Maryland’s comparable mystery team would have been a whole lot better had the Terrapins dispensed with Wake Forest.
A whole lot better.
Instead, it’s time for a few more days of bubble banter. As if you’d expect anything less in College Park; this fits in quite well with the previous five seasons.
So onto today’s side-by-side glance:
H: UNC (3)
H: RPI Nos. 2, 26
H: Morgan St. (153)
H: RPI Nos. 73, 80
Road + Neutral
Let’s see. The teams own identical records, comparable road/neutral records and a similar amount of feeding on underwhelming opponents. The in-conference RPIs are back-to-back: Maryland is No. 47, the mystery team is No. 48
Maryland has the worst loss of the bunch, but it also owns a top-notch victory away from home. The Terps played a slightly better nonconference schedule, and that’s pretty much what accounts for the slight RPI difference.
The mystery team is playing a little better of late (7-5 to the Terps’ 6-6). But that’s when it’s time to look into those opponents; this turns out to be reasonably even, too.
It’s not that Maryland is great, but it seems like the Terps are slightly better than the alternative in this case. And that alternative is Providence, which has rolled up a healthy 5-0 mark against Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall and South Florida. That isn’t much different than Maryland’s 4-0 record against Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Virginia.
So at its most basic, there are two teams that have had the good sense to beat their respective leagues’ cellar dwellers. As of today, Maryland probably gets the nod. But it’s close, and that’s why the Terps and Friars sit back-to-back on today’s at-large board.
Maryland, though, won’t get another good chance at a big win until at least the ACC quarterfinals. Providence receives that chance this week at Villanova. That game tomorrow night in Philadelphia is one Terps fans would be wise to monitor, because the Friars would have an incredibly strong case if they can add a road upset to their resume.