap to the resumption of athletic competition.”

The state of Maryland and Prince George’s County have each begun loosening the health protocols they were forced to enact in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, Maryland officials decided they could begin “Phase 1” of reopening the school’s athletics department.

Workouts will be held outdoors with players subject to daily wellness checks, which include a “symptom questionnaire” and temperature checks. All players, coaches and staff will be required to wear facemasks with the team providing them if needed. None of the players will be required to attend the workouts and opting out would not have any affect on a player’s scholarship status.

The press release noted that “the plan is subject to change as health conditions and guidance from health officials continues to evolve” but there is no timetable in place for when the school would take the next step in further reopening the athletics department.

There was no mention of any plan for when fall student-athletes outside the football program would be able to resume team activities as well.

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