Good Start in Buffalo

e-mail Pete

Maryland/Davidson Box Score

Maryland’s best game of the year? Not even close. But one never need apologize for winning an NCAA Tournament game.

The Terps showed enough flashes of great play to make you think at least a trip to St. Louis is in the works. But when they weren’t great they were awful. No middle ground for this team. The way they came out of the locker room at half time was down right embarassing. Not sure what Gary Williams said at the break but I’m wondering if 20 minutes of meditation was the best idea.

Turnovers, defensive breakdowns, and frankly indifference let the Wildcats build an eight point lead. If they had the depth to match Maryland, Davidson could have pulled away at that point.

Depth was the key. Ekene Ibekwe, in what has become the norm, racked up fouls faster than Bengals collect arrests. Bambale Osby though offered more than a physical presence in his sted. Osby scored 11 points, passed well, blocked shots, and sparked a team desperate to wake up. Today he became memorable for much more than a hair style.

The Wildcats’ Stephen Curry lived up to his hpe and then some. I find it hysterical that Virginia Tech wouldn’t give this kid a scholarship. His NBA veteran dad Dell is an alum, and oh yeah, he’s awesome! 30 points for the freshman despite D.J. Strawberry dogging him all afternoon.

Gary Williams outcoached Bob McKillop or maybe McKillop simply undercoach Williams. Believing the Wildcats could run with the Terps backfired. When fresh Davidson proved a worthy opponent. Williams’ worked the temp of the game beautifully, mixing up his presses throughout and even the little things like inserting Dave Neal for free throw purposes worked as planned. He is a very good coach.

With the nerves now gone and the another opponent (either Butler or Old Dominion) that seems to favor Maryland, Saturday afternoon should be the next step on a March to the Arch. The Sweet 16 in St. Louis tips off Thursday.

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