Beating a highly-ranked Duke team can bring plenty of national buzz, but it's no ticket to the NCAA tournament. Remember in 2011 when Virginia Tech upset then-No. ?1 Duke and Dick Vitale proclaimed the Hokies' days as a tournament bridesmaid over?
Two weeks later, Virginia Tech (21-11) was bitterly disappointed to be left out, annexed to the NIT for the fourth straight year. Is Maryland destined for the same fate after Saturday's win over Duke?
Much depends on how the Terrapins finish. Entering Tuesday's game at Boston College, Maryland had an 18-7 record and an RPI of 63, a bad omen considering Virginia Tech's RPI on Selection Sunday in 2011 was 61.
In 2011, Virginia Tech's bid was undone following the Duke win by losses to Boston College and Clemson to close the regular season. Both teams were below them in the ACC standings. When Tech rebounded with ACC Tournament wins over Georgia Tech and NCAA-bound Florida State, it was too little too late.
Make no mistake, Maryland this season looks a lot like Virginia Tech 2010-11. Other than the win over Duke, there's not a lot there. In 2011, Tech went 9-7 in the ACC, tying Clemson and BC for fourth place in the ACC. The Hokies' 0-3 record against those teams helped seal their fate.
Five wins in its last six games would leave Maryland at 23-8 overall and 11-7 in the league, which would probably be good enough. Anything less might require a significant run in the ACC Tournament to avoid the fate of Virginia Tech.
- Kevin Dunleavy