The Terrapins made a change two years ago and reaped the benefits, as a Kevin Willard-coaching team returned to the NCAA Tournament last season. With the Big Ten in slight disarray this season, could the Terrapins get right back to the Big Dance or are they part of that disappointment?
Initially, they were certainly a big part, as Maryland lost three-straight games very early in the season, including Quad 3 games to Davidson and UAB. They weren’t presented with many opportunities in nonconference play, losing by 17 points to Villanova while also getting a road win at UCLA that isn’t impressive at all at this point.
Big Ten play has been an up and down affair for the Terrapins. The clear highlight was their monster upset at Illinois a few weeks ago, paired nicely with a Quad 1 win at Iowa just last week. They sit just 5-5 in the league, with tough outings on the road against Indiana and Maryland and a few other heartbreakers.
At this point it’s going to take a strong back half of conference play. Maryland is just 13-8, at .500 in Big Ten play, and have as many Quad 1 wins as Quad 3 losses on the resume. What makes matters trickier is how difficult the schedule becomes in the coming weeks, though it’s also an opportunity for Maryland to get back into the bubble conversation.