The Washington Times - February 23, 2009, 10:48AM

Time to return to a little ploy from last month, which is the blind resume taste test.

Well, not entirely blind, because I’m letting you know which set of stats belongs to Maryland.

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But from here to Selection Sunday (or, as long as Maryland remains relevant for the NCAA tournament discussion), this seems like a decent little idea

In short, it’s a comparison between the Terrapins and another borderline postseason team. Some will be better than Maryland. Some will be worse. And some might be recycled in two weeks, because resumes can and do change.

So here we go with the first of two or three comparisons for today (data courtesy of collegerpi.com):

TeamMarylandMystery 
Record17-916-10
RPI5249
SOS2816
Noncon. SOS
12955
Top-503-73-8
100+9-113-2
Road1-52-6
Road + Neutral 
3-73-8

That’s an interesting pairing.

There are some similarities (record overall, record vs. top 50, road and road/neutral records), obviously, but the differences that come into play stem from the strength of schedule.

The mystery team clearly played a stronger nonconference schedule, but it has not played a team now ranked between 51 and 100 in the RPI. Put simply, that means the bottom of this team’s conference is rather lousy, and it resides in a blatantly two-tiered league.

It’s an absolute tossup. Nearly all of Maryland’s best victories (North Carolina, Miami, Michigan, Virginia Tech) came at home, with the exception of Michigan State. The mystery team’s only three top-100 victories occurred at home, and its best nonconference victory was against Summit League leader North Dakota State.

So who gets the nod? Probably Maryland, especially if you project out the next two weeks. The Terps have two top-20 opponents remaining; the mystery team has only one top-100 opponent left. The overall strength of schedule will surely flip to Maryland in the next week or so.

As for the mystery team, i you said Southern California, you’re correct. The Trojans should really rue that one-point loss at Oklahoma in December, because if that went the other way they’d look a whole lot better at this stage of the game.

Patrick Stevens