I wrote a column a month or so back on InsideMdSports.com wherein I argued that for Maryland to feel safe --- really safe on Selection Sunday, it would be wise to collect 21 total victories (a number that includes a defeat of Division II Chaminade, which won't show up on the selection committee's data.
This was pooh-poohed by a good many folks, most presuming that conference record alone would take care of things.
Well, Maryland is 18-7 overall and 8-3 in the ACC. They've passed the eyeball test, dissecting scuffling teams with remarkable ease at home and collecting a series of road victories (Indiana, UNC Greensboro, Boston College, Florida State and N.C. State) mostly at the expense of teams headed nowhere.
And still, here on Feb. 18, I'll say it again. For the Terps to feel really comfortable on Selection Sunday, they'd be wise to win three more games.
If every victory represents some sort of an asset, Maryland's hand two defeats of Florida States at this point. Which, let's face it, is sort of like going all in with a pair of eights. Good luck with that.
This isn't to belittle the Terps for doing what they're supposed to do. Maryland should receive credit for winning on the road, not losing to bad teams and generally looking like a tournament outfit.
And ultimately, this could be a silly discussion, anyway.
Georgia Tech, owner of a single conference road victory at North Carolina, comes to College Park on Sunday.
Clemson, owner of a single conference road victory at N.C. State, comes to College Park on Wednesday.
Virginia, which has a few weeks to come up with a way to defend Greivis Vasquez after failing to do so Monday, looms on March 6 in Charlottesville.
Then there's the Virginia Tech-Duke combo wedged in the middle, a tough two-game swing late in the regular season.
The way Maryland is playing, there are three wins to be had. Heck, there's three wins to be had at the ACC tournament.
So it isn't a huge question as to whether the Terps get there. It's more a reminder Maryland needs some quantity to make up for its lack of nonconference quality.
Twenty wins could get Maryland in. Some would argue it probably would.
But it's hard to imagine 21 not being a winner. And if the Terps hold serve at home in the next week, it's going to be all but a done deal.