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Maryland Vs. Duke: What Does Terps' Loss Mean For NCAA Tournament Chances

The Maryland Terrapins squandered yet another chance for a marquee win, falling to No. 5 Duke for the second time this season in the worst home loss in the history of the Comcast Center. The loss dropped the Terps to 14-8 and just 4-4 in a weak ACC. So is there any realistic chance they can reach the NCAA Tournament?

The answer? Maybe, but they have a lot of work to do to make it happen.

Maryland's resume at this point is not anywhere close to being NCAA Tournament-quality, even with four additional spots open. The Terps were not in the latest edition of the SB Nation projections, and that was before this loss to Duke. The Terps' RPI is 78 right now, which is not close to where they need to be to make the tournament. The Terps are 11-0 against teams ranked below 100 in the RPI, but just 3-8 against teams in the top 100 and 0-7 against teams in the top 50. Those three wins against Top 100 teams are against College of Charleston (87) at the buzzer at home, Clemson (58) by two at home and Penn State (59) on the road. 

The easiest way to make the tournament is to keep winning, and Maryland has an opportunity to do just that. They can get to 20 regular-season wins by winning six of their last ACC games, and a couple wins in the ACC Tournament pushes them to 22. In that case, it may be hard to keep Maryland out. However, they desperately need wins against fellow ACC bubble teams if they want to make those wins count.

Here is the rest of their schedule.

 

  • 2/5 vs. Wake Forest (241)
  • 2/9 vs. Longwood (324)
  • 2/12 at Boston College (62)
  • 2/15 at Virginia Tech (41)
  • 2/20 vs. N.C. State (99)
  • 2/23 vs. Florida State (46)
  • 2/27 at North Carolina (17)
  • 3/2 at Miami (89)
  • 3/5 vs. Virginia (122)
Contrary to what it may seem, chances to get "marquee" wins do remain. A win at North Carolina would be good for the NCAA resume, as will wins against Virginia Tech, Florida State and potentially Boston College. But the Terps have backed themselves into a corner where they need those wins, and even then, it might not be enough. If the Terps win all three of those games (a tall order), they will still be at best 3-7 against the top 50.

That will mean that the Terps will also need a good performance in the ACC tournament to have a chance. Otherwise, they will suffer a similar fate to recent ACC clubs that were close to 20 wins, but didn't have the power numbers to get into the tournament.