After a particularly bad home loss to Georgia
Tech, Marylandstands at 4-7 in the conference, and has an outside shot
now at the play-in game. They have significantly altered the idea that the ACC
should get 7. The win against then-Number 1 Florida won't get them
much more than a cup of coffee now, since Florida's virtually disappeared.
What this does mean, of course, is that this Sunday's visit to Duke is now
doubly important. If they win that game, the Terps are back in play.
Lose it, and they're just about done, barring a big run in the ACC Tournament.
Needless to say, Maryland is very likely to come at Duke as aggressively as
their fans do, which is saying a lot.
The Washington Post quotes The-Williams-Who-Has-Won-A-National-Title as
saying "I don't make excuses," which is not exactly true. Gary
makes excuses about failing in the ACC Tournament, about losing to Duke, and
about the behavior of his fans. He makes a lot of excuses, actually. His
excuse about never winning in a "North Carolina" tournament may come
back to haunt him, because that may be the only path open to him this year - a
path he has convinced his players and fans isn't available to Maryland.
Just as a for-instance, had Mike Krzyzewski taken the Maryland job by some fluke
instead of coming to Duke, can you imagine him saying that? We can't either.
If Maryland is NIT-bound this year, perhaps Ol' Roy will become known as
This weekend will have some other pretty good games as well, including the
FSU-UNC rematch. Don't you know UNC is still smarting from that collapse.
Oh, hey, check this out - the cellar dwellers, the play-in buddies, are
duking it out at Clemson as Virginia comes a-calling. If Duke can survive
Maryland Sunday, then the Terps will tie for second-to-last place, and then
Clemson will be in College Park on Tuesday. So unless they pull off the upset on
Sunday, the Terps will be fighting, on Tuesday, to stay out of the play-in
game. We honestly thought they'd be much, much better than this.
After those two games, they host Wake, travel to State, and close with
Maryland at home. To redundantly summarize redundantly:
If you go by the odds (fools do this when it comes to the ACC), then Maryland
will finish 6-10.
At this point, we'd have to say that Clemson is, if not necessarily better
than UVa, definitely mentally tougher. Clemson closes:
- Georgia Tech
- Wake Forest
For Clemson, despite their mental toughness, that's a brutal stretch, and
they can only be favored in the UVa game. They could sneak up on Maryland
if they are dispirited, and possibly Tech. Winning at UNC, as always,
seems a long shot, but Oliver Purnell is a much tougher guy than anyone they've
ever had there, with the arguable exception of Rick Barnes. Still, it's the
final game at UNC, and that's not an easy one for anyone to win.
UVa could win any or all of their final four, but that's not likely.
Nonetheless, they could certainly beat Clemson, UNC is road-vulnerable, Wake
will be tough, and the Maryland game is always intense.
Maryland is the most likely to escape the cellar.
In Chapel Hill, as Ol' Roy Williams seeks to undo the damage Matt Doherty
did, this weekend is the first UNC Basketball Lettermen's Reunion Weekend. About
two hundred former lettermen will be in attendance. Will Doherty show?
Hmmm...This calling-up of the ghosts of the past will almost certainly doom