Terps: Either last one in, or last one out

March 14, 2009 | Drew Forrester

Maryland still has one game left to play.  

The waiting game.

The Terps put forth a scrappy effort in their ACC semi-final loss to Duke today, but in the end, they just didn’t have enough to upend a more talented Blue Devils team.

Maryland wasn’t run off the court today, a fact Gary Williams hopes the tournament committee will remember when they convene Sunday afternoon to determine the field of the NCAA’s big dance.

But the mistakes the Terps made, particularly on the defensive end, are not the things championship caliber teams do.

Vasquez looked lost in the final 10 minutes of the game.  Twice he tried to pinch around a screen and nab a back-door steal but the move backfired on both occasions — a Duke player was wide open for the 3 and Vasquez created an open look with his decision to go for the steal rather than move inside the screen to the open player.  

Dave Neal was outmuscled by Kyle Singler with about 4 minutes to play after Henderson missed a 3-pointer.  When Singler takes it to you physically…you’re in trouble.

And Adrian Bowie bit on a school-yard give-and-go inside the five minute mark that led to an easy deuce for the Blue Devils.

When you give up easy points like that and you lose by six…those kinds of mistakes are too large to overcome.

Now, Maryland waits.

Do they deserve to get in?

It’s awfully, awfully close.  And, of course, a Baylor win tonight or a Mississippi State win tomorrow could push the Terps off the bubble and into the NIT.

If Maryland gets in, they’ll probably be the last team in.

If Maryland doesn’t get in, they’ll probably be the last team out.

It’s that close.

They’ve done more with what they have than just about anyone else in the ACC.  There’s probably an argument they’re the best “not so good” team in the country, considering the only Terrapin that would definitely start for any other major program in the country is Vasquez.

One thing for sure: If they DO get in, they won’t be an easy out.  

24 hours from now, we’ll know their fate.

If I’m betting a dollar, I bet they get in.

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