Maryland’s disappointing 17-15 season hit a new low Sunday night, when the Terps were excluded from the 32-team field for the National Invitation Tournament.

Despite finishing with a .500 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season (9-9) for the first time in Mark Turgeon’s three years — and ending the regular season with an upset of then-No. 5 Virginia at Comcast Center — Maryland’s early season struggles likely cost the Terps a bid in the postseason tournament.

Losses at home to Boston University, which was given a spot in the field as the Patriot League regular-season champion, and Oregon State were blemishes on a record that saw the Terps beat only one team — the Cavaliers — ranked in the top 50.

It marks the second time in Turgeon’s three years — and the third time in the past four — that the Terps were excluded from playing in either the NCAA tournament or the NIT.

That hadn’t happened since Gary Wiliams inherited a program from Bob Wade that was about to go on NCAA probation and was banned from playing in the postseason for two years after Williams led the Terps to the NIT in his first year in the 1989-90 season.

Maryland was a No. 2 seed a year ago in the NIT and reached the semifinals, losing to Iowa at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Carroll Williams, the chairman of the NIT selection committee, said on ESPN after the selections were made that the number of automatic qualifiers (13) limited the number of at-large teams from major conferences. The Terps were among a number of teams that were left out because of the large number of automatic qualifiers.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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