Jan. 5, 11 a.m.: Watch a few Maryland games this season and it’s clear that the Terrapins defend better and are less apt to late-game meltdowns than last season. But there is another way to show how far Maryland has come in one year. Compare their tournament profile on Jan. 5, 2008 to this season’s:
Maryland entered Jan. 5, 2008, with an 8-6 record and a 181 RPI, according to the Web site of Jerry Palm, who simulates the ratings. At the time, it was Maryland bringing down the RPIs of American and Ohio, and not the other way around. The Terrapins’ NCAA tournament hopes looked dead, but that was two weeks before a certain win in Chapel Hill.
This season, Maryland has an 11-2 record and an RPI of 47. That’s a lot better than last season, but the RPI could, and likely will, get better. The Terrapins dropped 30 spots in the RPI in its last three games because they have not played a team during that stretch with an RPI better than Elon’s 183. The next opportunity for an RPI-boosting victory comes Jan. 14 at Miami. Nine ACC wins should get Maryland into the NCAA tournament. Eight conference wins would likely mean Maryland would be really sweating it out on selection Sunday.
January 5, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
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