A real play-in game

The NCAA Tournament includes a play-in game this coming Tuesday (although, in completely patronizing fashion they refuse to call it that). But for Maryland, the play-in game comes tonight.

Beat Wake Forest, thus earning a 3rd victory over a top ten team this year (two of them on neutral courts) and Maryland returns to the NCAA Tournament. Incidentally, for the next four weeks I hope to neither write nor utter the phrases “March Madness, punch their tickets, and big dance”. It’s a personal protest to the laziness to which I had succumbed, along with seemingly every other broadcaster in the country. No More!

Back to the Terps and Gary Williams’ bid to defiantly rub all doubters noses into the sewer with his 13th trip to the Big DanceNCAA Tourney.. (Grrrr, habits)… For some reason, the improbable often morphs into the likely this time year. Can’t explain it, but thank God for it. We wouldn’t be having all these conversations about who’s in and who’s out without it. But still, when you take the court you’d always rather be the favorite. It means you have more talent. And that’s the problem with Maryland V. Wake Forest (this one’s for you Kristen).

The Terps must offer a nearly flawless game, must knock down at least eight three pointers, and get to the free throw line 18 times. Anything less against the towering front court of Wake and the all around excellence of Jeff Teague and Maryland readies for a home game against George Mason in the N-I-T.

Dave Neal led the Terps in their last effort against Wake, nearly delivering that perfect game. But even at home, nearly perfect wasn’t good enough. Tonight in Atlanta, it won’t come close.

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