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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's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Maryland's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Darnell Savage is the third NFL draft prospect profiled in our series ‘I Am the Prospect’. Download the MyTeams App for all three features.

Darnell Savage Jr. spent four seasons wowing fans in College Park as a defensive star for the Maryland Terrapins, and in April he found out he’ll be taking his talents to Wisconsin after being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Now, his future in Green Bay is officially official.

As Schefter mentions, Savage is the first first-rounder to sign a contract in 2019. It will be the standard length of first-round draft picks, going four years guaranteed with a fifth-year option. Reports are that the speedy, hard-hitting safety will earn $12.5 million over the first four seasons of the contract.

There were some questions about Savage’s fit in an NFL defensive backfield, given his size. But he is an athletic player with great instincts for the ball, and his statistics were thoroughly impressive the last two seasons in college. The Packers certainly believed he would be a terrific fit in their defense, considering they traded up to the 21st pick in order to make the selection.

Savage should have a great opportunity to start early in Green Bay, and now that he’s signed his contract so early, he’ll be able to get to work sooner rather than later. Knowing Savage, that’s just the way he wants it.

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

Thursday night will be a very important moment in the life of former Maryland linebacker Tre Watson.

At midnight, the highly-anticipated Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame will hit the big screen for general audiences to see, bringing the conclusion to a decade worth of popular films. Watson, like millions of others, has been counting down the days until he could see the Avengers and Thanos go at it one more time.

Oh, and Thursday also marks the beginning of the 2019 NFL Draft, where Watson will most likely hear his name called at some point over the three-day span.

While Watson will be tuning into the draft that night, he understands that his moment of recognition may come a little later on in the week. Therefore, Thursday is all about 'Avengers'.

"Fortunately, you know, I'm kind of realistic. I know I'm not going to be a first-round pick," Watson said in an interview on NFL Network. "So I'll just be watching that just kind of for the formality of it, I'm definitely excited for 'Avengers' and then I kind of will springboard into Day 2 and Day 3 where I'm hoping to hear my name called. It's really a perfect set up for me, honestly."

This isn't the first time that Watson has let it be known to the world that he is a dedicated Marvel fan. His Twitter feed is filled with thoughts on the movie, including a tweet from a few months back that took the internet by storm.

The first round of the draft still does have some intrigue for Watson, as his former teammate Darnell Savage Jr. has gained a lot of steam during the draft process and has a chance to be chosen on Thursday night. However, Watson will hope that Savage's name is called earlier in the night rather than later, as he will need time to get to the theatre to prepare to watch  Captain America and company save the day one last time. 

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