It would take a lot of madness, but this is the time of year when anything is possible. If both the Maryland Terrapins and Georgetown Hoyas get hot, they could square off in the Elite 8.
Both teams are in the Midwest region of this year’s NCAA tournament, along with the Kansas Jayhawks, the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed. However, in order to make a run, the Terps and Hoyas must take very different paths.
Maryland earned the No. 4 seed in the region after a strong finish to the season. They knocked off Duke on senior night in College Park before losing to Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament.
The Terps will take on Houston in the first round. Houston finished with just a 19-15 record in the regular season, but they do have the top scorer in the nation. For Maryland, though, it’s not necessarily who they are playing, it’s where. Maryland has to play the first two rounds of the tournament in Spokane, Wash. That’s roughly 2,500 miles from College Park.
If they get past Houston, Maryland could be facing a difficult second-round matchup with No. 5 Michigan State. A victory there, and Maryland could find themselves facing No. 1 Kansas. The Terps get started on Friday night at approximately 9:40 p.m.
Georgetown’s road doesn’t take them nearly as far. After an impressive run into the finals of the Big East Tournament, the Hoyas were rewarded with a No. 3 seed. They will play their first two games in Providence, R.I. That may not sound as fun as a trip to Washington, but it’s certainly more manageable.
In the opening round, Georgetown takes on Ohio University at 7:25 p.m. Thursday.
If the Hoyas win that matchup, they will play the winner of No. 6 Tennessee and No. 11 San Diego State. After that, a potential game against No. 2 Ohio State looms. After that, who knows? Maybe a meeting with Maryland with the Final Four and local bragging rights on the line? After all, they call it madness for a reason.
Oh, and for the team that beat Georgetown in the Big East Final, West Virginia was awarded the No. 2 spot in the East and will play Morgan State at 12:15 p.m. Friday.