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Monday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Monday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 22 March 2010 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

Terps terminated at the buzzer.  Twenty-four hours later… and still, wow.  Yesterday’s Maryland-Michigan State contest was truly a great game.  It featured two perennially successful programs; the regular season co-ACC Champs against the regular season co-Big Ten Champs, both armed with rabid fan-bases and, oh by the way, national title winning coaches.  Could we really have expected any less?  Expectations are a funny thing, aren’t they?  To be competitive in the NCAA Tournament and make ‘a run,’ different guys need to step up at different times.  But, before the moment comes, you never know who it’ll be.  It could be those you expect, like one of three seniors trying to will their team back from behind to play another day, like Maryland’s Eric Hayes, Landon Milbourne and most particularly Greivis Vasquez… or it could be a guard who himself never would’ve expected the ball to be in his hands for the big shot, like MSU’s Kori Lucious.  Sunday afternoon in Spokane, a spectacular second half was played between two teams ready for their respective moments, and thrilling drama ensued.  In the final four minutes, Maryland’s full court trap was carried out to a textbook equivalent level and Vasquez, playing his last game in a Maryland uniform, was simply incredible.  The only problem was that injured All-Big Ten point guard Kailin Lucas’ backup, Korie Lucious, a sophomore from Milwaukee, had the final opportunity to step up… and he did… as time inevitably expired on Maryland’s 2009-2010 season. Tournament heroes can emerge from anywhere, even Tom Izzo’s bench.  And who could’ve expected that?

Sweet Sixteen.  So how about that?  Absolutely phenomenal opening weekend, huh?  … And please, I really don’t care about how bad your bracket is, everyone’s is down the toilet; earlier today Ryan the Intern told me I stayed out of the “bottom quarter” and that I’m only in the “bottom third” of our WNST In-House Pool.  Yikes.  But anyways, it all started Thursday afternoon with the first three tips of the tourney – ODU over Notre Dame by a point, Richmond taking ‘Nova to OT, and Florida bowing to BYU in double-OT  – and the action hasn’t disappointed anyone since (except for you Terps fans, I guess).  When teams with double-digit little numbers next to their name, and we’ll throw No. 9 Northern Iowa in there too, move on to the Sweet 16 everyone goes nuts; we all love upsets, cheering on the ‘little engines that actually DO.’  That said, I tip my hat – figuratively, of course, I’m not actually wearing a hat – to you: Horizon League, Ivy League, Missouri Valley Conference, and West Coast Conference.  You are a collective 9-1 in this year’s Big Dance.  And that’s pretty awesome.

Tiger speaks to ESPN‘s Tom Rinaldi and the Golf Channel‘s Kelly Tilghman.  A few highlights from Ms. Tilghman’s interview…  On returning April 8th to the Masters: “I’m excited to get back in the game.  I miss playing.  I miss competing, … I’m starting to get my feel back.”  On therapy: “As far as my schedule going forward I don’t know what I’m going to do… I don’t know how it will affect my future.  What I know I have to do is become a better person and that starts with going to more treatment.” On his crash Thanksgiving night and how he crashed his car: “It’s all in the police report… I wasn’t going very fast, but ahhh… unfortunately I hit a few things.” On his father’s death and absence through his time of infidelities: “He’d be very disappointed in me, we’d have numerous long talks… I miss his guidance, I know he’d be able to straighten me up.”  On what he wants his legacy to be: “Just like I ever wanted before, golf is my vehicle to help other people.  My dad always said… ‘in order to help other people, you must first learn to help yourself.  And going into the treatment center for 45 days I’ve learned a lot.   I’ve learned how to help myself and that’s how I can help other people in the future.”

Scanning the Blogosphere

WNST.net:  Glenn Clark says, “Ravens agree to a 2-year deal with Cory Redding.”

WNST.net: Rex Snider says, “What a Weekend.”

FanHouse: Jay Mariotti says, “Tiger Fooling Nobody with 5-Minute Blips.”

Big League Stew: “Done Deal: Joe Mauer signs with Twins for $184 million.”

The Big Lead: They have their 64-subject, “2010 Culture Tournament” almost down to the Sweet 16.

Pro Football Talk:  NFL Draft hopefuls C.J. Spiller and Arrelius Benn may not be ‘smarter than a 5th grader.’

Peter King, SI: “MMQB” Mike Tomlin: “I’m highly concerned for our franchise and for Ben personally.”

SI.com: In photos, “Baseball’s 100 Million Men.”

With Leather:  Sorry Bill Self and all you ‘Rock Chalkers’, “Toto, we’re not in the Tourney anymore!”

SI.com: Extra Mustard alerts us that Pete Rose will host WWE’s Monday Night Raw this evening.

Video of the Day

Tim Brando: “Draymond Green finds Lucious, for the win… He got it!  Spartans move to the Sweet 16!”

Tweets of the Day

– WNST Ravens Analyst, Glenn Clark after he spoke with new Ravens DL Cory Redding – WNST

#Redding: “Love the program, love the facility, love the organization. Respect the men who play there.” #Ravens

– Baltimore Ravens Head Coach, John Harbaugh on the signing of Cory ReddingWNST

#Harbaugh “Sideline to sideline type of player. He’s excited to be a Raven. He fits us. Plays with a high motor, plays with great energy.”

– The Nasty One, Nestor Aparicio, from the NFL Owners’ Meetings in Orlando – WNST

Nestor: #Ravens denied compensatory picks in April draft. Guess when you don’t lose, you don’t gain?

– The Nasty One, Nestor Aparicio, from the NFL Owners’ Meetings in Orlando – WNST

Nestor: No word on #Ravens potential Thanksgiving nite game w/#Jets expected today. #NFL will leak nat’l game sked Tuesday here in #Orlando

– WNST NFL Correspondent, Chris Pika – BlogAndTackle

One anniversary of note today: 1989 – Pete Rozelle announced his retirement as #NFL commissioner after 29 years (via SI.com).

– ESPN NFL Insider, Adam Schefter – Adam_Schefter

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: “At the appropriate time, I’ll be meeting with Ben.”

–ESPN AFC North Blogger, James Walker – espnafc_north

Last year Baltimore lost starters such as LB Bart Scott, S Jim Leonhard and C Jason Brown but got zero comp picks in return. Interesting.

– TheBigLead.com Editor, Jason McIntyre – TheBigLead

bad news, Gus Johnson fans: He’s going to have two more blowouts thursday: Syracuse>Butler, KState>Xavier. http://is.gd/aTpum

The Day’s Final Thought

So just who has been the 2010 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player thus far through the opening weekend of play?

I have three nominations:  Ali Farokhmanesh, G. Northern Iowa; Omar Samhan, C. Saint Mary’s; and Ryan Wittman, G. Cornell.

Ali Farokhmanesh had such a good weekend in Oklahoma City he went from someone I’ve never heard of before to someone whose last name I don’t need to double-check for spelling anymore.  Thursday night with the game tied 65-65 against UNLV, he nailed the game winning 3-ball from where seemed like Stillwater with 5-seconds left to knockout the Runnin’ Rebs… and that wasn’t even his most dramatic dagger of the weekend.  His ‘you take it, you better make it’ three pointer Saturday evening to push UNI up 4 over Kansas with 34 seconds to play sent shock-waves through college hoops and eliminated the No. 1 overall seeded Jayhawks.  In his pair of games, Farokhmanesh was in total 9-19 from beyond the arc and tallied 33 points in Northern Iowa’s unlikely run to the round of 16.

Omar Samhan from Saint Mary’s is not Blake Griffin, 2009 College Basketball Player of the Year.  However, if you just look at Samhan’s numbers from victories over No. 7 Richmond and No. 2 Villanova, you’d think he’s every bit the All-American Griffin was.  The brash 6’11, 260 pounder rang up 29 points and 12 rebounds in the first round and 32 points, on 13-16 shooting, and 7 boards against in the second.  His domination of Jay Wright’s Wildcat big men prompted Samhan to question why his opposition didn’t double team him, he said in the post-game presser, “I get it, I’m a slow white guy, and I’m overweight. So maybe you don’t respect me because I have good numbers. But after I kill you the first half, what are you waiting for. I don’t know what he [Coach Wright] wanted. Did he want me to have 40?”  I respect you Omar.

And last, but certainly not least,

I’ll bet Ryan Wittman knew a week ago his team would be headed to Syracuse for the East Regional Semifinals.  C’mon, he’s a smart guy; he goes to Cornell.  Wittman’s also a really good basketball player, surrounded at all times on the floor by four other really good basketball players.  Getting to see Cornell play against Temple and Wisconsin over the weekend you really begin to recognize why the 3-time defending Ivy League champs have been considered a threat since November.  Ryan Wittman is dangerous.  He’s a true triple-threat player playing in a system that complements his repertoire and with teammates who feed off his versatility.  He’s averaged 22 ppg in 36 mpg so far on basketball’s biggest stage.  Cornell and Ryan Wittman will have to throw everything they have at new field-favorite Kentucky in the next round… SAT scores and all.

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NCAA Tournament Glory For Some, Heartbreak For Maryland Fans

Posted on 21 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

There are names that are synonymous with NCAA Tournament history.

Christian Laettner, James Forrest, Tyus Edney, Bryce Drew, Drew Nicholas and just days ago Danero Thomas are amongst a group of players who have all given basketball fans a lifetime of memories thanks to individual shots during the absolute greatest event we have the privilege to enjoy as sports fans.

As of Sunday, Korie Lucious now adds his name to that list.

Unfortunately, that means that Maryland fans now are forced to see the other side.

When Christian Laettner daggered Kentucky in Philadelphia, there were thousands of Wildcats fans who truly believed they were going to get to see their team win a NCAA title.

When James Forrest had a prayer answered in Round 2, fans of the USC Trojans had already purchased flights and tickets for the Sweet 16.

