I'll leave it to Jeremy to find the "touch of grey" in the silver lining, but that's a gigantic win for the Terps. I'm not a Bracketologist, so I'll have to take others' assessment that the Terps are now a lock to make the tournament at face value.
March 13, 2009
It's tough to imagine a bigger game for a team than tonight for the Terps. The stakes couldn't have been higher: win and you make the NCAA tournament, lose and you face an NIT invitation and the whole season is considered a failure. Like they have so many times this year, the Terps rose to the occasion when it mattered most.
This Maryland team can be frustrating to watch at times, but games like this make it all worthwhile. It was a complete team effort led by the team's unquestioned leader (Vasquez) and his trusty sidekick (Neal). Everyone contributed, even Braxton Dupree (that was a very smart foul at the end of the first half). OK, so Jin Soo Kim continued his disappearing act, but almost everyone else was heard from during the game.
Like most of the Terps' wins this year, tons of the credit goes to Gary Williams. He came out with a pefect strategy for this game, with a zone defense that made the Wake offense look awful. Teague certainly didn't look like an All-ACC player.
Next up for Maryland is gravy. Pure gravy. Provided things fall into place like people are predicting and the Terps make the NCAA Tournament, the season is a success. The pressure is off and they can have a little fun. Expectations are low (especially Jeremy's expectations, I'm sure) and fans will be happy if Maryland can either advance further in the ACC Tournament or make any kind of run in the NCAA Tournament. As a fan, this is where it can be really fun. The rest of the season is all upside - losses aren't all that disappointing, and wins are very, very exciting. I love March.