Although Maryland's lead in the Atlantic Coast Conference race was cut to one game over the weekend, the Terrapins enter the last week of regular-season play still in command of the race.
With a 9-3 record in the conference they lead North Carolina (8-4) by one game with two to play. Actually, the Terps need only one victory at home this week over either Wake Forest or Virginia to clinch the top seeding for next week's ACC Tournament.
The reason: The Terrapins own two wins over the Tar Heels, thus, if the teams tie for first place, Maryland will be awarded the top seed. That also would virtually clinch an NCAA bid.
As the season winds down, Maryland and North Carolina, each 19-5 overall, have emerged as the class teams in the league. North Carolina State and Clemson, both 18-6, are good teams, unbeatable at home but vulnerable on the road. They also deserve NCAA bids.
Duke (18-7) and Virginia (18-8) likely will get into the NCAAs only if they win the ACC Tournament. Otherwise, these two disappointing teams will head for the NIT.
Here is the way the tournament seeding shapes up: Maryland, as top seed, will face eighth-seeded Georgia Tech (1-13); Wake Forest (4-8), the seventh seed, seems likely to face North Carolina (8-4), the second seed, although Clemson (8-5) or North Carolina State (7-5) still could be in that spot. Duke (6-6), the likely sixth seed, should play N.C. State, while Virginia (7-6) would take on Clemson.
If there is a three-way tie for second, a coin toss will determine seeding. If Duke and Virginia tie for fifth, Virginia will be seeded fifth based on its two wins over the Blue Devils.