Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Five Stages of Caring About the Terps

After GV's desperation heave at the buzzer clanged off the top of the backboard, I turned off the TV and slumped down to the couch. I didn't pick up the paper the next day, didn't read the game stories online, and mostly avoided anything to do with Maryland basketball.

I mean that HURT, didn't it? Just when you thought it was safe to believe. Nope.

I had to take almost a full week off after Clemson to get through:

1. Denial -- That DID NOT JUST HAPPEN
3. Bargaining -- Let me rewind and watch that again, I don't think it actually happened, did it? I think they were up 20 with 10 minutes left right? And up 13 with 5 minutes left right? And at home on senior night right? Maybe that didn't happen at all.
4. Depression -- This team stinks, why do I care about them? I am depressed.
5. Acceptance -- Well, if they can win at UVa and win a couple in the ACC tournament...

So that's where I am. I have moved on, can't think too much about the Clemson loss because if you do, you might just decide that it ain't worth the anguish to be a Maryland basketball fan.

The Clemson loss was painful for so many reasons, not the least of which is that you can't even be pissed under any circumstances if Maryland doesn't get an at-large bid. Aside from winning the ACC tournament, which comes with an automatic bid of course, no one is alllowed to bitch if Maryland is not in the field of 65. Maryland has had every chance to earn its way to the dance on the court and has not gotten it done.

They are 18-12, 8-7 right now. If they beat UVa and get to the finals of the ACC tournament and lose, that would make them 21-13 with a 5-5 record in their last 10 games. My guess is if that happens, Maryland WOULD make the tournament. But if they don't, no one has a legitimate complaint. 13 losses is a lot of losses. No team with 13 losses EVER makes a run in the tournament. You know why? Because teams with 13 losses AREN'T VERY GOOD.

So I think the only way to be safe is to go ahead and win the ACC tournament. It could happen, it probably won't. UNC is getting healthy, Duke is Duke and god forbid the Terps should have to get past Virginia Tech or Miami.

So here we are in March, staring straight at the (blech) N-I-T. And really my friends, is there anything worse? The thought of a half-empty Comcast Center for Maryland vs. Nebraska on a Wed. night before the real tournament begins is enough to make me hurl. And we've seen enough throwing up this season already, haven't we?

It ain't over yet. But it's close.


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