A Maryland-Arizona Comparison

I run the Kansas SB Nation blog, Rock Chalk Talk, and recently posted my own Mock Bracket Projection.

In it, I, like every other bracketologist and, more importantly, the NCAA Selection Committee, had to choose the final bubble teams. As with just about everyone else, it came down to 6 teams, with only 3 spots remaining. Those six teams are:

St. Mary's

San Diego State




Penn State


In the end, I ended up going with the top three. But most are choosing Maryland over Arizona, and I just don't understand why. To prove my point, I made a cute little table, and had a pargraph explaining it. Here is what I posted:

But that wasn't all. Maryland's despicable 7-9 record in the ACC, highlighted by their embarrassing loss to Virginia, along with their non-conference loss to Morgan State did them in, for me. Their wins over Michigan State and North Carolina are both awesome, sure, but they just lost too many games, and had very little depth beyond that. And if you compare them to Arizona, for example, the Wildcats dwarf them. Here is a quick comparison:

Arizona Maryland
Record 19-13 (9-9) 20-12 (7-9)
1-25 W's* vs. Zaga^, vs. KU, vs. U-Dub, vs. UCLA vs. Mich. St.^, vs. UNC, vs. Wake^
26-50 W's* vs. USC, vs. SDSU, vs. USC, vs. Wazzu vs. Michigan, vs. Miami,

SOS (Non-Con SOS)

7th (62nd)* 165th (31st)*
Road Record 2-9 2-6

* All rankings are KenPom's rankings, not RPI.

^ Denotes neutral floor victory.

Why, again, is Maryland considered "in" over Arizona? Arizona has a better conference record. Arizona has more Top 25 wins (4 to 3), more 26-50 wins (4 to 2), which effectively mens that Top 50 wins favors the Wildcats 8 to 5. That is a large difference. Plus, Arizona doesn't have a bad loss, while Maryland has that ugly Morgan State L on their resume. And for all of the crap Arizona gets for not being able to win away from home, Maryland is only 2-6 in true road games. Not a whole lot better, folks. Arizona's non-conference SOS was 62nd, it's overall SOS 7th. Maryland's were 165th and 31st, respectively. Sure, Maryland's conference is probably tougher as a whole, but Arizona played the tougher schedule. Oh, and don't forget Maryland's loss to Morgan State. That is a bad, bad, bad loss on your own home floor.

Obviously, it isn't completely in-depth, or anything, but I thought it was interesting. And clearly favors Arizona, IMO.

Just thought it was good food for thought.

Good luck, tomorrow. In my own estimation, you guys clearly deserve to get in. So, I'll be rooting for y'all to get a bid. You deserve it.

Although, if you don't make it we get the consecutive appearances streak... ;)

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