USA Today did a nice job breaking down tournament hopefuls, with both Maryland and Virginia bubble teams.
Maryland: Record: 19-8, RPI: 65
Plus: Beat Duke and N.C. State
Minus: No. 295 NC SOS, 3-6 on road/neutral
At-large ranking: 42
Next two games: at Georgia Tech (Feb. 27) | at Wake Forest (March 2)
Analysis: The pros (two top-25 wins) and cons (dreadful nonconference schedule mostly designed before coach Mark Turgeon added three pieces to his rotation) are obvious. There's no fixing that problem, but the Terrapins really just need to string together a few wins. That might not be especially likely, since the Terps have not won more than two in a row since a 13-1 start. (Feb. 24)
Virginia: Record: 19-8, RPI: 77
Plus: Beat N.C. State, Wisconsin; 6-2 vs. T100
Minus: 6 100+losses, No. 305 NC SOS
At-large ranking: 37
Next two games: Duke (Feb. 28) | at Boston College (March 3)
Analysis: The Cavaliers might just be befuddling right up until Selection Sunday. The great record against the top 100 helps them and the dreadful nonconference strength of schedule and six dubious losses (including the clunker of the year against Old Dominion) drags the Hoos down. Beating Duke, even at home, would provide another much-needed asset for a team that's difficult to judge (Feb. 24)
Maryland took a giant step towards March Madness with the big win over Duke last week. The loss that followed at Boston College tempered expectations a bit. The win over Clemson swung momentum back their way, but there remains work to be done.
With four games remaining, Maryland probably needs to win three, beginning Wednesday night in Atlanta. The Terps should be favored and at Wake Forest on Saturday as well. It may come down to the Terrapins needing to split their final two games, the home finale against UNC and the season ender in Charlottesville.
|02/27/13||at Georgia Tech *||Atlanta, Ga.||8:00 p.m. ET|
|03/02/13||at Wake Forest *||Winston-Salem, N.C.||12:00 p.m. ET|
|03/06/13||vs. North Carolina *||College Park, Md.||7:00 p.m. ET|
|03/10/13||at Virginia *||Charlottesville, Va.||6:00 p.m. ET|
The ACC Tournament tips off two weeks from Thursday in Greensboro.
|03/14/13||First Round *||Greensboro, N.C.||TBA|
|03/15/13||Quarterfinals *||Greensboro, N.C.||TBA|
|03/16/13||Semifinals *||Greensboro, N.C.||TBA|
|03/17/13||Finals *||Greensboro, N.C.||TBA|