Would YOU make this trade?

February 26, 2008 | Drew Forrester

This isn’t the typical trade that you’d make – or not – as the GM of a team. But, like all of you fantasy players out there, it’s always fun to say, “would I make that deal if it came across my desk?”

Here’s a proposed trade for all of you to contemplate.  It might test your state loyalty a bit, but that’s why we do what we do.  It’s time to make you think a little.

Maryland is facing a crucial 3-game season-ending trip through the ACC that will, in large part, determine their fate for the NCAA tournament. 

Meanwhile, here in Baltimore, there are three teams that have very legitimate chances to earn a trip to the big dance.  Morgan State (MEAC), UMBC (America East) and Loyola College (MAAC) are each harboring realistic thoughts of capturing their upcoming conference tournament and advancing to the NCAA party.  It’s been a long time – 1997 to be exact – since a Baltimore men’s team made it to the big dance.

Here’s the proposed trade. 

Would you trade a Maryland entry into this year’s NCAA tournament for a 3-team Baltimore “sweep” of their respective conference tournaments and a trip to the big dance for UMBC, Morgan State and Loyola?

In other words, Maryland would be OUT but UMBC, Morgan State and Loyola would be IN.

Would you make that trade?

I would.

Without hesitation.

Baltimore college basketball is on the upswing.  I’ve been to every college facility except Coppin State this season.  I’ve seen virtually every Towson home game…I’ve been to five UMBC home games…Three Loyola home games…and two at Morgan State.  I have spent a lot of time around Pat Kennedy this year.  I’ve talked with Randy Monroe a whole bunch on the show in ’07-08.  Jimmy Patsos is a great friend to WNST.  The Todd Bozeman story at Morgan St. is amazing to say the least. 

If “good things happen to good people”, it would be MORE than fair to see Monroe, Patsos and Bozeman capitalize on their excellent regular season conference records and guide their teams into this year’s NCAA tournament. “Pat’s Cats” probably are not a legitimate threat in this year’s CAA tournament, but you can bet they’ll be a force in that conference within a year or two.  I have seen how hard Kennedy and his staff work and I can assure you they’ll make some noise in the CAA sooner rather than later.  Coppin State is having an off-year (although they’ve won 7 straight currently) but “Fang’s Gang” will shine again sometime soon as well.

All of the local coaches have revamped their programs.  Keep in mind, too, while UMBC, Loyola and Morgan State have been trying to improve, so have all the other teams in their conference been doing the same.  What’s happening at the RAC, at Reitz and on Hillen Rd. is NOT a fluke.  Good coaching, good kids and hard work — that’s the recipe those three coaches have used as they’ve soared to the top of their conferences this season. 

They DESERVE to get in the tournament.

It sure would be awfully cool for Greg Gumbel to be hosting the NCAA selection show on Sunday, March 16 and hear him say, “Three schools from Baltimore have made this year’s tournament and here’s who they’re playing…Morgan State, the 16 seed will take on top seed Tennessee…UMBC, the 16 seed, will face #1 seed Duke…and Loyola, a 15 seed, will face #2 seed Texas.”

Maryland OUT…

UMBC, Morgan State and Loyola IN…

I’d make that trade.

Would you?