When Tyus Edney went coast to coast to beat Missouri, fans of the Tigers were already thinking about how they had ended the National Title hopes of the great UCLA Bruins.

When Bryce Drew landed a miraculous bomb against Ole Miss, Rebels fans were thinking that they had survived a scare from Valparaiso and were ready to make a deep run through the Tournament.

When Drew Nicholas connected on one of the more miraculous shots in college basketball history, fans of UNC-Wilmington had already started texting each other about the improbability of joining Princeton on the list of teams who had eliminated defending national champions in Round 1.

When Danero Thomas beat the buzzer to burst Vanderbilt just days ago, fans of the Commodores were already looking at how the bracket might open up for them, and thinking about what they might be able to do against Syracuse in the Sweet 16.

And when Korie Lucious turned a miracle finish for his opponents into a miracle finish for Michigan State, Maryland fans……probably haven’t been able to bounce back yet.

It doesn’t seem fair.

After being thoroughly outplayed for 38 minutes, the Maryland Terrapins showed an incredible amount of poise and heart in forging ahead of Michigan State late, only to see the Spartans win things 85-83 on a buzzer beating 3 ball from Lucious.

It SHOULDN’T have ended that way for Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne. It shouldn’t have ended that way for a Maryland team that gave fans a season’s worth of memories unlike any Maryland team since the 2001-2002 National Championship squad.

Yet, it did.

And it did for those players at Kentucky. And for those players at USC. And Missouri. And….you get the point.

For every moment that reminds us as basketball fans of just why the NCAA Tournament is truly the greatest month in all of sports, there are a group of fans who can’t stomach even the thought of those moments.

For every time we’re reminded of just how amazing Harold “The Show” Arceneaux was for Weber State, there are a group of North Carolina fans who experience heartbreak all over again.

For every time we think about just how intense the final few moments of the Duke-UConn title game were before the Huskies were victorious, there are a group of Duke fans who can’t believe Coach K’s most talented team didn’t win a title. Maryland fans remember the 2002 Elite 8 classic inside the Carrier Dome as one of the greatest games in college basketball history. Those Huskies fans remember it as a nightmare.

Of course, those same Huskies fans still remember the elation of Tate George, while Clemson would be fine with never hearing that name again.

The closest Maryland fans have come to feeling the other side was in 2001, when the Terps built a 22 point advantage over Duke in a Final Four showdown in Minneapolis before crumbling in the 2nd half.

For some reason, the dagger knocked down by Lucious has a more heartbreaking feeling. Maybe it is because Maryland fans knew Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter and Steve Blake would be back to make another run at a national championship; while Greivis Vasquez, Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes have played their final game in a Maryland uniform. Maybe it’s because Maryland had put together such a furious rally and gotten a possibly heroic shot from Vasquez just seconds before Lucious would deliver the dagger.

Whatever the reason, the heartbreak is greater.

But the heartbreak of the NCAA Tournament is the glory of the NCAA Tournament.

Everything was on the line in Spokane. A group of young men battled knowing that if they lost, their season was over.

It’s hard to remember on a day like Sunday that THIS is why we love the NCAA Tournament, but it most certainly is.

It’s just not the feeling we were hoping for right now.

-G

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Terps Can Leave Legacy With Win Sunday

Posted on 19 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

I said it all week.

There was NOTHING about Maryland’s first round NCAA Tournament matchup with Houston in Spokane that concerned me.

Heck, if you were listening to the “Selection Sunday” special Chris Bonetti and I hosted over the weekend on AM1570 WNST, you would know that I thought Houston was an almost ridiculously good matchup for the Terrapins.

They were an average team out of an average league (Conference USA). They offered little defensively and less on the interior.

As I said to anyone who would listen this week, the Terps were about 12 points better than the Cougars. Turns out I was right, as Maryland cruised to an 89-77 victory behind a BRILLIANT 21 point, 17 rebound performance from Jordan Williams and 19 additional points from Landon Milbourne late Friday night.

(For full disclosure, when pressed for a pick by Drew Forrester Friday on “The Comcast Morning Show”, I said 88-82 Maryland even AFTER I reminded him that I thought Maryland was about 12 points better than Tom Penders’ club.)

Now, things change. Maryland is NOT 12 points better than Michigan State, who they’ll face Sunday afternoon in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. Gary Williams is NOT 12 points better than Tom Izzo. Greivis Vasquez is NOT 12 points better than Kalin Lucas. BUT, Maryland is a higher seed than Michigan State for a reason.

No matter what happens Sunday against the Spartans, this Maryland team will be remembered for a number of things. First ACC regular season title (split or outright) since ’01-’02. First ACC Player of the Year award (Vasquez) since ’01-’02 (Juan Dixon). First ACC Coach of the Year (Gary Williams) since ’01-’02 (same guy).

It’s been an incredible season.

But if this Maryland team REALLY wants to make an impact, REALLY wants to leave a legacy, they’ll need to beat the boys in green from East Lansing at the Spokane Arena Sunday.

It has been since 2002-2003 that a Maryland team has advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Seven years. Seven long years, filled with the disappointment of 3 NIT appearances and 3 exits in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament (including disappointing losses to Syracuse and Butler when they were playing as higher seeds).

To be considered a “premiere” NCAA basketball program, a team HAS to be making regular appearances in the Sweet 16. Maryland hasn’t made ONE since 2003.

This can be the team that changes that. This can be the team that reverses history. This can be the team that helps to restore the program to “premiere” status.

It won’t be easy Sunday.

But it should sure be fun.

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 19 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because ol’ Drew Forrester was a man of his word and painted his face Morgan State colors this morning to keep a promise to Todd Bozeman after the Bears won the MEAC Tournament title. Many thanks to our friend Kia (follow her on Twitter @Ms15StepsAhead) for coming in to paint his face. Here’s the artist and the final product…

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And here’s a closeup of the final product….

Photobucket

This is the best Drew has looked in years.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. Maryland Official Site previews tonight’s NCAA Tournament opener in Spokane against Houston

Oh thank God it’s finally here.

I want to encourage everyone to head out to The Nest on Pratt Street tonight to watch the game with the WNST gang.

Unfortunately, I will not be there.

As I said this morning on “The Comcast Morning Show”, I am not going be to be able to watch the game in public. I mean, hopefully it won’t be a close game-but my guess is that it will be. And if it is, I’ll be a WRECK. This is why it is MUCH better for me to be on the road with the team, as I’m forced to try to control my emotions.

Don’t even bother asking me for a prediction, either. I know that Maryland is about 10-12 points better than Houston. But this is March Madness. It’s a different animal.

2. The AP’s Nicholas K. Geranios says Greivis Vasquez-Aubrey Coleman showdown highlights Terps-Cougars

Obviously, it’s a tremendous matchup between gifted guards. That being said, this CANNOT just be a matchup of guards. If it is, Maryland is playing into the hands of what Tom Penders’ team wants to do.

Maryland is the type of team that WANTS to dictate pace, but they have to be smart about it. Instead of JUST being up and down all day, they ABSOLUTELY need to try to get the ball inside and let Jordan Williams have his way as often as possible.

Also, the Houston guards will try to go to the rim-so Williams, Milbourne and Mosley will need to have active hands. The Terrapins do a tremendous job of getting blocks when opposing guards penetrate, and that needs to be the case again tonight. If you FORCE a team to start throwing up 3 pointers, the results will likely be in your favor.

3. Washington Post’s Mike Wise says Eric Hayes has made ‘crucial’ contributions for Terrapins

And there’s just no doubt about that. Is he Steve Blake? Of course not. But has he been an invaluable member of one of Gary Williams’ best teams? Absolutely.

And for the record, Holly Madison has made ‘crucial’ contributions to the awkward feeling I have in my pants….

holly

(Thanks What Would Tyler Durden Do)

4. Morgan State Official Site previews NCAA Tournament opener with West Virginia this afternoon in Buffalo

Look, do I think Todd Bozeman’s team is going to be able to pull the stunner of all stunners today? No, I really don’t. BUT-do I think that with big games from Reggie Holmes and Kevin Thompson they could at least make it interesting? Sure. Sure they could.

No matter what, it is ABSOLUTELY awesome to have a chance to watch the Bears in the Big Dance.

5. The AP’s John Wawrow says last year’s early exit fueling Mountaineers against Bears

Oh, and having De’Sean Butler will help as well.

Having Bob Huggins on the show this week helped remind me that I hate WVU, but my hate for them goes back much farther than that. Never was it more evident than a trip to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl. I just hope ‘Eers fans are as miserable today as they were back then, when Steve Suter helped add to the misery….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q63nyT2mhtM[/youtube]

6. WNST.net’s G.Q. says Preakness beer ban to continue, but O.A.R. & Zac Brown Band to play infield; $20 gets you all you can drink

Look-I STILL think the beer ban is a mistake, but I do give the Maryland Jockey Club credit. This is BETTER than what they did last year.

Allowing fans to bring coolers in this year is a GOOD decision. Forcing fans to purchase chicken fingers and the like last year was a mistake. Does this mean that someone will sneak in a watermelon soaked in vodka? Of course it does. But they just don’t want fans bringing in beer cans and throwing them at each others’ heads. I get it.

AND….is there ANYTHING BETTER THAN O.A.R.?????

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWkTwcwhLc0[/youtube]

7. Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee says “Mr. Preakness” Chick Lang dead at 83

Man. I can’t even IMAGINE a Preakness without Chick Lang.

My knowledge of Chick Lang really doesn’t date as far back as many of yours, but listening to him on WBAL even as a VERY young person, I could hear the passion in his voice.

He was a champion of not only the Preakness and Pimlico, but also just of horse racing in general. He will unquestionably be missed.

8. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian says Jeremy Guthrie roughed up as Orioles fell to Blue Jays

As Ray Bachman said on Facebook yesterday, “Jeremy Guthrie has just been named starting pitcher for this years Home Run Derby.”

It was getting so ridiculous yesterday that I actually think even this guy homered for the Jays….

gruber

And as I responded to Ray on Facebook, please remember that the O’s’ Number 2 starter has a career 27-34 record.

You don’t want that.

9. The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Uehara injured hamstring during loss to Toronto

Remember when Kevin Nash and Scott Hall came back to WWE after Vince McMahon put the nWo back together? Nash ended up blowing out his knee in the middle of a match on Monday Night RAW-screaming in pain in the corner as the other performers continued around him. Was ANYONE surprised???

That’s how I felt when I head Koji Uehara hurt his hamstring again. Absolutely NO SURPRISE.

10. The AP says Adam Jones, Matt Wieters homered for Birds in loss

Until that, Matt Wieters was in the Nolan Reimold-Eric Massa argument as far as who was having the worst Spring.

Why do I have the feeling there will be a lot more solo homeruns coming this season?

11. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Jared Odrick, Carlos Dunlap amongst players Ravens have watched in Pro Days recently

Jared Odrick is a name I’ve heard a lot recently. Does that mean he’s going to be the Ravens’ pick in the NFL Draft? No. It’s just a name I’ve heard a lot.

I’ve also heard the name Joslyn James a lot recently.

joslyn

(Edit from GMC: Did you read her text messages with Tiger Woods? Freaking awesome.)

12. Yahoo! Sports’ Doug Farrar mocks Golden Tate to Baltimore

I would be STUNNED if this happened. STUNNED.

And finally, I leave you with this.

To no one’s surprise, the first day of the NCAA Tournament was ABSOLUTELY the best day of the year. Just freaking awesome throughout. I used to do a series called “The Men of March” on a show I hosted in Phoenix. We’d bring on the likes of Drew Nicholas, Christian Laettner, James Forrest, Bryce Drew, etc. and talk about those amazing things they had done in the NCAA Tournament. There are a few more “Men of March” today….

Ali Farokhmanesh

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0LvF7UWmak[/youtube]

Danero Thomas

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d59Jud-Citc[/youtube]

Ish Smith

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_SWs8_xDdQ[/youtube]

Quincy Pondexter

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fue-pxPyHIY[/youtube]

and MORE.

The Tournament is so crazy that I’m starting to think we’ll end up seeing Essex Community College in the Sweet 16.

This is better than Christmas.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 18 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because…..I’m still breathing?

stpattys

(Edit from GMC: Photo is from last year. My friends are all much too hungover to send me pictures from last night.)

Look, it was St. Patrick’s Day. What did you expect?

By the way-these two things ABSOLUTELY happened to me within a 5 minute span at a bar in Parkville last night.

1-As I was walking out of the bathroom, I recognized the young lady who was standing to my left. Not someone I knew particularly well, but I definitely recognized her. She recognized me as well-but apparently she comes from a place where the way to greet someone is to throw yourself upon them, lick their face, say “Watch this” and proceed to make out with a random girl who walks by.

For the record, I’m totally fine with that particular greeting.

2-As I walked outside to greet the party I was with, another attractive young lady greeted me. She said “do you want to see my boobs?” As someone who is a fan of anatomy in general, I said “sure” and then told her I thought my girlfriend would want to see them as well. The young lady indeed showed us her breasts, and they were lovely.

After showing us her breasts, the young lady proceeded to ask us about our relationship, and if we were getting married. She told us she was a therapist, and that she would be more than willing to provide counseling if we were considering getting married. (We’re not.) She then offered us other types of relationship advice, before showing us her breasts again.

You know what? I MIGHT take her up on her offer…

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

1. The Diamondback’s Kevin Robillard says Obama not a Gary Williams fan

I have to imagine this was just a slip of the tongue, as I don’t really think the POTUS meant to offend Gary Williams, I just think he inteneded to praise Tom Izzo-and it came out the wrong way.

Look, I have no problem with Barry O picking the Spartans to beat the Terps. It’s really a tossup. I was torn myself, but since I’ve got Testudo on my underpants-I stuck with Maryland.

The other story there is that there was some opposition to Steny Hoyer’s attempt to honor the Terps in the House of Representatives. And why wouldn’t there be? I mean, being a Terrapins fan is….anti-American???

2. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Milbourne, Hayes, Mosley tend to struggle when Vasquez takes a lot of shots

Yet, it doesn’t necessarily mean Maryland is always doomed (see Virginia Tech just a few Saturdays ago).

Clearly, Maryland is a better team when they’re getting at least a level of offensive balance. Greivis Vasquez is GOING to be “the guy”, but they should be able to get contributions from the rest of the offense.

That being said, if a game does fall into the hands of the senior from Venezuela in the 2nd half; I am much more comfortable with him this season than I was a season ago.

3. ESPN.com’s Pat Forde says Terps reach Final Four in ‘best case’ scenario, fall to Houston in ‘worst case’ scenario

I mean, in the “best case” scenario, we’d probably be seeing something like this again, right?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKdvOf2Nd5s[/youtube]

God, I could watch that all day.

4. The Sun’s Ken Murray says Morgan State will support leukemia stricken teammate Anthony “Big Ant” Anderson in Buffalo

It’s a tremendous shame that “Big Ant” is too sick to make the NCAA Tournament trip, as he had talked about getting the chance to do so as the Bears were making their run through the MEAC and the MEAC Tournament.

That being said, there is NO DOUBT that Anderson is on the heart and mind of Todd Bozeman and these Morgan players every time they play. Reggie Holmes had the number 4 shaved into his head the night of the Coppin State game, and he waved 4 fingers in the air after the title game in Winston-Salem. DeWayne Jackson was Anderson’s roommate, and they both had to sit out their first season.

5. Stevenson Official Site says Kyle Moffitt tallied 4 goals as Mustangs topped Stevens 16-11

I mean, why didn’t they just go ahead and have this guy handle the face-offs?

seagal

The Mustangs now hit the road for games at Lynchburg and Mary Washington, which could at least mean they’ll have their first game with a differential of less than 5 goals.

6. The AP says Jason Berken struggled as Birds fell to Blue Jays

Who’s having a worse spring? Nolan Reimold or this fella…..

massa

7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Chris Tillman, Jason Berken, David Hernandez competing for fifth rotation spot

I don’t understand this AT ALL. Why in the hell are the Orioles screwing around with Jason Berken by putting him in the rotation mix again? He’s fine in the relief role. LEAVE HIM THERE.

As far as the Tillman/Hernandez debate goes, I would tend to think that Tillman will eventually be the guy for the role, but I would understand it if the O’s decided to start him in Norfolk and start the season with Hernandez.

8. Sporting News’ Stan McNeal says Kevin Millwood not concerned about ‘lousy’ start to Spring Training

Millwood might actually belong in the Reimold/Massa debate for who is having the worst Spring.

You know who ISN’T having a bad spring? Anyone who has heard of Nadine Coyle….

coyle

9. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens could play Jets Thanksgiving night at the Meadowlands

NO. DISLIKE. WHOLLY DISAPPROVE.

BUT….feel free to insert your own Rex Ryan Thanksgiving joke here.

Seriously, I want NO PART of a trip to East Rutherford to play the Jets on a short week. Especially on a day that is supposed to be about food and WATCHING football. At home.

10. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Frank Walker ‘weighing options’ in free agency

And no, the Toronto Argonauts are NOT believed to be one of the options he is weighing, even if they did just sign former Ravens QB Cleo Lemon.

Ravens fans are quick to say “go ahead and let him go”, but they should really think about that. SOMEONE has to play cornerback at the beginning of the season, with both Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb major question marks.

11. Ravens Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Marcus Smith battling injuries, new acquisitions in attempt to make Ravens’ roster

At 6’1″, Marcus Smith doesn’t stand out the same way Demetrius Williams does. Williams seems to have a role in Baltimore no matter what because the Ravens have no other tall options at receiver right now.

But a healthy Marcus Smith would have trouble separating himself behind the likes of Anquan Boldin and Donte’ Stallworth.

12. Lingerie Football League Official Site says new team to be called “Baltimore Charm”, will meet with prospective players Friday night at Mother’s in Federal Hill

Am I ACTUALLY interested in the team? No. Do I fully support the product? Of COURSE I do.

lingerie

And finally, I leave you with this.

As today is the single greatest day of the year, here are my Top 5 favorite first round moments in NCAA Tournament history.

5. VCU beats Duke

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCphWpDnAcU[/youtube]

4. Harold “The Show” Arceneaux leads Weber State past North Carolina

show

3. Bryce Drew

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0haGKGiX9qA[/youtube]

2. Coppin State beats South Carolina

coppin

1. Drew Nicholas

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCoJRHAAcoM[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Live from College Park: No. 4 Maryland to play Houston in brutal Midwest

Posted on 14 March 2010 by Luke Jones

9:15 p.m. — The Terps and Cougars have played each other twice, including once in the NCAA tournament.

Top-seeded Houston defeated No. 8 Maryland in the second round of the 1983 tournament, 60-50. Of course, that was the Phi Slama Jama team that included Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler—and lost to N.C. State in the championship game in one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history.

In the schools’ first ever meeting, Maryland won 69-68 in the Sugar Bowl Tournament in 1965.

Again, the winner of the Maryland-Houston game will face either fifth-seeded Michigan State or No. 12 seed New Mexico State on Sunday in Spokane.

The Midwest Regional semifinals will be played the next weekend in St. Louis.

The postseason appearance will be the 17th straight for the Terrapins. Maryland has won nine straight NCAA first-round games, dating back to 1998 and has reached at least the Sweet 16 in four of its last nine NCAA appearances.

The Terps have now reached the NCAA tournament in three of the last four years after failing to earn bids in 2005, 2006, and 2008.

