The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

3/12/2007 10:55:37 PM This is Turtle Soup's virgin NCAA Tournament.  After three seasons, we have finally popped our Tournament cherry.    When I wrote my first piece in October 2004, I predicted that the defending ACC Champion Maryland Terrapins would go to the Final Four.

Who could have imagined that it would take three years (and three different websites) before we would even get into the dance?  Regardless, we are here.

On to the issues of the day.

One thing is for sure about the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee: they have always been kind to our Terps.

I do not know what it is, but can you recall a instance when Maryland got a lower seed then they deserved?  Sure, you can argue that not getting in the last two years made up for it, but I have to say, I like our draw and am grateful for the #4 seed.

I am still terrified of Davidson.  But, as has been mentioned on this blog by some readers, I'll take my chances needing to beat two mid-majors on the way to the Sweet Sixteen.  Seriously, who would you rather play in Round 2: Kentucky or Butler?  Ask Kansas what they think.

Now, I won't mention round 2 again. It does not exist. The Terps need to focus on Davidson.  Our boys are quicker, bigger, and faster.  Regardless, Davidson will make us earn it.  This Curry kid scares me, but I will take my chances with Gary Williams at the helm.  He has been here so many times before.

Maryland has an outstanding record in the first round.  19-2 for those keeping score.  Sure there have been the Santa Claras, College of Charlestons, and UNCWs, but on the whole; Gary always has the boys ready to play.

I wanted to write about our chances of making a run in this Tourney, but I can't bring myself to do it.  I just can't live with the negative karma that such talk produces.  There will be no counting of chickens on this blog!
Davidson, Davidson, Davidson.  That is all Maryland fans need think about.

I will however prognosticate  about the rest of the field.

I'm down on Winthorp (We demolished them remember?). I'm high on Texas A&M.  I'm down on Texas because everyone else is picking them for the Final Four.  (In life, go against the consensus as often as possible.)

One team that is an 11, 12, or 13 is going to the Sweet Sixteen.  Mark it down.  My guess is VCU.  They get what I think is an easy game in Round 1 against Duke.  Can you believe they gave Duke a #6 seed?  What does this team have to do to be in the bottom half of the bracket?  They beat no one of significance all year besides Georgetown and if they met again, who would be betting on?   I can't wait to see Duke get bumped in Round 1.

In terms of projecting the field, my one piece of advice is to go with the teams that seem to have fallen in seed based on one late season slip up.  (see Nevada, UCLA).  Go against the teams that had a ridiculous run in their conference tournament to sneak in with a bid; or get bumped up in seed a few extra notches. (see Arkansas, Miami OH,and, Oregon).

As for me, look for me at the United Center on Friday night.  I'll be in one of the skyboxes (it's good to be in sales sometimes) rooting against Kansas.  Why go to a sub-regional if you aren't going to root for upsets?

Go Terps.
ncaa tournament

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