The 2016 NCAA Tournament field has been announced.
Maryland certainly has talent, but has been placed in the South Region for a potential Final Four run. The South Region is arguably one of the deepest in the 68-team field.
The Terrapins start off with a very lethal team out of the Summit League in South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits won 26 games this season and can shoot the lights out, so this will be no easy task.
If Maryland can knock off South Dakota State, they will get the winner between No. 4 seed California and No. 13 seed Hawaii.
California is a similar story to Maryland as the Golden Bears boast a starting lineup of NBA talent. Guard Jaylen Brown and forward Ivan Rabb led the way for a group that finished third in the Pac 12, which sent seven teams to the NCAA Tournament.
If California and Maryland were to square off, it would certainly be must-see television. Between the two teams, there could be up to eight players that could hear their names called in the 2016 NBA Draft,
If the Terps can knock off the Golden Bears, a date with No. 1 seed Kansas could await them.
Cincy on the Prowl
The Jayhawks have No. 16 seed Austin Peay in the Round of 64. The Governors may have only recorded an 18-17 record this year, but they were able to win the Ohio Valley Tournament to gain an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
While anything is possible, it’s very likely that Kansas will be facing the winner between No. 8 seed Colorado and No. 9 seed Connecticut. That will be an intriguing contest because the Huskies have a ton of momentum from winning the AAC Tournament this past weekend.
If UConn can somehow beat Colorado and upset Kansas, it will set up another matchup with Maryland. The Terps defeated the Huskies 76-66 in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 9.
If it’s Kansas, Maryland will have a very tall order, but does have the pieces to hang with and even knock off the Jayhawks.
The bottom half of the South Region features No. 2 seed Villanova and No. 3 seed Miami (Fla.) along with No. 6 seed Arizona and Big Ten counterpart Iowa at a seven-seed. While Villanova is often one of the most loaded teams in the field, the Wildcats have had a knack for bowing out early on in recent years.
If they beat UNC-Asheville, a matchup with the Hawkeyes or another Philly school in Temple awaits. The bottom half of this region is wide-open, so there’s no telling who Maryland could get.
It would sure be something if both Iowa and Maryland put their recent struggles behind them and met for the right to go to the Final Four.