Posts Tagged ‘March Madness

19
Mar
09

NCAA first round: Vasquez and Maryland upset Cal, 84-71

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YEAH TERPS! What a game! This reminded me of the Michigan State win from earlier this year. Diving after loose balls, everything going in the basket. Everything was clicking.

This was a pretty evenly contest game until a HUGE swing at around the 10:30 mark of the second half. With the Terps nursing a two-point lead, Vasquez finds a wide-open Eric Hayes in the corner for a three. Cal didn’t convert on its possession, Hayes tracked down a rebound, and Dino Gregory (who played a great game) sent a touch pass to Landon Milbourne for another three. In the span of about 25 seconds, the lead went from two to eight. In total, it was a 9-0 run over 1:54.

In the last 10 minutes, Cal just couldn’t get anything consistent going. Interesting that they didn’t foul in the closing minutes. They just knew it was Maryland’s day. The Terps were unquestionably the better team today.

Play of the game came at the seven minute mark after Bowie missed a free throw and a scrum ensued. Bowie picked it up and, using the eyes in the back of his head, found Vasquez alone under the basket for an And-1. That was when everyone — both teams, both coaches, everyone — seemed to realize that it was all coming up Maryland. Vasquez was clearly the MVP, with a 27-6-2. Jesus. He has grown a ton over the last month or so.

The whole Terps team is peaking. Right now. What can they do against Memphis? Memphis looks to be tough right now as well, although they struggled a little against Cal Northridge in the first round.

First half recap of Terps win is below and here, if you’re interested.

Memphis up next on Saturday. We’ll be out of town, though, and won’t be blogging right after. Sorry, Mom.

GO TERPS!

(photo credit: Reinhold Matay — Associated Press)

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19
Mar
09

NCAA Tournament first round: Maryland vs. Cal

Kind of a nip-and-tuck first half, but by and large a good one for Maryland. They’re leading at halftime, 34-31, although it seems like they should be leading by more.

Vasquez leads the way for the Terps with 11…no surprise there. Was it just me, or were there a lot of fouls in the first half? Nope, there were a lot of fouls in the first half…10 for Cal and 9 for Maryland.

The best thing I saw was how calm Gary and the players seemed. They were just executing a game plan…no noticeable jitters, which is a great sign. I think they realize they’re playing with house money now, to an extent.

They were clearly interested in pushing the tempo on Cal both on offense and defense, and they were successful with it. Bigs played well against what seems to be a fairly overrated Cal frontcourt. Did I actually see Dave Neal out-jump one of them for a rebound?

I didn’t realize what an itty bitty little guy Jerome Randle was. Hey sparky! He’s a smooth player, though…he juked Mosely out of his shoes on one play. Vasquez was on him at times and did a good job of using his size to bother Randle.

Dino Gregory did some good yeoman’s work on defense. If drawing a charge can ever be called pretty, he had a really pretty charge-drawing on Jorge Guitierrez at like the 4:30 mark.

Come on Terps….

18
Mar
09

Terp ladies get Dartmouth in first round, beer bust possible later

So as you know, the Lady Terps got the 1 seed in the female incarnation of March Madness. This Sunday, they take on the Dartmouth Whatever Their Mascot Is (the Fighting Executives? The Demon Hangovers? Wait, no…it’s this guy) in the friendly confines of Comcast Center.

The Dartmouth ladies put in their reps.

The Dartmouth ladies put in their reps.

Too bad for Dahtmath that they can’t play the game in New Hampshah! Where people talk about respectable things. Like the economy! Ah, they economy. Who out theah wants to talk about the economy? Hey, wheah did Edwina put my scatch and sodaaaah!?!?

Sorry. I must be losing my mind waiting for the tourney to start. They don’t call it March Madness for nothing. So yeah, good luck ladies goterps.

02
Feb
09

slow and steady wins the race

Never a good idea!

Never a good idea!

I was just sitting in my office contemplating the rest of the Maryland men’s basketball schedule.  Suddenly, I had that irresistible urge to do something you should never do the first week in February.  I don’t mean ice luge the all night long before hosting Super Bowl party.  I learned that lesson the hard way last year.  No, I did something even worse than that.  I looked at ESPN Bracketology.

According to the laws of physics, Bracketology is inherently flawed.  It cannot be correct.  There is no way to accurately predict NCAA tournament seeds this early in the year.  Yet, Lunardi has a lot of exposure, and his crystal ball does have an effect on public opinion regarding the worthiness of teams to make the tournament.  Despite the fact that it is completely inaccurate, I feel compelled to look at it weekly.  If the Terps are on there, then I feel relieved, as if they’re in some safe zone.  If they’re not on there, I get despondent, as if there is no chance they’ll make the tournament.

That said, the Terps aren’t in the bracket.  They’re not in the first or second four out.  As of right now, they’re not even in the tournament discussion.  The Sports Bog noted that the Terps are #80 in RPI.  They have Maryland listed as the sixth best local team behind VMI and George Mason.  Ouch.

Where do we stand right now?  My crystal ball is on the fritz, so I’m going to say the Terps can make the tournament.  Maryland is 14-7 and 3-4 in the ACC.  There’s a lot of season left. I can’t imagine Maryland beating UNC tomorrow, and they’ll probably lose to them again in a couple weeks.  They’ll also lose to Duke again.  I’m certainly hoping they can pull an upset in one of those games, but most of you would agree that those teams arguably “outclass” Maryland.  You could probably throw Clemson on that list, too.  Those teams constitute four games we will likely lose in the month of February.  That’s the bad news.

The silver lining is that the rest of the schedule is really tough, which should greatly increase Maryland’s strength of schedule.  If Maryland wins its other two games in February against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, and then wins out in March against NC State, Wake Forest, and UVA, I think they’ll make it.  That combination would give Maryland an overall 19-11 record with a 8-8 conference record and a three-game win streak going into tournament selection.  It would also give Maryland two wins against teams that are currently ahead of them in the conference, and would put them in position to finish as high as sixth in the ACC.  The conference is strong this year and I believe the sixth team in the ACC makes it.

There you have it.  Maryland can still make the tournament.  It would be all the better if Maryland could get a big upset against a team from the Carolinas, but I’m not holding my breath.  I think this season will ultimately be decided on March 3rd in College Park against Wake Forest.  Don’t worry if the next few weeks are a roller coaster.  If this team has patience and keeps its head down it might just cross the finish line at the end of the year.




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