With last Saturday’s 9-7 win against No. 15 and Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia, No. 4 Maryland improved to 7-1 and joined No. 5 Cornell (9-1) and Marist as the Division I teams with the fewest losses this season.
The Terps have upcoming contests against Navy this Friday, No. 12 Johns Hopkins on April 13, No. 17 Yale on April 20, the ACC tournament on April 26-28 and Colgate on May 4, but barring some upsets, it would seem that the team has compiled enough wins to earn an at-large spot in the NCAA tournament.
But Maryland’s tournament resume is not something that coach John Tillman has been considering.
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“I think for us right now, we’re more focused on playing better,” he said during his weekly conference call Tuesday morning. “We’ve got to fix some things and work out some things. What you don’t know – in terms of the teams that you played – is where they’re going. You just don’t know what Hartford’s going to do now. You’re not going to know what Virginia does down the stretch. All those teams are going to have games that can go one way or the other, and that may improve their resume and that may not. Our focus has really been on us. All of that stuff sorts itself out.”
The Terps wrapped up their ACC schedule with a 2-1 record, which is the first time since 2009 that the program finished with an above-.500 mark in the conference. Now the coaches and players get to sit back and watch the Cavaliers (5-5) take on No. 3 North Carolina (7-3) this Saturday and No. 2 Duke (8-4) on April 12 and determine the seeding for the conference tournament.
Sitting back isn’t usually in Maryland’s DNA, but Tillman said he has no problems with wrapping up the ACC schedule earlier than the team’s league rivals.
“I really don’t have a preference,” he said. “If you played those games late, you’d have late games where maybe the weather would be a little bit nicer. If you get done with it early, you get done with it early. We’ll have two weeks here against two really traditional rivals, which are always exciting for the players but also for the fans and alums. We’re able to get all the conference games which are always great and get the rivalry games. When we play them, I don’t think makes much of an impact.”