But, a road win is a road win, and Md. got even with BC for the earlier loss at Comcast when the Terps were playing like crap.
Gary's 600th win will be remembered as a classic Gary win, gritty, a little ugly, but his boys gutted it out.
More and more, I think losing at home to American was a good thing. Getting taken to OT by Northeastern and losing to Ohio weren't enough. Like a drunk in denial, the Terps had to hit rock bottom, and hit bottom they did when a team from the Patriot league that has never played in the NCAA tournament came to College Park and won. Going away.
Then came the whole "take the name tags off the locker thing" and some soul searching, and since then it's been 9-2 with losses only at Va Tech (shoulda won that one) and home against Duke. Who is better than Maryland in the ACC right now? Only UNC and Duke by record, and I'd argue the same in terms of how the team is playing right now.
Did anyone actually see the BC game by the way? ESPNU is a joke around here because anyone with Comcast, which is just about everyone, can't get it. So I broke down and -- rather than listening on the radio -- went over a neighbor's house who has DirecTV and caught the game; he's a Va. Tech fan, humored me while I paced all over his living room as the Terps barely hung on down the stretch.
Game notes from my perspective:
The announcers on ESPNU, I don't recall their names, were so bad, it was almost like a Saturday Night Live skit about "generic sports announcers." They didn't know anything about either team, didn't say anything interesting, and filled 2 hours of a college basketball game with bland, non-specific comments like, "Vasquez is playing great tonight." Because the game was at BC and Doug Flutie was in the crowd, of course they felt obligated to interview him, which would have been fine... but they kept him on for 10 minutes of game time, during the second half, while Maryland made its run. And during that time, they straight up interviewed Flutie about BC football and college signing day, AS IF THEY WEREN'T SITTING COURTSIDE AT A BASKETBALL GAME. It may as well have been a college football talk show, with periodic breaks for commercials. I am not exaggerating. They talked to Flutie and ignored the game completely.
Then there were the commercials. Wow. The commercials on ESPNU are one notch above what you'd expect to see on USA Up All Night with Rhonda Shear back in the day; no 900 line ads, but the kind of late-night, home video stuff that just makes you laugh, I think I saw five or six different ads for workout machines, a blood monitoring device, and, of course, house ads for ESPNU programming. It really is a crock that an important ACC game is on ESPNU when most people who follow Maryland in the Baltimore area at least (not sure about DC) don't get the channel.
I asked good friend and ad exec R. Weinstein in NY why Comcast doesn't get ESPNU, whether it was a fight between the networks or what, and he said:
Comcast is in a battle with everyone over everything…
They have equity stakes in a bunch of Fox Regional Sports Networks – which carry a lot of college programming. SO, they don’t want the competition. The arguments are always over what tier it should be on; the carrier wants it on a sports/digital tier so they can charge for it and the network wants it on more of a basic tier so they can get the widest coverage. The U actually has solid programming…
Back to the game, Vasquez DID play great. He led everyone in scoring with 25, had some insane assists and basically carried Maryland along with Gist, who had 23. Love Gist. This is the Gist we hoped for -- scorer, finisher, leaper, exciting, leader. GV still took some shots where you were thinking, "WHAT is he doing" but a few of them went down, as did BC, now reeling with five straight losses.
And guess what? Lookee here, lookee here, Terps are alone in 3rd place in the ACC. 15-8, 5-3, the AU loss feels like a different team and a different season.
The next "biggest game of the season" take place Saturday night against NC State.