Monday, March 15, 2010

Terps to face Houston in first round

After a disappointing exit in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals, Maryland (23-8, 13-3) discovered yesterday that their regular season accomplishments warranted them a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, the Terps have to deal with two unfortunate consequences of receiving that high seed number: 1) they have to travel to Spokane, Washington, and 2) they seem to have been placed in the most difficult bracket, the Midwest regional, which includes the overall top seed, Kansas, and several other strong teams such as Ohio State, Georgetown, Michigan State, and Tennessee.

In the first round, Maryland will face Houston (19-15, 7-9) on Friday night. I haven't had the chance to watch Houston play this season, but they're only in the tournament because they won the Conference USA Tournament with an 81-73 victory over UTEP (who made the tournament as a 12 seed in the West regional).

Here are some overall team numbers to at least get an idea how these two teams stack up against each other:

Houston 78.6 34.0 12.6 1.4/1 42.0 35.6 71.3 1.20
Maryland 79.3 38.6 16.4 1.4/1 47.2 38.4 72.2 1.28

As you can see, Maryland is more efficient on offense and is the better shooting team while also playing in a much more difficult conference. Both teams turn the ball over the same amount, but the Terps, led by the occasionally reckless Greivis Vasquez, dish out more assists.

The Terps also have several more impressive victories than Houston:

Houston's good wins: UTEP (twice), Memphis (twice)
Maryland's good wins: Florida State (twice), Georgia Tech, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Duke

It's not shocking to see that Maryland seems to hold an advantage over Houston in terms of overall team statistics and wins/losses. I'll take a look at individual advantages/weaknesses in a day or so.

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