9:00 p.m. — This marks the fourth time the Terps have been designated as a No. 4 seed, the others coming in 1998 (losing in the Sweet 16 to Arizona), 2004 (falling in the second round to Syracuse), and most recently in 2007 (a second-round casualty to Butler).

Maryland will try to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003.

8:55 p.m. — Williams clearly had kind words for Houston head coach Tom Penders who became the eighth coach to take four different schools to the NCAA tournament. Other notable names on the list include Rick Pitino, Lon Kruger, and Eddie Sutton.

Penders also took George Washington, Rhode Island, and Texas to the Big Dance.

8:30 p.m. — Gary Williams also spoke to the media following the news of Maryland being selected as the No. 4 seed in the Midwest.

Opening Statement:
“To make the NCAA tournament is always a great honor. It’s a great feeling as a team because you know you’ve worked very hard to get to the tournament. To be the 4th seed, which means the selection committee felt you were one of the top 16 teams in the country. That is something our players should be proud of.”

“We’re looking forward to playing, and it’s a great opportunity for us.”

On what he said to the team after learning their fate:
“I told them I was proud of the team for what they did. It’s so difficult now, as you see the teams that didn’t make the tournament. To make the tournament is significant.”

On his reaction compared to the seniors’ subdued reaction:
“It’s never subdued for me. . .In my first year (1989-90) during the week of the ACC tournament, we found out we couldn’t go to the NCAA tournament for the next two years and couldn’t play on live television [due to NCAA sanctions], so I’ve never forgotten that.”

On Tom Penders and Houston:
“I really haven’t seen them, but obviously we do a good job of taping games during the year. We have plenty of tape, and we’ll get more tape. Tom Penders has done a good job wherever he’s been. Obviously, he knows how to coach.”

Williams also explained his assistant coaches will focus on preparation for potential second-round match-ups with Michigan State or New Mexico State. He will be responsible for preparing for Houston.

On whether he’s been to Spokane:
“Yes, I have. Mark Few has a big Coaches vs. Cancer dinner. I was out there one year. It’s a beautiful place.”

On going out west:
“In 2001, we got to the Final Four going out west. The tough thing is for the parents of the players. It’s very expensive to get out there on short notice, and our fans. In terms of playing, we’ve done well out west before, so we’ll look forward to it.”

On the selection committee’s job:
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever seen to do.”

On Virginia Tech being left out of the field of 65:
“Yeah, I was surprised. I don’t know the reason. I thought Virginia Tech was a good basketball team, but I’m not in [the room with the selection committee].”

Williams also attributed the struggles of defending champion North Carolina as the main reason for the perception of the ACC being a “down” conference. “That was the picture that was created.”

On Maryland’s chances in the tournament:
“Once you get into the tournament, those seeds don’t mean anything.”

“You go in there with a positive attitude, and [the momentum can] snowball very quickly.”

On where this rates compared to Maryland’s bids earlier in his career:
“As you get older, you appreciate it more. You don’t worry about where you’re being sent.”

On Houston star Aubrey Coleman:
“You get 25 [points] per game, you’re doing something right.”

8:05 p.m. — Here are some highlights from this evening’s press conference. Again, check out the WNST.net Audio Vault for the full press conference.

Greivis Vasquez

On whether there was a difference between this year and last year on Selection Sunday:
“Absolutely. It was fun. You don’t have to worry if you’re in or not.”

On this being his last trip to the Dance:
“It’s time to go. We want these types of games. We want to be on this stage. It’s going to be fun. It’s not going to be easy. We’re going to work extremely hard this week and get ready to win games.”

On moving on from the Georgia Tech game:
“In order for us to be a good team, we have to have a short memory.”

Eric Hayes

On the team’s demeanor during the Selection Show:
“We were definitely more relaxed this year. Last year, we were jumping up and down. We all know we were getting in; just anxious to see where and what seed we got.”

On the aftermath of losing in Greensboro:
“I’m sure we’ve probably already forgotten about Georgia Tech already. Seeing how we’re the 4th seed, one of the top 16 seeds, is a pretty good honor for us.”

On whether he’s ever been to Spokane:
“Never been. This is probably the only situation where I’d ever go also.” (This caused the media room to erupt in laughter. That Hayes is quite the dry comedian.)

Landon Milbourne

On the Terps’ familiarity with Houston:
“We don’t know much. Coach explained a little bit about their coach [Tom Penders], saying that they might shoot a lot of threes and play on the perimeter well. We just have to prepare like we normally do and work on our perimeter defense.”

On the need to start strongly:
“The focus has got to be there. Us three seniors have to take a big pride in that, coming on the court when the jump ball goes up everybody’s on the same page.”

7:50 p.m. — Go to the WNST.net Audio Vault right now to hear from Gary Williams, Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne. Hayes also checked in with Glenn Clark and Chris Bonetti during this evening’s live tournament selection show. It’s all there, so check it out now.

6:38 p.m. — All four regions have been revealed. The ACC sends six teams to the tournament with Duke (1), Maryland (4), Clemson (7), Florida State (9), Wake Forest (9), and Georgia Tech (10).

The Hokies can thank a MISERABLE out of conference SOS for being left out of the field of 65.

6:31 p.m. — Here is my quick reaction to Maryland being a No. 4 seed.

Clearly, a 13-3 record and share of the ACC regular season championship looked very impressive in the eyes of the committee. The quarterfinal loss to Georgia Tech could not have hurt the Terrapins too much in terms of seeding.

That being said, the Midwest is an absolutely BRUTAL region. Kansas, as the No. 1 seed overall, is rewarded by being placed in a region with the likes of Ohio State, Northern Iowa, Michigan State, Tennessee, Georgetown, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, and Maryland.

Easily the toughest region in the field.

WOW.

6:27 p.m. — Morgan State is the No. 15 seed in the East and will take on No. 2 West Virginia.

6:20 p.m. — As the first two regions are in, it sure looks like Virginia Tech is going to be on the outside looking in. Minnesota and Florida were both on the bubble and received bids in the West region.

6:13 p.m. — Maryland will play as the No. 4 seed in the Midwest, taking on No. 13 Houston in Spokane on Friday. If the Terps can move to the second round, they will take on the winner of No. 5 Michigan State and No. 12 New Mexico State.

6:03 p.m. — Kentucky, Duke, and Syracuse are the other three. Very surprising to see Duke move ahead of Syracuse. I suppose the injury to Arinze Onuaku—and the loss in the quarterfinal—moved Syracuse down a spot.

6:01 p.m. — Kansas is the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. No shock there.

_____________________________________

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Happy Selection Sunday from College Park as we’ve finally reached the day everyone has been waiting for over the last four months.

Most pundits have played the Terrapins in the No. 4 to 6 range for their tournament seeing, but all of the speculation will be over soon, and we’ll see where Maryland will travel later this week for the first round of the NCAA tournament.

We’ll have reaction from Gary Williams and the Terrapins immediately after they learn their NCAA fate. It’s certainly nice to be comfortably awaiting the news this season after sweating out the verdict over the past few seasons.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) and tune to AM 1570 WNST or live on the web at WNST.net as Glenn Clark and Chris Bonetti are currently hosting WNST’s tournament selection show. Coverage will run until 8 p.m.

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Following reality check in Greensboro, Terps await NCAA fortune

Posted on 13 March 2010 by Luke Jones

A share of the conference regular season title and a seven-game winning streak will make any team feel good about itself.

Coach Gary Williams, senior leader Greivis Vasquez, and the rest of the Maryland Terrapins were pleased with how they were playing and had every right to be.

Even the program’s biggest detractors from the last several years were acknowledging the possibility of an ACC tournament championship and a No. 3 seed or—if the right teams had lost over the weekend—the outside chance of grabbing the final No. 2 when the NCAA tournament brackets would be revealed Sunday evening.

A bye in the opening round of the ACC tournament appeared to be the perfect elixir for the Terps’ fatigue—both mental and physical—that was evident when they struggled past Virginia in the regular season finale last Saturday. Five days off was exactly what Maryland needed—or so we thought.

Whether it was a lack of emotion, losing its rhythm after a five-day layoff, a bad quarterfinal draw, or—most likely—a combination of the three, Maryland was humbled in a 69-64 defeat to Georgia Tech on Friday night, particularly in the first half when the Terps fell behind by 19 points and shot only 29 percent from the field.

To be turned away so quickly in Greensboro was a reality check that the Terps are not the type of team that can simply turn it on at a moment’s notice and overcome a significant deficit, even after having nine opportunities to tie or take the lead in the second half. Very few teams are able to do it, and the Terps fell short despite an admirable second-half effort.

But let’s be clear, the end result against Georgia Tech was disappointing, but hardly surprising. The Terps have struggled all season against teams with length inside, and the Yellow Jackets are as tough in the frontcourt as anyone in the country.

Friday’s loss may have been a missed opportunity to improve its seeding, but the loss should not discredit Maryland’s incredible season nor soil its odds for a solid run in the Big Dance.

Nevertheless, the talk of this being a “good” loss is simply that—talk. Vasquez and fellow seniors Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne talked for weeks about the goal of winning the ACC tournament. Regardless of the Terps’ listless first-half effort, the tournament championship was far more important to these players than most think. The defeat was a painful one in the seniors’ last experience competing in the ACC.

The idea that losing a game early in the weekend will help spark a longer run in the NCAA tournament sounds great on paper for a team with serious NCAA championship aspirations—the 2002 Terps for example—but Maryland’s tournament fate will depend far more on the match-ups chosen by the selection committee than an early exit from the ACC tournament.

You probably wouldn’t expect the Terps to face a team with Georgia Tech’s size in the opening round next week, but if they do, they’ll struggle. And if Maryland manages to avoid teams with imposing frontcourts in the opening weekend, we’ll likely see the Terps in the round of 16.

