It’s a familiar script. Maryland takes a big lead, shows it’s the better team. They take their foot off the gas. The opponent makes a run. Momentum shifts. Maryland tries to get it back but overdoes it. Shots are forced. Needless fouls and turnovers ensue. They scramble on defense. Panic sets in. Finally, they lose control of their bodily functions. Ballgame. When the going gets tough, the Terps get poopy pants.
It was another one of these tonight, as Maryland gadfly Miami beat the Terps 62-60 in a game they never led until the final two minutes. That makes it 0-4 for the Terps in the hostile, hostile confines of whatever Miami’s basketball stadium is called. When the Hurricanes joined the ACC, did you ever figure they’d, how should I put this, own our souls in basketball?
I actually had a victory post half written in my brain. About how the Canes had no answer for Maryland’s guards, especially Adrian Bowie, who went for a career-high 23. How the Terps looked quicker, perhaps due to their revamped conditioning program. About how the bigs, especially Landon Milbourne, showed real grit around the basket. All true things. And all fairly meaningless after the loss.
And what a loss it was. Spectacular, even. Miami star Jack McClinton, who Vasquez did a great job guarding most of the night, hit a three to take the lead, 62-60, with 20 seconds left. Terps bring it up. Vasquez hoists a long three from the top of the key. It bounces off the front of the rim. Ball goes out to Maryland with 2.1 seconds left. Timeout. Gary draws up the play. The Terps inbound the ball.
Guess what play they ran. Go ahead, take a minute.
Vasquez hoists a long three from the top of the key. It bounces off the back of the rim.
Draw your own conclusion.
There are four ACC teams currently ranked in the top 10. The Terps will play those teams a combined six times, out of 14 remaining games. We probably need eight more wins to make the tourney.
I say again…draw your own conclusion. Ugh.