March Madness

DMV native Jeff Green 'feels bad' for players unable to shine in 2020 NCAA tournament

DMV native Jeff Green 'feels bad' for players unable to shine in 2020 NCAA tournament

The NBA and NHL were suspended mid-season, Major League Baseball's start is postponed and among several more cancellations and suspensions in the sports world is the NCAA tournament. 

The NCAA canceled their national tournament nearly two weeks ago due to the coronavirus outbreak, taking away 67 games of March Madness action. 

In those 67 games are typically countless opportunities for the nation's top players to prove themselves on the biggest stage. Not only that, but mid-major stars who are rarely heard of throughout the season have a chance to vault themselves into national stardom. 

Those are the players, Houston Rockets forward and Cheverly, MD native Jeff Green feels for the most. 

"I feel bad for the kids," Green said to Chris Miller on the Wizards Talk Podcast. "The kids that shine through this tournament that have never been acknowledged through their career. There's always a handful of kids that stick out like, 'Oh man, I've never watched him play.'

"I look at CJ McCollum, who made his name at the tournament," he said. "It's kids like that I wish had the opportunity because this is what they live for."


McCollum was a superstar at Lehigh, a small program in Pennsylvania, but he truly made a name for himself by scoring 26 points as a freshman against Kansas in the 2010 tournament. 

Players like McCollum, as well as seniors like Maryland's Anthony Cowan Jr. and breakout stars such as Obi Toppin won't be able to show the world how good they are.

The impact on the 2020 NBA Daft remains to be seen. It's unclear how much weight scouts put into the tournament versus their own private workouts and combine interviews, but how many players will teams miss out on without the benefit of a tournament consisting of so many high-pressure scenarios?

Again, it remains to be seen, and that's Green's point. Those unknown mid-major starts will be challenged to get noticed before the draft. 

"It sucks because now [the players] don't know what to do because the opportunity is gone," he said. 

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Maryland Bracketology: Terrapins could be anything between a No. 2 and No. 4 seed

Maryland Bracketology: Terrapins could be anything between a No. 2 and No. 4 seed

Predicting seeds for the NCAA Tournament can be a complicated business. In a year like this one, rarely anything is taken for granted.

Bracketologists across the country lack a consensus on seedings. Typically, there is some consistency across bracket projections. But in a year full of upsets and top teams continuing to fall there is a lot unknown.

So with the Maryland Terrapins sitting at a No. 4 seed in several projected March Madness brackets, there is room for the Terps to climb based on their result in the Big Ten Tournament. 

Let's go ahead set expectations. All aspirations for a No. 1 seed evaporated for the Maryland Terrapins when they lost three out of four games near the end of the season. Not even a Big Ten Tournament title and a massive collapse from several of the other projected No. 1 and No. 2 seeds could get the Terps that high of a jump. 

As things stand heading in the Big Ten postseason, Maryland is 7-7 in Quadrant 1 opportunities - the selection committee's most important metric. All projected No. 1 seeds (Kansas, Baylor, Gonzaga, Dayton) are well above the .500 mark in that category. The two teams behind them (Duke and San Diego State) are going to finish above that as well even if the Blue Devils fall in the ACC Tournament. 

But a No. 2 seed is not out of the question. There is the potential that Maryland would get three more Q1 chances in the conference tournament. That could include highly valuable wins against Penn State, Michigan State or Ohio State, and Wisconsin. With the Big Ten being so dominant this season, only the Big East offers that rich of a path. 

Winning the Big Ten title is a given to try and achieve a No. 2 seed. The Terrapins will likely also need help too. A two or three team combination of Creighton, Florida State, Villanova and Duke will need to have an early exit in their respective tournaments. Without it, it would be tough to put Maryland over any of those teams with that resume. 

A Big Ten conference championship would lock them into a No. 3 seed at the very least. They'll surpass Michigan State, by virtue of another head-to-head victory or Michigan State getting ousted before Maryland even plays them. 

The two are on a collision path to play in the semifinals, so a runner-up finish would likely get them a No. 3 seed as well. Considering that there are three Big East teams and three ACC teams in direct competition, someone is going to fall before their championship games. 

A No. 4 seed is essentially as far down as they could place - No. 4 is where many bracketologists have Maryland currently. A win in the quarterfinals over anybody would lock that up.

Unless the Terps lost Nebraska, their resume is far superior over many of the teams sitting at the No. 5 seed. Many of those teams are at or near 10 losses on the year. Additionally, they have at least one really bad loss (Q3 or worse) going against them. Maryland hasn't lost a single game out of Q1.

It would take some major upsets across several tournaments to have the No. 5 seed be Maryland's future. 

So the Terrapins will slot somewhere between the No. 2 and No. 4 seed lines on Selection Sunday. A big discrepancy, but a lot of it in their control. 

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