Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, forward Evan Smotrycz and guard Richaud Pack speak to the media after the Terps' 62-58 loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament at United Center in Chicago. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
It's been about two months since we started charting where the Terps fell on the latest NCAA tournament bracket projections, and finally Selection Sunday has arrived.
Of course, part of the appeal of tonight's festivities is that the NCAA's selection committee can have a different view than the experts, and surprises will happen. But the best we can do for now is check where some of the most respected bracketologists see the Terps slotted.
ESPN's Joe Lunardi has Maryland as the No. 3 seed in the East Region, facing No. 14 Northeastern in Pittsburgh on Thursday. Northeastern was one of four teams that tied for the CAA's regular-season title, and it was the Huskies who cut down the nets Monday in Baltimore as champion of the conference's tournament. In Lunardi's projection, the Terps could face regional rival Georgetown in the Round of 32, if the No. 6-seeded Hoyas beat a play-in winner (either Ole Miss or Temple). If the Terps survive the first weekend, they would play the regional semifinals/finals in Syracuse under this projection. A rematch with No. 2 Virginia would be the likeliest Sweet 16 game, with No. 1 Villanova looming at the top of the bracket.
Jerry Palm of CBS has a very similar projection posted Sunday morning. He also has the Terps as a No. 3 in the East Region (Syracuse) with opening games in Pittsburgh. He also has them starting off against Northeastern, but the Round of 32 matchup is different from Lunardi's. Palm has Maryland facing either No. 6 Providence or No. 11 Boise State if the Terps advance to Saturday. (The Terps beat Providence in a preseason tournament last year, but obviously that was a far different Maryland team.) Palm has Duke as his No. 2 seed in the East, meaning the Terps could see their old ACC archrival in a Sweet 16 game (as opposed to old ACC rival Virginia). Like Lunardi, Palm has Villanova as the No. 1 seed in the East.
Patrick Stevens, the renowned bracketologist who these days makes his picks for Syracuse.com, has Maryland as the No. 3 seed the South Region, which plays its regional semifinals and final in Houston. He still has the Terps starting out in Pittsburgh, though, facing No. 14 Northeastern. That feeds into a hypothetical Round of 32 game against either No. 6 Georgetown and No. 11 Boise State. Gonzaga looms as the No. 2 seed in that bracket, with Duke at No. 1.