Thankfully I didn’t draw the straw to write the post game report. It would have been a huge rambling, unorganized, and hard to read piece. That being said it is over 12 hours later, and I am not sure this will be any better. I am still on cloud 9. So far I have watched Comcast Sports Rise, Sportscenter, Sportscenter U, and this Midnight Madness show on ESPNU. Speaking of the final show. Joe Lunardi now has Maryland in the last four in category. What a difference a day makes! Kind of like I said in my post on Friday, opportunities are out there, and for once, Maryland took advantage in a big way on national television.
Enough about that, lets take another look at this game. As a fan, it had everything you could want. The home team was the huge underdog ( I think I heard they were 13 point dogs), a huge deficit, and run that nearly blew the roof off the Comcast Center. Throw in over time, and the eventual victory, and it was one of those games that you will remember for the rest of you life. That being said I hope ESPN Classic throws me bone and replays it at some point this week. I don’t know why I don’t DVR these things. I feel like it might jinx them I guess.
The biggest thing that stands out to me is, Maryland made a basket at an end of clock situation. So many times this year they have botched plays at the end of the half or game. This was obviously Greivis Vasquez’s day, and he took it down the lane and got just enough of an angle to get it over the shorter Ty Lawson and up off the backboard for the layup. I nearly put my fist through the ceiling when it fell through the net.
At half time I sent Bob a text and ask him if he thought they had a run in them. He replied he was afraid it was like a house of cards ready to crumble down. For the first few minutes of the second half, it looked as if though he was going to be correct. The Terps were down 52-36 with just over 14 minutes left. Then the magic started happening. Eric Hayes and Cliff Tucker decided it was time to help Greivis out, and started making some baskets. Tucker scored 19 of his 22 in the second half. I hope he doesn’t have Mike Mardesich syndrome. You know where you have some huge games in your career against Carolina, and then contribute little else the rest of your career. Anyway lets not dwell on that, Tucker was huge during the run to get them in striking distance. You also have to give Hayes credit. His shot wasn’t falling early as he missed a couple of wide open three’s but he kept shooting and made some clutch free throws. I (like most fans) have been down on Hayes, but he was big at crunch time today. I think he also deserves credit for his play since he has been coming off the bench. Here is a little stat that was interesting, Maryland’s bench outscored UNC’s41-5. There is a lot of talk about how deep Carolina is, but today, with many terps in foul trouble, the Maryland Bench was a key in the victory. As a side note another stat I just saw is Maryland had ZERO fast break points. Wow, that is hard to believe. It is also hard to believe the Terps made 13 three’s and UNC only made 5.
Well here were are again, squarely on the bubble, and still there are more opportunities to help the tourney resume. The hated Dukies come to town Wednesday night in another nationally televised game. I want to personally thank the team and Gary Williams. Everyone had a role in this upset, and it made my week a little bit better. Is it sad that sports often control the overall mood in my life?
I am sure you all have seen the Jim Calhoun press conference from yesterday. In case you haven’t he was asked by a reporter about his salary, and if it was too much in these tough economic times since he was a state employee. I usually can’t stand Calhoun, but I liked his response. He told him the basketball program made $12 million for the university. I can’t stand these reporters that try to make a name for themselves by asking questions at the wrong time. I am sure he could have asked Calhoun that in an interview, but to do it in a post game press conference is ridiculous. That was the second time this week Calhoun’s presser made big news. If you remember correctly he was giving out sound bites regarding the officiating in the Pitt game.