Packer: Maryland has the talent to make a deep run

Josh Luckenbaugh
March 18, 2019 - 10:40 am

In many ways, Maryland is limping into the NCAA Tournament. The Terrapins have lost three of their last four, including a shocking 69-61 loss to Nebraska in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. 

The No. 6 seed in the East Region, the Terps will face either Belmont or Temple in the first round Thursday. And despite their recent struggles, Maryland has all the talent to make a deep run in the Big Dance, Mark Packer tells The Sports Junkies. 

"Just about every 'basketball analyst' we've had on our 'Off Campus' show in the last week and a half, I said 'Give me a team outside the top 10 that you think can make a deep run' -- without of course seeing the brackets -- every analyst said Maryland," Packer said.

"The potential is there, I just need to see some consistency, and down the stretch they were not that team. We'll see how it plays out, but I do think if you're a Maryland fan, regardless of what comes out of Dayton, I think that's a team that you can say, 'Hey, I don't care who shows up. If we play well, we should be able to get to the second game.'"

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Beyond the first game, however, Packer isn't sure how far Maryland can go given the other teams in their region, which include Zion Williamson and No. 1 overall seed Duke, No. 2 seed Michigan State, No. 3 seed LSU and No. 4 seed Virginia Tech.

"When you do the 90-second gut reaction, I don't know if this is Maryland's time," Packer told the Junkies. "I don't like where they are in terms of the bracket, because of the high-quality around them."

"I think they can win a game. The problem is, when's the last time Maryland won three straight games? It's been about two months, if I'm not mistaken."

"I think the Terps can win one. I think if they won two, they should have a party and say, 'Listen, we're ahead of schedule.' (Mark) Turgeon's a really good coach, they had signs of life during the season, but down the stretch they were a little disappointing to me, especially in the Big Ten Tournament."

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