INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — When the bracket was revealed on Sunday night it was overwhelming. The University of Maryland men's basketball team watched its school's name pop up on the selection show from their hotel in Indianapolis.
"We had a couple guys in tears they were so happy," said Head Coach Mark Turgeon. "It’s been an incredibly amazing year."
Because of how far these Terrapins have come - from a conference record five games under .500 five weeks ago, to a No. 10 seed in the big dance.
"From 4-9 to the NCAA Tournament. It’s pretty cool," said Turgeon.
The Maryland Terrapins (16-13) are set to face No. 7 seed Connecticut (15-7) in the first round of the East regional, Saturday night at 7:10 p.m., on the Campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Because of COVID-19 precautions this year’s entire NCAA Tourney is taking place around Indianapolis. The fact that the Terps fought through during a pandemic to qualify has this team grateful but still hungry.
"Is it more special? Absolutely," said Turgeon. "We’re happy to be in the tournament but we want more."
"Getting into the tournament is a blessing, for certain," added guard Darryl Morsell. "But we definitely want to win, move on and advance."
To do so Maryland will have to get past a UConn team that fell to Creighton in the Big East semifinals on Friday. For the Baltimore native Morsell, whose TV is always tuned to a basketball game, he’s up to speed with the Huskies.
"I’m familiar with UConn. I know who they have. I played AAU with some of those guys. So, for sure, I know them."
Among those opposing Morsell and the Terps on Saturday will be Baltimore’s own Brendan Adams. The junior guard from Calvert Hall comes off the bench for the UConn .