Why the nation’s No. 2 team isn’t a top seed in latest mock bracket

Jared Nickens and the Maryland Terrapins haven't convinced us yet.

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Come Selection Sunday, the top of the bracket generally mirrors the top of the AP poll. The four No. 1 seeds and the top four teams in the poll may be the same in just a slightly different order.

As of today, however, there’s one considerable discrepancy between the voters and my (mock) bracket. Maryland, which moved up to No. 2 in the country on Monday, is only a No. 3 seed.

At 21-3, the talented Terps certainly have an impressive record. But only two of those 21 wins have come against teams (Iowa and Purdue) that entered the week in the RPI Top 50. To put that in perspective, every other team on my No. 1-3 seed lines has at least four Top 50 wins, including No. 2 seeds Virginia with nine and Oregon with eight.

To the Terps’ credit, they have no bad losses, either, which neither the Cavs nor Ducks can say. But it’s been my observation that committee members place more emphasis on the quality of opponents you beat than those you lost to.

Knowing that, Maryland’s still got some work to do before I can justify moving it up to a No. 2 seed, much less No. 2 overall.

NOTES: The current first-place team in each conference is designated as the automatic berth (*). In the event of ties, I use the highest-ranked RPI team.

The Midwest winner will play the East winner in the Final Four and the West will face the South.

Midwest Region (Chicago)
Seed
Team
Location
1
Iowa*
at Des Moines
16
Bucknell*/Texas So.*
8
Cal
9
Connecticut
4
Iowa State ↓
at Denver
13
Temple* (new)
5
Dayton*
12
Stony Brook*
6
Utah
at Raleigh
11
Oregon St. ↑/G. Washington (new)
3
North Carolina ↓
14
Stephen F. Austin*
7
Indiana ↓
at St. Louis
10
Valparaiso*
2
Xavier
15
Belmont* ↓