COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA) -- Despite its best efforts, Maryland couldn't change the minds of selection committee on Sunday.
When the NCAA brackets were announced on WUSA 9, Mark Turgeon's Terps were not among the 68 teams selected.
Many of the Terrapin faithful thought that the team's performance in the ACC tournament proved that the team was finally ready to live up to their preseason hype. No matter how good they looked this weekend, there are things that happened during the regular season that doomed their fate.
1. Strength of Schedule
Turgeon is no fool. He played with the team he had inherited from Gary Williams a year ago and knew he had to soften the schedule if they were going to have a good record. I don't think he even thought he would be able to turn this roster around so fast that they could actually compete outside of the conference. Even if you add the games from the conference tourney, Maryland's schedule is still ranks an abysmal 93 in the nation.
2. Alex Len
Maryland was garnering a lot of attention this year and it was all because of the 7-foot sophomore. The projected NBA lottery pick was supposed to help the new look Terps dismantle the ACC. And after starting the season with a strong showing against Kentucky, Len seemed to fade away during parts of the year. So much so, that teams felt content to play him one on one instead of the constant double team that seemed to be in opponents' gameplans. As he became less aggressive, the Terps began to lose games and became unattractive to the selection committee.
3. The Bad ACC
This one is kind of out of Maryland's hands. They can't make the other teams in the conference better so that the ACC gets more bids. However, the fact they couldn't beat them didn't help either. I'm sure Turgeon can't wait to head over to the Big Ten and grab a better opportunity to get to the big dance.
4. Bad Losses
This ties into the last point. If you can't beat them, when march comes, you will join them -- on the couch or in NIT. No one expected the loss to Kentucky to be considered a bad one, but two tough losses to Florida State and on the road to Georgia Tech and Boston College are almost unforgivable. I mean, they beat a top ranked Duke team twice and that couldn't save them. Everyone has a bad loss or two, but combined with Maryland's other issues, it was the icing on the cake.
The Terps should get invited to the NIT and should be competitive if they have the same mindset they had during the ACC Tournament. Then, after that, Turgeon will work to improve a very young team with tons of potential and now have a reason to be hungry.