The reality is championships aren’t won and tournament runs aren’t completed with previous win-loss trends and rhetoric for good talk radio. The cream rises to the top, and it remains to be seen where Maryland lies in that tournament mixture—probably somewhere in the middle. It all hedges on the ingredients lumped together in each region by the selection committee. A “good” or “bad” loss in the conference tournament has little—if anything—to do with it.

What the loss in Greensboro does provide is a higher sense of desperation this week when the Terps will travel to Providence or New Orleans or Spokane to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row—and the final time for a very proud senior triumvirate.

As strange as it was to witness the Terps’ first-half sleepwalk against Georgia Tech, it’s even more implausible to think it could happen again on Thursday or Friday. And the fact that Maryland hasn’t lost consecutive games since playing in the Maui Invitational in late November only supports the theory.

While the Terps lack all of the necessary components to win a national championship, their impressive resiliency increases the likelihood for a Sweet 16 run. The Yellow Jackets provided a not-so-friendly lesson that postseason success isn’t guaranteed, regardless of whether you captured the regular season title or won seven games in a row or have the ACC player of the year leading the way.

If Maryland didn’t get the message on Friday, we’ll likely be talking about the end of the season a week from now.

We see it all the time when a No. 5 or 6 seed enters the NCAA tournament—already with an eye on the second-round opponent—only to find itself pitted against a formidable underdog capable of sending the favorite home early. Williams will undoubtedly remind his team of a few experiences he’s had over the years—both good (see below) and bad.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQhNDWnlflE&feature=related[/youtube]

We’ll see if the ACC regular season co-champions can regroup and put together a strong tournament run. Questions surrounding this team remain, but we’re about to find out.

Can the Terps play a complete 40 minutes on the big stage?

Are both Milbourne and Sean Mosley capable of playing well offensively at the same time?

Will Vasquez take the Georgia Tech loss in stride or put more pressure on himself to do it all?

Is Maryland capable of getting back to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003?

Plenty of questions, and plenty of opportunities for excitement—or disappointment.

We’ll soon find out how the Terps respond.

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Emotion Lacking in Terps’ ACC Tournament Loss to Georgia Tech

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Greensboro, NC It was going to be a tough match-up.

When the seedings for this weekend’s ACC Tournament were announced, Maryland fans were immediately concerned about the potential for the Terps to have to face Georgia Tech in the quarterfinals.

They were right to be concerned, as the Yellow Jackets had nearly stunned Maryland some 3 weeks earlier in College Park.

But what no Maryland fan (or ACC pundit) could have ever expected was the listless effort the Terrapins would give over the first 20 minutes en route to a 69-64 defeat at the hands of the Jackets on Friday night.

The Terps weren’t just outscored 41-25 over the first 20 minutes, they were out-rebounded 21-14, they shot just 9-31 (29%) from the floor and missed all 6 of their 3 point attempts. They trailed by as many as 19 before an Adrian Bowie 3 point play just before the halftime buzzer.

At times, it was ugly. Shots weren’t falling, but shots weren’t being taken with the type of determination you’d expect from a team that entered the game on a 7 game win streak. ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez had just 5 points on 2-8 shooting, and ACC Rookie of the Year runner-up Jordan Williams had more personal fouls (2) than field goals made.

This wasn’t the Maryland team we had seen since a February 13th loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Gary Williams knew his team wasn’t ready for the task at hand. “I have to take the responsibility for the way we played the first half. Whatever we did getting ready for this – obviously we had plenty of time to get ready – we have to be ready emotionally.”

It’s hard to believe a Gary Williams-coached and Greivis Vasquez-lead team might not be ready “emotionally”, but you could see it on their faces.

Maybe splitting the ACC regular season championship left this Maryland team a bit overconfident. Maybe Georgia Tech got an emotional advantage by having to gut out a victory over North Carolina just 24 hours earlier.

Whatever it was, it was clear that it was something more than just being outplayed by a tough Georgia Tech team.

The emotion came back. After halftime, Maryland extended the last 3 points of the first half into a 24-7 run that got them back within two points-but no closer-before the Yellow Jackets finished off the victory.

The most frustrating part of the 2nd half was that Maryland had the ball nine times with the chance to tie the game or go ahead. Yet they never did. The emotion they dug up at intermission couldn’t carry them over that hump.

Senior guard Eric Hayes confirmed that failing to tie the game or pull ahead in those situations was “demoralizing”, and added “it’s a little frustrating when you use that much energy to get back into the game…and you can’t really get over the top.”

It’s about emotion.

This Maryland team may have put up some solid shooting percentage numbers this season, but they are by no means are perfect basketball team. They’ve struggled to shoot consistently away from College Park (they finished the Georgia Tech game just 25-67 from the field-37.3%, and just 4-21 from beyond the arc-19%), and they’ve been out-rebounded by teams (like the Jackets) that present matchup problems inside.

On paper, almost any team they’ll face in the NCAA Tournament might match-up favorably.

But where they’ve made up for their basketball imperfections is in emotion and intensity-at least until they got to Greensboro. They need 40 minutes (or more, as was the case when they traveled to Blacksburg) of intense, emotional effort. They put together about 12 in their loss to the Yellow Jackets.

Being eliminated from the ACC Tournament doesn’t end the season for the Terrapins. Some fans and analysts (who apparently don’t understand the significance of the ACC Tournament) have suggested that it might be a “good thing” for Maryland to lose before March Madness gets underway, as it would be difficult to extend a 10 game win streak into the NCAA Tournament.

They’ll gather Sunday night to watch the “Selection Sunday” show, and they’ll likely find out that they’re a Top 5 seed in the Tournament. Likely a 4, 5 or 6; they’ll be facing tough opponents again starting in Round 1.

Wherever they lost their emotional edge on the way to Greensboro, they’ll need to find it before they step on another floor.

If not, the remarkable run Gary Williams and his tremendous senior class has put together this season will be over as quickly as their appearance in the ACC Tournament was.

-G

Greensboro, NC
Greetings from the Greensboro Coliseum, where the #2 seeded Maryland Terrapins battle the #7 seeded Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. The winner advances to face the winner of tonight’s Florida State-NC State game in tomorrow’s semifinals.

The Terps were 76-74 winners in the only meeting between the teams this season-back on February 20th at Comcast Center in College Park. You’ll remember that Maryland needed a miracle 3 from Cliff Tucker at the buzzer to pull out the victory.

This matchup includes all of the ACC awards winners this season; ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez, Coach of the Year Gary Williams, and Rookie of the Year Derrick Favors.

I will be providing updates below throughout the evening.You can also follow us on Twitter (@WNST), where Luke Jones, Bob Haynie and others will check in as well.

-G

————————————————————————————-

9:19pm-Georgia Tech knocks Maryland out of the ACC Tournament and likely punches their own ticket to The Big Dance. Final score 69-64. I’ll be back with more shortly.

9:18pm-Short stay in Greensboro. Not what you’d expect from the ACC Player of the Year…

9:17pm-They’ll have a chance….

9:16pm-It isn’t over, but it will take a miracle….

9:15pm-I was afraid of that….

9:14pm-We all know how this possession is going to end. Just 7 seconds on the shot clock though…

9:12pm-Can’t waste any more of these types of chances….

9:10pm-HUGE shot from Vasquez after Favors appeared to dagger the Terps with the putback dunk. 15 for Vasquez.

For the record, that DEFINITELY appeared to be a shot clock violation, and I’m right under the rim. I’m reasonably certain that ball did NOT hit the rim….

9:06pm-How many shots can Maryland miss with the deficit a one possession difference??? Unreal. Both teams have one timeout remaining with 1:44 to play. Tech ball up 3. They’ll want to work clock and get the ball inside.

9:04pm-The Jackets have been DESPERATELY trying to help the Terps from the line in the 2nd half…letting Glen Rice come down with that ball there is a killer though. Terps fortunate to get it back.

9:01pm-Tech will be in the double bonus the rest of the way. How many chances has Maryland had to get over the hump? Unreal. 2:47 to play at the final official timeout of regulation, Terps trail 62-59.

9:00pm-I don’t even have to ask if you think Derrick Favors’ head is in this one. It clearly isn’t. He’s a tourist. On vacation until the NBA Draft…

8:58pm-There’s two stops, but a BADLY ill-advised long pass gives it right back to Georgia Tech with Maryland trailing 62-59. 4:19 to play. Can’t afford those types of mistakes at this point in the game.

8:56pm-Landon Milbourne has 15 points to lead all scorers. Trailing 62-57 with 5:08 to play, the Terps need some defensive stops.

8:55pm-That was the 2009 Adrian Bowie we just saw on that last possession. Too soft to the rim, then line-driving a 3 point attempt. He’s been much better than that in recent weeks.

8:54pm-Who wants to hire me as a color analyst? Jordan Williams back in. Tech will want to go at him-at least when Moe Miller isn’t hitting jumpers…

8:51pm-12 points now for Greivis Vasquez, and Maryland trails 59-55 with 7:08 to play in this one. Gary has to be thinking about when to re-insert Jordan Williams during this timeout.

8:49pm-Big shot there from Eric Hayes to cut the lead back down to 5. He has 10 now. But ANOTHER miss inside from Mosley turns into another 3 from Brian Oliver. Tech by 8 again.

8:46pm-Maryland had plenty of chances to tie this up or take the lead, but instead they again trail by 5 at 53-48. Tech is regaining confidence, and a Brian Oliver 3 makes the lead 56-48 now for Tech. Gary Williams is forced to call his 4th timeout with 8:50 to play. He’ll have to go back to the drawing board.

8:43pm-The Gani Lawal-Sean Mosley matchup does not favor Maryland.

8:39pm-And with that foul on Mosley, the Jackets will be in the bonus the rest of the way. 48-46 Georgia Tech with 11:39 to play in the 2nd half, we’re at our 2nd official timeout.

