For the fourth consecutive season, the Maryland men’s basketball team won’t be going dancing.
The Terrapins are going to have to settle for the National Invitation Tournament for the second season in a row. Obviously, there’s still a few more shoes to drop with conference tournaments on Saturday and Sunday.
According to the latest projection by BracketMatrix, Maryland is now predicted to face Georgia in a four-five matchup with the Terps being the road team. The Bulldogs fell to Kentucky in the SEC tournament semifinals on Saturday and have a 19-13 (12-6 SEC) record. Georgia finished third in the regular season standings.
The Bulldogs only have two players that average double figures in sophomore guards Charles Mann (13.5 points-per-game/4.2 rebounds-per-game/3.1 assists-per-game) and Kenny Gaines (13.3/2.4/1.0). Georgia is a strong rebounding team (37.6 rebounds-per-game), which ranks 47th in the country. Obviously, the Terps struggle at times on the glass, so this would certainly be an intriguing matchup. Even more interesting is the fact that Maryland would be in the same region with Georgetown. A potential matchup with the Hoyas would certainly have some juice and maybe get talks flowing for a series between the two local schools.
On Friday, BracketMatrix had the Terps in the four-five matchup with Maryland traveling to Marquette for the opening round of the NIT. The Golden Eagles have an identical record to Maryland with a 17-15 (9-9 ACC) mark. Marquette finished sixth in the 10-team Big East.
The Golden Eagles fell to Xavier in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament this past week. They have balanced scoring with senior forward Davante Gardner (14.9 points-per-game), senior forward Jamil Wilson (11.7 points-per-game), and junior guard Todd Mayo (11.3 points-per-game) all being heavily Marquette doesn’t have too many marquee wins as they lost to the likes of Wisconsin, Creighton, and Villanova.
All signs point to the Terps being selected to play in the NIT somewhere. Coach Mark Turgeon’s group has wins over Providence and Virginia and no losses against teams ranked outside of the RPI top 100. It also helps that the Friars defeated Creighton to win the Big East tournament and the Cavaliers are facing Duke on Sunday for the ACC tournament crown. Obviously, it’s great for Maryland to keep playing and getting all the experience they can. It’s still a relatively young team and having more experience would be huge with four youngsters coming to College Park this summer. Getting to play in New York City would be a tremendous accomplishment considering the up-and-down season that the Terps have had.