Why Maryland should make the NCAA tournament

* An 8-8 record in the ACC. Since the NCAA tournament was expanded to 64 teams in 1985, only one ACC team with a .500 league record has not gotten in (Virginia in 1992).


* The ACC will get a minimum of five bids. With a 25-point loss to Wake Forest Friday, and a 7-9 regular season conference record, Georgia Tech slipped behind the Terps and become the league's "bubble" team.

* The Terps have beaten two -- and possibly three -- ACC teams that will have gotten bids, including a season sweep of Wake Forest. Maryland also has non-conference victories over two automatic qualifiers (Rider and Loyola) and no bad losses.


* The power rating of the ACC, which has had two teams in the top five all season. Though Maryland did not beat North Carolina or Duke, they played both teams relatively close in all four games.

* Joe Smith. One of the top freshmen in the country and a first-team all-ACC player, Smith is the type of burgeoning star that the tournament likes to spotlight.

Why Maryland might not make the NCAA tournament

* After a 12-3 start, the Terps lost eight of their last 12 games.

* No victories over a current Top 25 team (the Terps beat then-No. 15 Georgetown in the season opener and beat then-No. 12 Georgia Tech).