Maryland Madness

At 13-5 overall and 2-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Maryland Terrapins look like they can still make the NCAA Tournament.

 

On January 22nd, that’s about the nicest thing I can say about this team.

 

It’s never a good sign when your best player, while hitting free throws to ice a game at home, starts to yell at fans that taunt him. Greivis Vasquez, the star guard for the Terps, heard enough booing at the end of the Georgia Tech game earlier this month and let the Comcast Center hear about it. I’ve seen players taunt, cuss and even spit on opposing fans. I’ve never seen a college player yell at the people he calls “bro” and likely drinks Jagerbombs with on the weekend. Vasquez has a tremendous amount of raw talent that still needs to grow into an all-around mature game if he wishes to make it to the next level. Quite simply, the kid needs to grow up if he wants to lead this team off the NCAA bubble.

 

The low point of the Terps season came in a meaningless game while most of the students were on winter break. Morgan State, sporting a 5-8 record at that time, beat Maryland by a point in College Park. The Terps frittered away a double digit lead at home in the second half to a team that looked to pick up a check in a non-conference game in early January. Turns out Morgan wanted to play that evening and Maryland couldn’t care less about the game. Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman told me the day after that mammoth upset that he thought those forty minutes gave his university “a signature win.” At the end of the season, that game could cost Gary Williams his current position at Maryland.

 

With 12 games left in the regular season, Maryland has plenty of time to turn it around. Coming off an uneven win against Virginia at home on Tuesday night, the Terps get the perceived number one team in the country at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday. If they beat Duke this weekend, Maryland neutralizes the epic loss to Morgan State. Gary’s gang already can claim a quality win with their victory over Michigan State in late November. Try to find another win this season that will impress the NCAA selection committee. I dare you.

 

The ebbs and flows of the college basketball season make geniuses out of coaches and idiots of outside observers. Technically, a team can lose all of its regular season games and still make the NCAA Tournament if they catch fire during a weekend in March. Maryland can’t wait until March to start the season. They have to face Duke and North Carolina at home and on the road before the end of February.

 

Forget about March Madness.

 

In College Park, you can call it Jittery January. 

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