ESPN’s bracketologist Joe Lunardi released his latest NCAA Tournament bracket projection this week.
Lunardi has Maryland as a No. 3 seed in the Midwest region of the bracket, pitted against the Wright State Raiders of the Horizon League. The potential second-round matchups are the Xavier Musketeers of the Big East and the Houston Cougars of the American Athletic Conference.
The only teams seeded lower than Maryland in the Midwest region are Louisville and Gonzaga, who are the respective No. 1 and No. 2 seeds.
The Terps were a No. 3 seed and also matched up against Wright State in Lunardi’s previous bracketology from November 15. Maryland had been a No. 2 seed in the eyes of Lunardi as recently as two weeks ago.
In between Lunardi’s November 15 projected bracket and his November 22 projected bracket, the Terps went 2-0 with blowout victories against Oakland and Fairfield and elevated to No. 6 in the AP Poll. It is very likely that the wins did not diminish Lunardi’s opinion of the Terps, rather other teams have had more impressive victories and tougher schedules to start the year.
Based on the AP Poll, it seems that Maryland should be a No. 2 seed, but Lunardi opted to place Virginia, Gonzaga and Ohio State ahead of Maryland.
Lunardi said that his next bracketology will not be released until after Thanksgiving, which means that the Terps win over George Mason and its trip to Orlando provide ample opportunity for upgraded seeding in the next bracketology update.