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Maryland Terrapins NCAA Tournament Primer

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“Expect the least” and “Sweet 16 should be possible” both appear in this article. Buckle up.

NCAA Basketball: Maryland vs Illinois Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 2019 Off Tackle Empire NCAA Tournament Primers! Over the next two days, we plan to preview the bracket and draw for each Big Ten team in the Big Dance.

[6] Maryland Terrapins NCAA Tournament Primer

Round 1: vs. [11] Belmont Bruins

Round 2: vs. [3] LSU Tigers, [14] Yale Bulldogs

Sweet 16: [2] Michigan State Spartans, [15] Bradley Braves, [7] Louisville Cardinals, or [10] Minnesota Golden Gophers

Regional: [1] Duke Blue Devils, [16] North Dakota State Bison, [8] VCU Rams, [9] UCF Knights, [5] Mississippi St. Bulldogs, [12] Liberty Flames, [4] Virginia Tech Hokies, [13] Saint Louis Billikens

Maryland vs. Belmont

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL
Thursday, March 21 | 2:10pm | TruTV

Boilerman Breakdown: Here’s the thing about Belmont. If you can slow them down, you’ve got a good shot. Purdue was able to control pace and held them to 28% from beyond the arc. Up to that game, they had been averaging well over 85 ppg but they weren’t blowing anyone with a pulse out.

DJ Carver: I will only say this about Belmont: The TruTV announcers were jizzing themselves over the Belmont center. It’s not hard to score against someone who is playing with their hands down, almost guarding in a screen position. I’m much less terrified about how Bruno Fernando guards somebody than how Maryland guards the perimeter play of a very good passing Belmont team. Maryland’s best play is to switch everything on the wing to minimize open shots from the arc and rely on Bruno and Jalen Smith to lock things down inside.

First Look:

Give us your initial impressions of their draw.

DJ: Woof, the East is an awfully tough draw. Belmont is no joke to deal with and they likely have LSU in the next round and MSU in the round after that if they go that far. That’s probably one of the tougher draws of the tournament.

That being said, Maryland should beat Belmont, and LSU is without their head coach after he failed to hide his bags of cash. S16 should be possible and MSU is a known opponent with the game being in Washington, DC. There are things going Maryland’s way for as tough a draw they received, but Mark Turgeon needs to take advantage. I don’t think Mark Turgeon has the ability take advantage of these things. Eight years has taught me to expect the least out of coaching ability.

MNW: It’s basically where we thought Maryland would be, but I’m not sure whether it’s to their benefit or detriment that they get a First Four team. On the one hand, a good chance for a coach to scout opponents’ play, but… … ...that coach is Mark Turgeon.

And, as I said in the Michigan State preview, LSU is immensely beatable. There’s a path to the Sweet 16 here, but I don’t know if I trust Maryland to do it.

B1G Scouting Report:

Has your team played anyone in their pod? Anything to look out for?

DJ: Maryland was crushed by MSU in a game where Nick Ward had less than five points. Need we go further?

UPSET ALERT:

What’s the most likely possible upset to involve this team?

DJ: Belmont over Maryland. Does BTT Maryland show up or mid-January Maryland? These are two very different teams but Maryland will need to get Fernando the ball early and often if they want to go past the first round of the NCAA Tournament, something they didn’t do in the BTT.

MNW: Unfortunately, it’s Belmont over Maryland.

Boilerman: Assuming they survive the Round of 64, I like Maryland to “upset” a coachless LSU team.

How far will they go?

DJ: Crazy bracket? S16, if you’re on some good stuff the E8 over MSU. I was really hoping that Temple beat Belmont because Belmont is a scary matchup for a slow paced Maryland team. I’ll go with the middle ground and say they lose to LSU in the Round of 32.

MNW: I’ve got Maryland bowing out in the first round to Belmont.

Boilerman: I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility to see Maryland in the Sweet 16 but reality says they’re not getting past a soon to be vacated loss against LSU.

Poll

How far can the Terps make it?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Round of 64
    (37 votes)
  • 18%
    Round of 32
    (35 votes)
  • 42%
    Sweet 16
    (79 votes)
  • 8%
    Elite 8
    (15 votes)
  • 2%
    Final Four
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Runners-up
    (0 votes)
  • 8%
    Champions
    (16 votes)
187 votes total Vote Now