Projected to be a No. 3 seed in Pittsburgh after finishing the Big Ten Conference tournament with a 27-6 record, a No. 8 national ranking and in second place in the conference, Maryland was made a No. 4 seed and put in the same Midwest bracket as the tournament's top overall seed, unbeaten Kentucky.
Now ranked 12th in the Associated Press' writers poll and winners of five straight games, the Terps arrive at Michigan State for their Big Ten opener as one of the biggest turnaround teams in the country.
It's almost showtime for Mark Turgeon and Maryland, who will make their Big Ten debut Tuesday at Michigan State, and there is every reason to believe they are ready to take the next step in what has been an amazing transformation.
This has not been a stellar start to the season for the Big Ten. Aside from winning its annual interleague competition with the Atlantic Coast Conference despite its ranked teams going 1-5, Maryland's new basketball breathren have not exactly lived up to their reputation among the nation's best.
Mark Turgeon said he expected some emotional hangover from his players after a draining two-day stretch that began with Maryland winning the CBE Hall of Fame Classic over No. 13 Iowa State on Tuesday and then finding out Thursday it had lost leading scorer Dez Wells for a month with a fractured right wrist.
With Evan Smotrycz's return from a broken foot seemingly imminent, it's going to be interesting to see how Maryland coach Mark Turgeon fits the 6-foot-9, 235-pound senior forward back into his team's rotation.
The Terps return to Xfinity Center Friday night against Monmouth (2-2) seemingly undaunted, in the midst of the program's first 5-0 start in eight years and on the cusp of its first national ranking in five seasons after beating Arizona State and No. 13 Iowa State.
Individually, Ravens right offensive guard Marshal Yanda and left offensive guard Kelechi Osemele solidify their spots on the offensive line. Together, they represent arguably one of the top guard tandems in the league
After just one NFL season, Osemele has learned that lesson already. A second-round pick in 2012, Osemele started all 16 regular-season games for the Ravens at right tackle, a position that he hadn't played extensively in several years. When the playoffs began, Osemele was shifted to left guard to accommodate McKinnie's insertion into the starting lineup.
Instead of delivering touchdown passes, the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player handed out ice cream sundaes. Admittedly, Flacco did so with much less confidence than he normally displays in the Ravens' backfield.
The month of November was an earthquake on the college sports landscape in Maryland. The big eruption, of course, came out of College Park on Nov. 19 when the flagship university announced that it was leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference – of which it was a charter member in 1953 – to chart a new course in the Big Ten Conference starting in less than two years.
Kelechi Osmele determined that he would play in the NFL. But before he could get there, before he could emerge as a potential rookie starter on the Ravens' offensive line and one of their most impressive preseason performers, Osemele was tried and tested.