8:38pm-This place was ready to explode if Vasquez had managed to hit that 3 ball. Maryland fans are absolutely drowning out the Tech fans in the building.

8:37pm-Already 5 team fouls on Maryland here in the 2nd half, still nearly 13 minutes to play.

8:35pm-If this is going to continue to be a coaching contest, I know this much. I prefer the guy on the Maryland bench. 48-44 Jackets.

8:32pm-Interesting to see Gary Williams turn to a small lineup, especially without Greivis Vasquez on the floor. But it’s working early, and the Terps have cut the Tech lead to 46-42, the closest they have been since early in the game.

4 teams fouls early in the half for Maryland. Cliff Tucker is playing the 4, and Paul Hewitt is quick to get Derrick Favors back in the game.

What is an “elbow violation” anyway???

8:31pm-Boy is this going to be a big 2nd half for Dino Gregory. The Mt. St. Joe grad is going to have to tough up with Jordan Williams in major foul trouble.

8:29pm-The Jackets are “lost” in the words of my friend Bruce Posner (who is sitting next to me here in Greensboro). Paul Hewitt is forced to take his 3rd timeout.

A block on Jordan Williams might change everything. He tried to get set, but I’m not sure he did. That’s four on him with 15:33 to play. Trouble.

8:26pm-There’s still a long way to go tonight. Terps have to sustain this energy for the rest of the half, and hope the Jackets wear down after playing a tough game against the Tar Heels last night. But trailing by 6 at the 1st official timeout of the 2nd half isn’t what I thought we’d be talking about when Georgia Tech was about to extend their lead to 20 in the first half.

8:24pm-Maybe we’re going to have a game tonight after all. 5 straight from Hayes and Vasquez, and it’s just 44-38 with 16:11 to play. 10 points now for the senior from Venezuela.

8:20pm-The Terps won’t go a game without a 3 ball tonight, as Greivis Vasquez drains one falling down. BUT-D’Andre Bell has an answer, and GT re-extends their lead to 11 at 44-33 before Paul Hewitt takes his 2nd timeout with 17:08 to play.

8:18pm-And just like that, Jordan Williams picks up his 3rd personal. This will be tough down the stretch as Maryland tries to contain Derrick Favors (6 points and 6 boards in the first half).

8:17pm-Jordan Williams finally missed his first free throw, but the Terps have scored the first 3 points of the 2nd half. Hey, small victories….

8:15pm-Did anyone think there was ANY chance Maryland might try to take a page from “D2: The Mighty Ducks” and change jerseys at the half? You know, Ducks fly together….

8:10pm-Maurice “Moe” Miller and Iman Shumpert lead all scorers with 9 points each. Landon Milbourne has 7 to lead Maryland. Greivis Vasquez has 5 (2-8 from field), Eric Hayes has 2 (1-5). Maryland has not connected on a 3 point shot yet tonight.

8:00pm-First Half point totals for Maryland this season away from Comcast Center….

11/23 vs. Chaminade in Maui-36 (lead by 10)
11/24 vs. Cincinnati in Maui-18 (trailed by 13)
11/25 vs. Wisconsin in Maui-27 (trailed by 10)
12/1 at Indiana-35 (lead by 2)
12/6 vs. Villanova at Verizon Center-38 (trailed by 11)
1/3 @ UNC-Greensboro-52 (lead by 18)
1/12 @ Wake Forest-39 (trailed by 3)
1/16 @ Boston College-38 (lead by 10)
1/31 @ Clemson-22 (trailed by 7)
2/4 @ Florida State-25 (trailed by 4)
2/13 @ Duke-24 (trailed by 16)
2/17 @ NC State-27 (trailed by 10)
2/27 @ Virginia Tech-31 (trailed by 6)
3/6 @ Virginia-38 (lead by 11)
3/12 vs. Georgia Tech in Greensboro-25 (trailed by 16)

It isn’t a perfect science, but there’s certainly a trend there. There won’t be any more games in College Park this season, so they’ll need to do something to improve upon this…

7:56pm-That’s a big play to end the half; but it doesn’t mean the Terps are back in it. It’s 41-25 Georgia Tech at the half. I’ll be back shortly…

7:54pm-Maryland trying to show SOME signs of life before the half, and the Terrapin supporters in the crowd DESPERATELY want to come to life. But every time something good happens, they struggle to build on it. Moe Miller just buried a 3 right on top of Vasquez and Milbourne. Wow.

7:52pm-Greivis is trying to “get the bit between his teeth” as Drew Forrester likes to say…but he is being taken COMPLETELY out of his game by Paul Hewitt’s defense. 39-20 with under 2 minutes to play.

7:50pm-Throwing the ball in the direction of the hoop instead of putting the ball IN the hoop from the cylinder has been an issue for Maryland all season.

This is dreadful. I just shouldn’t ever take road trips to this state I guess. 38-19 Jackets now, and Gary is forced to call his 3rd timeout already. Unthinkable.

7:48pm-We knew this was a bad matchup for Maryland, but it is STUNNING to see them struggle like this. 34-19 with 3:29 to play in the half at the final official timeout. If they can’t get it back under 10 before the break, this trip to Greensboro could be over before it started.

7:45pm-With both Gregory and Williams in foul trouble, Peacock was able to get his own miss there. Unreal. They have 6 team fouls, but they’re much more spread out.

7:44pm-Big hoop for Eric Hayes, as the Terps desperately need SOMEONE to hit some shots from outside. Of course, they also can’t have a guy like Zachary Peacock hitting 3 pointers on the other end. 29-19 Jackets…

7:43pm-Didn’t take long-Jordan Williams and Dino Gregory came right back in. Tech will obiously aim to go right at them…

7:41pm-Padgett has shown some heart defensively, but the Jackets are absolutely having their way inside on both ends. Gary will have to risk further foul trouble, as Tech has extended their lead to 26-15 with 6:55 to play, and the Terps had to take their 2nd timeout. Maybe Gary should have dressed Jerome Burney for this one….

7:38pm-Maryland finally breaks their offensive slump by getting Landon Milbourne behind the GT defense for a dunk. Unfortunately, Sean Mosley picked up his first foul (5th team foul) before the 3rd official timeout of the half. 22-15 Jackets with 7:37 to play.

7:35pm-As I guessed, James Padgett checked in for Maryland. He played good defense, but could only watch as Derrick Favors pulled down the board and threw home a 2nd chance dunk. Yikes.

Landon Milbourne especially looks tentative to shoot right now. Maryland trails 22-13 right now, they don’t want Tech to build this to double digits going towards the half.

7:33pm-That’s 2 personals now on Jordan Williams-which is PARTICULARLY bad news for Maryland. Gary Williams will call a timeout-he’ll need to come up with a new plan now with his big guys in foul trouble. Might need to steal a few minutes from James Padgett, who did not play in last Saturday’s win at Virginia.

7:30pm-Mfon Udofia checks in for Georgia Tech, Paul Hewitt is trying to keep his guys fresh after a hard fought win over UNC last night.

Shumpert’s dunk puts Tech up 19-13, Maryland badly needs one of their shooters to wake up. They came here in January to play UNC-Greensboro specifically hoping to get comfortable with the building.

7:29pm-I know that isn’t a great spot for Dino Gregory there at the top of the key-but you just can’t commit 3 shot fouls.

Of course, if you’re GT’s Brian Oliver, you can’t miss three free throws either. Wow.

7:24pm-Adrian Bowie into the game for Maryland-I can’t remember the last time he missed a shot. Of course, no long jumpers are falling for Maryland early on-which has often been the case away from College Park.

15-13 Tech at the 2nd official timeout of the half. 11:56 to play.

7:21pm-Maryland wants to see Tech take jumpers instead of working the ball inside, but they don’t want to see Iman Shumpert and Moe Miller hitting long ones like they just did. Landon Milbourne just hit the first long jumper of the game for Maryland.

Brian Oliver checks in and Gani Lawal checks back in for GT, Cliff Tucker and Dino Gregory get in for the first time for the Terps.

Worth noting that Jordan Williams has started the game 4-4 from the FT line.

7:17pm-Zachary Peacock checks in for GT, and Landon Milbourne gets a big 2nd chance hoop off a missed jumper by Mosley. We’re at our first official timeout, Maryland leads 7-4 with 15:41 to play in the half.

7:15pm-Given the types of layups Eric Hayes has made in recent weeks, it’s almost stunning to see him miss one.

Landon Milbourne makes just 1 of 2 at the line….you have to wonder if he’s going to get out of his funk at all before his career is over.

7:13pm-Odd decision for Paul Hewitt to call his first timeout so early, but he clearly didn’t like something after that Vasquez breakaway to put Maryland up 4-2. He’ll do a lot of coaching tonight, knowing the Ramblin’ Wreck might well need a win to get into the NCAA Tournament.

Moe Miller is the first Jacket off the bench.

7:06pm-As Luke Jones just Tweeted, the Terps are wearing white tonight, not the gold uniforms we’ve gotten accustomed to seeing them wearing in recent weeks at home. Our friend Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse on Twitter) let us know Wednesday night that the Terps DID bring the gold uniforms with them, who knows if we might see them at some point this weekend should the Terps advance.

7:10pm-A nice cut to Sean Mosley on the first possession, but he’s in amongst trees down there. What you saw on the Jackets’ first possession is EXACTLY what Maryland can’t have happen tonight. Three chances for a Wreck hoop, including Jordan Williams’ first personal.

7:01pm-No surprises in tonight’s starting lineups. Georgia Tech goes with Iman Shumpert, D’Andre Bell, Glen Rice Jr., Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors up top. The Terps counter with Eric Hayes, Greivis Vasquez, Sean Mosley, Landon Milbourne and Jordan Williams up top.

