Bubble Watch: Maryland Terrapins Must Win ACC Tournament To Go Dancing
As the college basketball season extends later and later into March, the terms, “on the bubble”, “resume” and “RPI” become more and more synonymous with the term, “March Madness.”
Entering this season, the addition of former Xavier forward, Dez Wells, to a lineup that already featured a potential-filled Alex Len, had the college basketball world buzzing about the boys in College Park’s opportunity to compete with the powers of the ACC.
Maryland looked every bit as advertised as head coach Mark Turgeon’s club went 13-1 over a relatively weak non-conference schedule. But, the Terps slipped at the beginning of conference play, stumbling out of the gate to the tune of a 1-2 record.
Conference play got a little bit better for UMD as the season progressed, especially when the Terps upset then No. 14 NC State and then No. 2 Duke at home in the Comcast Center. With those two top 25 wins, Maryland has entered the discussion of bubble teams for the NCAA tournament.
But those two signature wins may not be enough.
Maryland ranks 70th in official RPI by the NCAA, and has registered bad losses at Boston College and at Georgia Tech in conference play. A 5-9 record against teams ranked in the Top 150 of ESPN.com’s RPI rankings isn’t too impressive either.
But, what may hurt the Terps the most is their, frankly, pathetic non-conference schedule. According to ESPN.com, UMD ranks just 302nd in the nation in non-conference strength of schedule.
As most of Maryland’s “on the bubble” competition boast non-conference strength of schedule rankings in the top 150, look for Maryland to be at home watching other teams dance this March—unless they can secure an upset win in the ACC tournament.