Maryland Basketball: Terps Facing Automatic Bid-or-Bust Situation in ACC Tourney

Ryan SatskyContributor IIIMarch 11, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09:  Mark Turgeon, head coach of the Maryland Terrapins calls is seen during his teams game against the Kentucky Wildcats in the first half during the Barclays Center Classic at the Barclays Center on November 9, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images)
Jason Szenes/Getty Images

After a challenging, yet disappointing week for Maryland, the Terrapins face the same situation as they have the previous two seasons.

It's automatic bid or bust during the ACC tournament if the Terps want to slide in to the Big Dance.

Of course, the winner of each conference receives an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. With a weak overall resume and a dearth of a quality wins, Maryland has no chance to receive an at-large berth anymore.

Over the past week, Maryland had to at least split its games against North Carolina and Virginia.

While the Terps were blown out on their home floor midweek to North Carolina, they really played like their season was on the line at Virginia, losing to the Cavs in an extra session.

Now, sitting at a modest 20-11 record with just a pair of RPI Top-50 victories, Maryland's resume pales in comparison to fellow bubble teams.

Last-second wins at home against NC State and Duke look gaudy, but once you dig a bit deeper, it's evident that Maryland's at-large chances are shot.

Their RPI, which is 86, is far from what a NCAA tournament team's RPI rank should be, and their strength of schedule is even uglier.

The Terps have played the 104th-hardest schedule, but it is the nonconference strength of schedule that jumps out at you and will jump out at the selection committee.

Maryland did not challenge itself outside of the ACC, playing the 302nd most difficult slate in the nation.

Maryland's profile has far too many red flags for the committee to even give the Terps a look at this point. Mark Turgeon's bunch should be preparing for a miraculous run in the ACC tournament because the automatic bid is the only life they have.