While understood that playing on the road is a daunting task for any team, the Maryland Terrapins have taken that notion to an entirely new level.
The Terps' signature win over Duke meant that all Maryland needed to do was avoid any bad losses and split its games against North Carolina and Virginia, and it would safely be in the tournament.
Since that tilt with the Blue Devils, Maryland has frustratingly played like a team that doesn't even want to be selected to play in the NCAA tournament.
Just three days after the Duke contest, the Terps headed up to Boston College and were utterly man-handled, with the Eagles holding Alex Len to less points (four) than fouls committed (five).
Shortly after picking up a standard home win against an enormously inconsistent Clemson squad, the Terps traveled down to Georgia Tech for freshman forward Charles Mitchell's homecoming.
The Yellow Jackets protected its home floor, taking care of the young Terrapins by a double-digit margin.
After losing two of its last three games, Maryland's metrics and ratings are woeful, to say the least.
Carrying a worrisome RPI of 72, Maryland is far from breaking the 37 at-large team threshold. Its strength of schedule mark is even uglier at 119th, deterred by one of the weaker nonconference slates of any Power Six conference member.
An important measure used heavily by the selection committee is a team's record against Top-50 RPI opponents. Maryland boasts two of those on its ledger, compared to four losses.
While that Duke win still looks, and will continue to look, nice, the eked-out defeat of North Carolina State doesn't look as appealing as it did when the Pack were consistently ranked in the polls.
If you browse even further into that component, Maryland only adds one more win if you expand the database to the Top-100 teams in the RPI. That additional win came against Stony Brook in December.
Some other tidbits the committee may consider would include overall road record and worst RPI losses.
At this point, you can guess the trend: Neither of those categories are favorable towards Maryland's postseason chances.
Maryland has just two wins on the road, coming at Northwestern and at Virginia Tech. Both squads sit in the bottom-tier of their respective conference standings.
The Terps also have two losses coming at the disposal of teams with RPI marks greater than 100. Both occurred since the Duke game, dropping games against Boston College and Georgia Tech.
The selection committee doesn't factor in conference affiliation, which does benefit Maryland. Its 7-8 record in ACC play would be a major turn-off.
The committee also does not use the eye test, which also probably factors against the Terps.
Maryland certainly wouldn't pass the eye test, as turnover woes and a glaring lack of point guard production makes viewing them play an eyesore rather than a pleasure.
With a complete analysis, it's evident that Maryland fans will have to abide by the same adage they uttered repeatedly over the past few years:
"We can always win the ACC Tournament"
Of course, the conference tournament champion of every league receives a bid, and at this point, Maryland will need to fall into that category in order to find itself dancing in late March.
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