Bubble Watch: Is Winning the ACC Tournament the Only Option for the Maryland Terrapins?
When the Maryland Terrapins beat the — then ranked two team in the nation — Duke Blue Devils on February 16th, the Terps seemed destined to make the NCAA Tournament. Since then Maryland has struggled, only winning two out of their next five, which included a horrible loss against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. That is a very bad way to build your tournament resume.
With an RPI of 68, only winning two of six games against teams in the top 25 of RPI, the Terps may have just hit the point of no return. With their only regular season game being against the Virginia Cavaliers, Maryland will have to do some serious damage in the ACC Tournament to be awarded a pair of madness dancing slippers.
In fact, they might have to win the whole thing to force their way into the tournament. It has as much to do with their horrible losses — Georgia Tech and the Boston College Eagles — as it does their lack of consistency. Had the Terrapins just taken care of Georgia Tech they wouldn’t be in a situation where a slew of wins was the only way to go dancing. While it might sound strange that one loss equates to needing to win multiple games, but that is actually the case.
Maryland won 13 straight games very early in the season and then sputtered around the rest of the way. Nobody told the Terps to lose to two bad teams. Not a soul asked them to be really inconsistent during their ACC schedule. Now they find themselves in a very precarious situation. Depending on who they play early in the ACC Tournament, winning it might be the only way to get a pair of those elusive slippers.
The Terrapins should actually root to get some quality teams early-on in the conference tourney. Beat a few tournament-quality teams in a row and winning-out will not have to be their goal. Maryland’s road to postseason entry continues on Sunday, when they try to right the ship against Virginia.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone