Calling Maryland's season "a little eratic" is like calling Hummer sales a little slow and my hairline a little receding.
They have been alternately inspiring and wretched this season, with little in between. Who knows what to expect today, I'm just happy they're still playing and we get to watch, even if it is with one hand covering the other eye.
And here we are. Deep into March, with a date against Duke to go to the tournament. Sure, Maryland might make the field of 65 even without a win today, but it's not a lock.
Put it this way, if Maryland loses today, I don't think anyone can gripe, 'we got robbed.' Why? Well, at 7-8 in the ACC, needing to win one game a UVa, they couldn't get it done. 7-9 in the top heavy ACC ain't all that. Wins against Michigan State, UNC, and Wake look great, but Maryland also lost by 40 at Duke, lost at home to Morgan State, and got thrashed at Clemson. They also blew big second half leads to BC and Miami and needed a miracle three in the final 3 seconds to beat Vermont. OK? This is not a great team. It's a team that's fun to watch and capable of great things, but they are not great.
So anyway, I don't mean to be negative, I'm just saying that anyone who says "look what we did, we belong," isn't looking at the full picture. Then again, the full picture also includes the tournament resumes of a half dozen to 10 other bubble teams whose tournament worthiness is just as dubious or credible as Maryland's.
Bottom line - win today vs. Duke and a it's a stone cold lock. You can't keep out a team that has 4 wins against teams in the top 10 (and mabye you can't do that to a team with 3... maybe). So I'll be watching and hoping. I want it for Maryland because making the ACC finals would be a great acomplishment for this team and winning it would be amazing.
Couple other random notes:
Check out my brother-in-law Matt's blog post about Binghampton University hoops, then and now, great stuff.
I'm really tired of this exchange:
Play-by-play guy: And there's DAVE NEAL with the 3!
Color guy: Unbelievable. You know, this is a guy who wouldn't get picked in the the church league in the top 5. Ha ha ha
Play-by-play guy: ha ha ha that's so funny, ha ha ha. Yeah, he's a big fat white guy who doesn't look like a good basketball player, but it's so weird, he's actually pretty good.
Color guy: Yeah, yeah, what you said, if you would have told me he would average 8 and 4 for Maryland before the season, I would have told you, 'no way man,' he's way too big and fat and slow looking to be good on Maryland.
Play-by-play guy: yeah, yeah, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
You know what? If Dave Neal showed up at your church league or rec league on the JCC, you'd pick him first, because he's 6-6 and can shoot and people would say, 'hey, there's Dave Neal, he starts for Maryland.' OK?
Big fat relatively tall guys who a sneaky athletic are awesome!
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