I can just feel it coming. Terps are gonna come out fired up on Thursday and will play like gangbusters in the first half. Then, N.C. State’s gonna make it close for a hot minute in the second half, until Vasquez and Some Other Player To Be Determined (I’m guessing Adrian Bowie) help the Terps pull away for good. Maryland 78, N.C. State 68.
Then the real excitement starts. “The Terps can still make the tournament! They looked soooo awesome against N.C. State omg best game ever we’ve recaptured the magic they can totally still make it omg!” After throwing up a 26-8-6, Vasquez will talk to reporters for two hours about how this team has tremendous heart and will never give up, and where are all the haters now, and nobody understands how hard he works, and he loves being the underdog and the bad guy, and Wake Forest better watch out. Everyone will talk about how crisp the Terps’ offense looked, how stifling their defense, how great their hustle, how heroic their hearts and noble their fighting spirit. Then everyone will throw a huge collective “Terps Beating Wake And Getting Into the Tournament Party” at Comcast Center and a multitude of satellite locations. In Gary We Trust! Vasquez I love you! ❤ ❤ ❤
Then, to the surprise of a surprising number of people, in the next round, against a rested Wake team, Maryland’s dream will come crashing down. The Terp post players will remember they’re overmatched. The role players will sink back into their shells. Gary will bust capillaries in his eyes from screaming as the players check out girls in the stands. And everyone will realize, once again, that Vasquez has probably just seen Scarface too many times. He’s not the bad guy–not the Tony Montana kind of bad guy anyway. He’ll shoot 8-39, lead the rest of the Terps in a final collective midcourt bowel releasing, and skip the postgame news conference. Wake 82, Maryland 74. Mark it down. NIT, here we come.
See, this is good. Because now I’m in a no-lose situation. See what I did there? If the Terps lose to Wake, I get to act all smug like I actually know what I’m talking about. If the Terps beat Wake, well, the Terps beat Wake, and I was totally wrong but who cares because I wanted to be wrong from the start anyway because obviously I wanted the victory. Although, if the Terps lose to N.C. State, well, nobody wins. Unless, of course, you count N.C. State. Which I do not. So yeah…go Terps.