The Maryland Terrapins had a pretty good season overall, but they definitely underachieved as a whole. Before the season started, many people projected Maryland to be one of the best teams in the country due to the roster upgrades, including a few key transfers and the addition of 5-star recruit Diamond Stone. They finished the season 26-8, which is fine, but with the roster they have, the Terps should have done much better.
None of their loses were terrible (other than the loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers), but they still did not do much during the season to prove that they deserved to be a high seed in the NCAA tournament. If they had won the Big Ten Tournament, they could have been looking at a three or four seed, but the Terps will have to settle for a five seed in one of the toughest regions.
The Terps will take on the No. 12 South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the first round and if the Terps win that contest, they could face off with either the No. 4 California Golden Bears or the No. 13 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. The Golden Bears are a No. 4 seed, and will not be an easy game for the Terps at all. They are led by many talented future NBA players like Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, and Tyrone Wallace, so it will not be an easy task for the Terps. Do not sleep on Hawaii either, who could upset the Golden Bears.
But before the Terps start thinking about the rest of their bracket, they have to focus on their opening game against South Dakota State.
A Quick Look At South Dakota State
South Dakota State finished the season 26-7 and they won the Summit League Conference Tournament. They are no stranger to the big dance, as this will be their third tournament appearance in five years. The team doesn't really have any notable wins other than a win over Minnesota, which is ironic because the Terps did lose to the Golden Gophers late in the season, but do have a decent resume overall.
The Terps should roll over the Jackrabbits, but it is still a team that the Terps should not treat lightly. The Terps did finish the season on a strong note by playing some really good basketball in the Big Ten Tournament. They were shooting the ball well, and Jake Layman had a pretty good tournament. Other than the game against the Michigan State Spartans, the Terps shot pretty well as a team, but they are going to need to play more consistently on offense if they want to make a deep run in the tourney.
The south region is stacked with some pretty good teams like the Kansas Jayhawks, the Villanova Wildcats, and the Miami Hurricanes, but the Terps only really have to worry about teams like California and South Dakota State for the first weekend. The team does have a shot to make some noise in this region because of players like Melo Trimble and Diamond Stone. Stars tend to takeover March, and Maryland is going to need a couple of their star players to step up big time.
The Terps will take on South Dakota State on Friday, and they will hopefully avoid an upset, but it is March so expect anything.