6:44pm-How did I miss the note that John Mayer was playing here at the Greensboro Coliseum Monday night? If Chris Bonetti is in with Drew Forrester again Monday on “The Comcast Morning Show”, you won’t need to even bother asking why.

Kudos to the meal planners here in Greensboro. Dinner tonight included fried catfish, mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. There was also sweet tea, and carrot cake after. That’s a WIN.

Also, I’ve been told I need to hit “Biscuitville” while I’m here. I’m guessing tomorrow morning would be my best bet, as Maryland would play the 2nd game tomorrow with a win tonight. Anyone know anything about Biscuitville? Anywhere else I need to stop by?

6:41pm-Well, the Maryland quarter of the arena is certainly packed, and there are a number of Maryland fans in other places here at the Coliseum. As I was walking in, I think 10 different Virginia Tech fans asked me if I was looking for tickets for tomorrow. For the record, I didn’t feel sorry for them. I just hope Terps fans aren’t in the same spot as Hokies fans later tonight….

6:33pm-I’m pleased with the league/Coliseum’s choice of pre-game entertainment, as they are showing the highlight video from the 2004 ACC Tournament currently. Good news there. If you’re looking for me on Raycom (WNUV 54 in Baltimore) or ESPN2 tonight-and I have NO IDEA why you would be-I’m directly under the north basket, wearing a black hat. The GTU cheerleaders are currently down on this end, couldn’t tell you if they’re staying here.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 10 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because there was a Chick-Fil-A platter delivered yesterday afternoon during Rex Snider & Ray Bachman’s show. There may have only been a few chicken nuggets left by the time I drove as fast as I could to get back to 1550 Hart Rd., but it was well worth it.

Oh and also, it’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I finally got around to watching Zach Galifianakis host Saturday Night Live. I had to watch it on Hulu because my roommate (thanks pal) forgot to record it on our brand new Comcast DVR. It wasn’t QUITE as good as Jon Hamm, but it certainly had some moments….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQDqH7l3Co4[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Greivis Vasquez named ACC Player of the Year, Gary Williams ACC Coach of the Year

Boy, this picture Luke included with his blog says a lot….

greivis

Hopefully this story isn’t the watershed moment in the Greivis Vasquez-Gary Williams story. But even if it is; the story will be a tremendous one to tell for Maryland fans to tell over the course of the next generation.

Both Greivis and Gary were OVERLY deserving of these honors, and the voting portrayed exactly that. Vasquez was a runaway victor-with his performance against Jon Scheyer and the Blue Devils last week at Comcast Center clearly fresh on the minds of voters. Gary also won with a big margin over Coach K, his 2nd such honor during his 21 seasons in College Park.

Jordan Williams was 2nd in ACC Rookie of the Year voting (behind a VERY deserving Derrick Favors from Georgia Tech), leaving the Terps just short of an ACC awards sweep.

2. Washington Post’s Michael Wilbon says having veteran players could help Terrapins make run in NCAA Tournament

And of course he’s right about that. The trio of seniors (Vasquez, Eric Hayes and even Landon Milbourne); as well as veterans Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker, and Dino Gregory off the bench will ABSOLUTELY help the Terps in the Big Dance.

BUT….other teams have good players too.

AND….other teams might be even more talented.

OR….other teams might go off for 60% shooting from beyond the arc in a strange atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon in Spokane.

Just having upperclassmen doesn’t guarantee great success in March. But it sure does help.

As a side note, Deadspin offered this yesterday…apparently from the Raycom broadcast of the Maryland/Georgia Tech game a few weeks ago. It humorously points out that the graphic looks similar to a certain part of the female anatomy. I wouldn’t giggle if it weren’t funny…

telestratorvag

3. The Sun says Terps, Texas given ‘reprieve’ from new rule limiting “coach in waiting” involvement in recruiting

The only thing I don’t understand in this whole process is why the NCAA would adopt a rule basically preventing teams from using the “coach in waiting” system, but not just ban the “coach in waiting” system altogether?

James Franklin (like the Longhorns’ Wil Muschamp) is an ASSISTANT coach. Ralph Friedgen is the head coach, like Mack Brown in Austin. Franklin and Muschamp should be allowed to recruit the same way every other ASSISTANT coach in the country is.

Nothing about this rule makes any sense to me. Giving these coaches ‘reprieve’ for one season isn’t the answer, either. Either ban the entire system, or let the coaches recruit the way they should be allowed to.

4. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Bruce Campbell, Nolan Carroll, Chris Turner, Cory Jackson to work out at Maryland’s Pro Day today in College Park

You know what’s a LITTLE bit weird? NFL Scouts are going to be looking at Bruce Campbell today the same way I look at “Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco…

Cuoco

…Okay, maybe not the SAME way, but you get the point.

Today is biggest for CB Nolan Carroll, who scouts like-but haven’t seen do anything on a football field after Week 2-when he broke his leg. He was in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine, but only for the private meetings and medical checks, he didn’t actually work out.

It’s a big day for Chris Turner too. Not because he has any chance of reaching the NFL (I’m not sure he’s even really concerned about TRYING to reach the NFL-he has an idea about what he wants to do for the rest of his life), but because he would REALLY like for the scouts in the room to know him as something OTHER than the dude who looks like Napoleon Dynamite.

5. Morgan State Official Site previews tonight’s MEAC Tournament quarterfinal matchup with North Carolina A&T

I’m a LITTLE confused as to why the MEAC sets up their tournament to have some teams playing their first round games today and other teams playing quarterfinal games tonight, but it does appear as though it is set up to benefit the #1 seeded Bears. If they win tonight (as they should against an A&T team that had to play Howard last night), they’ll be off tomorrow night, and won’t have to play 3 games in 3 days to win the MEAC title and the automatic bid.

Instead, they’ll have to play Friday night and Saturday afternoon-which is still a difficult task, but not nearly as daunting as playing 3 times in 3 days.

6. Coppin State Official Site previews this afternoon’s MEAC Tournament opener against UMES

Fang Mitchell told me after the Eagles lost to Norfolk State last week that he was pretty sure he had never finished last in the MEAC until this season. The pain of that could be dulled a bit by getting a first round victory over the Hawks, although clearly not completely erased.

On the flip side, the job that Frankie Allen has done in Princess Anne cannot go unnoticed. That program struggled to win ANY games, but the former UMBC assistant has gone out there and brought a level of respectability to that program. I’m not sure it translates for long term success THERE-but hopefully it translates to long term success for Allen SOMEWHERE.

7. Inside Lacrosse says Steven Boyle, Kyle Wharton, Michael Kimmel and Zach Palmer all scored 3 goals as Johns Hopkins topped UMBC at Homewood Field

Good win for the Blue Jays-who needed a good win after their tough loss to Princeton Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium. They’re not going to get 4 hat tricks every time out, but if they can continue to get a more balanced effort from their attack unit, they’ll be in great shape.

They return to action Saturday night at Hofstra (expect a big crowd there on Long Island). Things get NO easier for the 1-3 Retrievers, as they visit Princeton Saturday afternoon.

8. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Chad Moeller homered, but Birds fell to Rays

Chris Tillman gave up 2 runs (1 earned) over 2 1/3 innings of work. As Brittany points out, no Orioles pitcher has managed to go 3 innings yet during Spring Training. That’s not overly concerning-but consider the fact that Jeff Niemann appeared to go an effortless 4 innings yesterday for Tampa. Also, the O’s committed 5 errors yesterday. That’s not good….at all.

What IS good? Well, as we first showed you yesterday on Twitter (follow us @WNST), Matt Wieters will grace the cover of next Monday’s issue of SI. Say what you want about a jinx, but having an Oriole on the cover of SI for the first time in 13 years is pretty cool…

wieters

Hell, there’s an argument that the picture is more attractive than even this picture of Trish Richardson that I found yesterday at Barstool Sports….

trishrichardson

9. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Andy MacPhail ‘admitted concern’ regarding Brian Roberts injury

This whole situation with Brian Roberts has been weird since Day 1. ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that Brian was dealing with kidney stones, which was immediately shot down by Dave Trembley-who described it as a “lower back issue.” Almost immediately after that, it was diagnosed as a “herniated disc”, with a moderate level of concern.

Now, he’s having bad reactions to medication and the organization is concerned that he might not be ready even by Opening Day.

Does it make you wonder if maybe the initial report from Buster Olney was more accurate than the Orioles wanted us to think it was?

10. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says ‘no deal expected’ for Marlin Jackson after visit with Ravens

Not surprising. Marlin Jackson was in town yesterday (even though he apparently didn’t make it to Martin’s West), so it made sense for him to visit Owings Mills while he was in town. That being said, the Ravens would not be offering Marlin Jackson a money contract and a guaranteed spot to make the team. I doubt the Philadelphia Eagles will be doing that either. Frankly, I doubt any NFL will be doing that with a player who has been injured more over the last two seasons than he has been on the field.

That being said, I imagine (and I don’t have anyone reporting this to me) the conversation probably went something like “Look, we’re more than willing to let you come to Training Camp and prove you can be a part of this team-but we’re not going to promise you anything.”

11. USA Today’s Jim Corbett says Kurt Warner thinks Ravens got ‘another Ray Lewis’ with Anquan Boldin acquisition

And if there’s someone in that conversation who would know, it would be Kurt Warner. The same way that Boldin embodies the idea of “Play Like a Raven”, so does Kurt Warner. These guys are tough, they’re “warriors”, and they respect each other a great deal.

As I said yesterday, it really IS a “perfect fit.”

12. WNST.net’s Nestor Aparicio says in midst of controversy, Michael Vick did good at Ed Block Courage Awards

If you haven’t read this blog yet, PLEASE do so. And check out this video from WNSTv that accompanies it….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmp-fMr31c0[/youtube]

I don’t think it would necessarily CHANGE your opinion about Michael Vick, especially if you were one of THESE people….

vickprotest

….but I still think it’s worth the time to read.

