Maryland still projected to make NCAA Tournament despite disastrous loss to Northwestern
For teams on the bubble watch for the NCAA Tournament, losing games you are supposed to win late in the season could be a death sentence.
Unfortunately for Mark Turgeon’s Maryland Terrapins, that is what happened Wednesday night. Taking on Northwestern on the road, Maryland let the game slip away late with the Wildcats winning by a final score of 60-55.
The Terrapins held the lead 55-54 after Darryl Morsell made a free throw with 2:32 left in the game. Unfortunately, Maryland did not score the rest of the way with the Wildcats ending the game on a 6-0 run with Ryan Young scoring four points in the final 90 seconds for the win.
Maryland did shoot 42% from the floor Wednesday, but a big issue offensively was the 15 turnovers. Aaron Wiggins led the Terrapins with 26 points on 10-for-15 shooting, including 5-for-9 from deep.
Eric Ayala suffered a setback just one game removed from a 22-point night against Michigan State. The Wildcats were able to hold Ayala to five points on a 2-for-12 shooting night in the loss.
The loss snaps Maryland’s five-game winning streak after the Terrapins had knocked off Minnesota, Rutgers, and Michigan State in that span. Fortunately, the loss does not appear to alter Maryland’s status for the NCAA Tournament.
In Joe Lunardi’s updated bracketology for ESPN, he has the Terrapins as a No. 9 seed squaring off against Loyola Chicago in the first round. Lunardi also did not list the Terrapins on his updated bubble watch shared to his Twitter page late Wednesday evening:
— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) March 4, 2021
Hopefully Lunardi’s projections hold true. Avoiding another disastrous loss against Penn State in the season finale Sunday is likely key for the Terps.