COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The Terps are back in the dance.
After a one-year hiatus, Maryland makes its return to the NCAA Tournament as a 6-seed in the East region.
The team is happy to be back in the big dance.
“To see your name pop up on Selection Sunday was great,” said head coach Mark Turgeon. “If you could have been in the room with us, you would have seen pure joy and excitement on these guys’ faces.”
"Just by missing it one year, it definitely brings you a lot of joy to not get complacent and actually know you did something worthy of getting into the tournament,” added guard Anthony Cowan.
“It’s the fun time now,” said sophomore Bruno Fernando, who will make his NCAA Tournament debut. “We gotta be excited. We got our name called out, not a lot of teams get a chance to play in that tournament. So for us to be able to go there and play, means a lot for us as a team.
The Terps will face the winner of Tuesday’s First Four game between Temple and Belmont.
Maryland is 4-6 all-time against Temple, and the school has never faced Belmont.
Maryland has gotten past the first round in 12 of its last 13 NCAA Tournament appearances.
If the Terrapins can win two games, Maryland would head home for the East Regional at Capital One Arena.
They could potentially face Michigan State and Duke in DC, both teams Maryland fans are very familiar with.
While it’s easy for fans to start dreaming of a Duke-Maryland match-up with a Final Four bid on the line, the team is focused solely on Thursday.
“I know we play on Thursday,” said Cowan. “That’s what I look at. I don’t know about anything else.”
“I didn’t know about the DC part yet,” added Bruno Fernando. “We play in Jacksonville which is good, nice weather, and we get to play on Thursday.”
Maryland’s run through the NCAA Tournament begins Thursday approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of LSU’s match-up against Yale.