And finally, I leave you with this.

RIP Corey Haim. Lost Boys meant a lot to all of us….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-epc4kzkKF4[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because the people of Milledgeville, GA are much more intelligent and creative than I ever realized….

bigben

Clearly, this Roethlisberger issue is too serious to really be funny; but…..it’s also pretty funny. Sorry. (Thanks Deadspin.)

Let’s see what everyone has to say…..

1. Maryland Official Site says Vasquez unanimous All-ACC choice, Jordan Williams named to ACC’s All-Rookie team

And Andy Roddick’s wife is moderately attractive….

decker

Look, we all knew these players were going to receive these honors, so it isn’t exactly earth-shaking. That being said, both are still very deserving. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

The announcements for ACC Player of the Year, ACC Coach of the Year, and ACC Rookie of the Year come this afternoon. The answers are Greivis Vasquez, Gary Williams and Derrick Favors. Other answers would be inaccurate, which of course doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

2. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland, Illinois, Texas, Pitt, Navy, Rhode Island, College of Charleston in field for 2010 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

Of course, this all sets up for the Terps, Illini, Longhorns and Panthers to meet up at Madison Square Garden early in the season.

I say “sets up” knowing damn well that a few of those teams could give the Terps some trouble early at Comcast Center, especially considering this team will be trying to replace Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne. Adrian Bowie will likely be trying to prove himself for the first time at the point, while Sean Mosley will be trying to prove himself for the first time as a go-to scorer at the NCAA level.

It won’t be easy. It especially won’t be easy if they get to New York.

3. ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi has Terps as 5 seed, facing Arizona State in first round of NCAA Tournament

As of right now, that’s about right. Due to the fact that their surge has come late, it is unlikely the Terrapins will be able to stay “local” (Providence or Buffalo), but they’re still likely to get a high seed. Should they make a run to the ACC Championship Game Sunday in Greensboro, that seed could be even higher.

And for the record, despite living in Tempe for 2 years-my allegiance is not even a BIT in question. Despite the aesthetics of Sun Devil Country….

tempe

4. Washington Examiner’s Kevin Dunleavy says Maryland, Notre Dame finalize deal for 2011 football game at FedEx Field

Awesome.

Of course, by next season-there is no doubt that Brian Kelly will have the Fighting Irish turned around, and this game will be even more of a disaster than the 22-0 loss at Giants Stadium in the Kickoff Classic a few years back.

This is a bit of a good news-bad news issue. The good news is that for a Maryland team that struggled to get ANY sort of TV coverage last season (not that I didn’t enjoy getting to know the broadcast staff of ESPN360), they’ll get a midseason primetime game televised nationally on NBC.

The bad news is that the game will be played only a few miles away from College Park, yet Irish fans will get to eat up the bulk of the tickets via a lottery. This isn’t like the Navy game in Baltimore-where fans of both schools have equal access to tickets.

But it’s still a good thing for the program, there’s no doubt about that. Hopefully we’ll feel the same way the morning after the game.

5. Johns Hopkins Official Site previews tonight’s contest with UMBC at Homewood Field

Your boy is headed over to Homewood Field tonight to FINALLY get his first look at the Jays this season. Let’s Tweet up (follow us on Twitter @WNST) if you’re going too. Let me know, and we’ll grab some sort of frosty adult beverage following the game.

Big game for Dave Pietramala’s crew after falling to Princeton Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium. They want to prove that losing the Tigers was nothing more than a tough loss to a really good team. Taking care of business tonight against the Retrievers will prove that.

6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ozzie Newsome thinks he ‘made a mistake’ by not originally drafting Anquan Boldin

boldin

There are a lot of NFL GM’s who feel the same way, trust me. There’s a heart measurement that can’t be quantified when players run around in their underwear out in Indianapolis.

Anquan Boldin proved his heart just weeks before his trip to the NFL Scouting Combine, when his Florida State team went into the Sugar Bowl without starting QB Chris Rix and backup Adrian McPherson. The Seminoles tried 3rd string QB Fabian Walker, but had no success against a tough Georgia defense.

Knowing that he needed a good showing to help his NFL Draft stock as an undersized WR, Boldin was still more than willing to move under center (where he had played in high school) to try to help Bobby Bowden and the ‘Noles. They didn’t win the game-but it showed the type of player Anquan Boldin was.

It’s good that the Ravens have gotten a second chance to have a player like Anquan Boldin on their team. It’s not as good as having a career’s worth of Anquan Boldin, but hopefully it will help change the entire team.

7. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Harbaugh, Boldin believe acquisition perfect ‘fit’

And it really does appear to be that way. Boldin is a tough player, and will have no problem being part of a John Harbaugh team or a Cam Cameron offense. He’s the type of receiver that will immediately make Joe Flacco better, and he already has the respect of locker room leader Ray Lewis.

I’ve been hard pressed to find negative things to say about the acquisition. Boldin’s health will be a factor, but he’s never played fewer than 10 games in a season, and his only 10 game season came in 2004.

But when you think of “injury-prone” players, he’s not the type of guy who has a history of knee troubles-or who has had to miss a season due to an ACL issue.

It’s a great fit. It really is.

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says acquisition of Seneca Wallace makes it unlikely Troy Smith will end up in Cleveland

What’s funny here is that the one reason I thought Troy Smith might be a fit with the Browns is because of the affinity Mike Holmgren had for Seneca Wallace in Seattle. In fact, I just talked about that with Bob Haynie yesterday on AM1570.

Apparently, I was (sorta) right.

It’s just that instead of going to get a quarterback SIMILAR to Seneca Wallace, Holmgren just decided to go get Wallace.

This leaves Troy Smith in a tough spot. He and his agent (Ralph Cindrich) have done all of their posturing to try to get him to his hometown team, and calling it a “longshot” would now be kind.

The Rams, Seahawks, Cardinals, Redskins and Panthers are all likely still in the QB market. You would think that either Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb would probably end up in one of those locations. In others (like in Arizona), Smith wouldn’t be entering a competition for a starting job-but instead assuming the role of “the next guy to get a chance if our first guy screws up.” And a lot of people think a QB like Matt Leinart might screw up.

But we don’t have any real reason to assume a team like the Cards (or the Rams, or the Panthers, or whoever) is REALLY interested in Troy Smith-especially if they have to give something up to get him.

9. The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens should still pursue Derrick Mason or receiver in NFL Draft even after acquiring Boldin

Completely agreed. In fact, I’d say they still need to do both.

Remembering that Donte’ Stallworth and (likely) Mark Clayton would only be back on 1 year deals, and knowing that Marcus Smith, Demetrius Williams and Justin Harper are COMPELTELY unproven commodities, the Ravens can use more help at receiver.

They’d be much better off going into Training Camp with a group of 8 wide receivers that looks like….

Anquan Boldin
Derrick Mason
Donte’ Stallworth
Mark Clayton
Eric Decker (Minnesota WR coming off a foot injury-likely to be picked in the 3rd-5th round.)
Demetrius Williams
Justin Harper
Marcus Smith

From that group, they could keep as many as 5 receivers, try to release others and sign them back to the practice squad, allow injuries to play out as they will, etc. etc. etc.

Now-I’m playing fantasy football here. BUT-I don’t think the Ravens are dismissing Derrick Mason. I think they’re almost giving him the “Ray Lewis treatment” from a season ago. Remember, they made an offer to Ray and made it clear publicly they wanted him to return. They also said to him “go find out how much you’re worth.”

After Ray talked to teams that might be interested (presumably including the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets), he realized that his greatest value was still in Baltimore. He returned.

I get the feeling (although no one has confirmed this to me) that they’re trying something similar with Mason. “Go find out how much you’re worth.” Mason can talk to the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, etc. and truly gauge what his value is. If he finds out other teams value him as a #1 receiver, he might be able to cash in that way. If he finds out the 2 year deal he has on the table from the Ravens is fair-he has the option to come back.

10. The Sun’s Mike Klingaman says kids had serious questions for Michael Vick during appearance at St. Vincent’s Center Monday

I don’t want to get too deep into the Vick discussion here, as we spent the better part of four hours talking about it this morning on “The Comcast Morning Show.”

I do not support those of you who will choose to protest the Ed Block Courage Awards tonight because of Michael Vick’s attendance. That’s not because I support dogfighting, but it’s because I’m done with the part where we try to crucify Michael Vick.

If Vick’s teammates with the Philadelphia Eagles thought Vick was deserving of this type of honor, so be it. That’s not something ANY of us can speak to, as we don’t know the daily life of Michael Vick.

If you aren’t happy that he’s receiving the award, I understand your opinion. But I won’t support a protest of an event that is amongst the best charitable events our city holds. No thank you.

11. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Matt Wieters got first hit of Spring Training, but Birds fell to Twins

You hate to see a team get only three hits in a game whether it’s in the Grapefruit League, the American League, or even the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; but these things happen.

The O’s return to action today in Sarasota against the Rays, first pitch is at 1:05. Chris Tillman starts for the Orioles, Jeff Niemann for Tampa. I’d tell you where to see the game on TV, but………

12. SI’s Dan Shaughnessy says MacPhail, Wieters give Orioles ‘hope’

This looks pretty similar to the Tim Kurkjian story I commented on yesterday. Warm fuzzies are all well and nice, but it doesn’t explain how the Birds are going to compete against the Yankees and Red Sox in the AL East. It’s nothing more than warm fuzzies.

And finally, I leave you with this.

The presence of Scott Hall last night is part of why I think the “Hulk Hogan era” will ultimately doom TNA, but I couldn’t help but enjoy the return of the “Monday Night Wars”, especially when Rob Van Dam bumped into Sting….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0-m0tDCW8M[/youtube]

It WAS better than watching Criss Angel on WWE. That’s for sure.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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