In the immortal words of Dennis Green, “The Terps are who we thought they were and they let them off the hook (paraphrased).” The Maryland Terrapins (16-10, 5-6 ACC) traveled to Blacksburg and followed a similar script to their other losses. They played a back and forth game that was close and had the lead in the second half late. However, when crunch time came, they couldn’t make any crucial plays to seize the moment and fell to the Virginia Tech Hokies 91-83. With the win, the Hokies got a season sweep of the Terps and helped move themselves out of the muddled middle of the ACC as they are now 7-4 and 17-7 overall.
It was a really good game played by both teams and was back and forth. With 5:21, the Terps were up 76-75 after a Jordan Williams hoop but the Hokies proceeded to go on a 9-0 run led by Erick Green and senior Malcolm Delaney, a Baltimore native. Delaney led the Hokies with 22 points and was silky smooth at the line to ice the game for the Hokies down the stretch. Dino Gregory popped a trey with 1:09 and Terrell Stoglin added in two free throws with 33 seconds left to cut the lead to 4 at 87-83. However, the Terps missed golden opportunities after stealing the ball and having a 5 second violation called on the Hokies. The Terps were led by Stoglin who had 25 points.
Coming into the game, the Terps were 0-8 against RPI top 50 teams and with Tech right on the fringe of the top 50, it doesn’t help the profile for the Terps come tournament time. I see improvement on the team especially in the freshmen, but it is looking more and more like a run through the ACC tournament in Greensboro is the only way the Terps are getting a ticket punched for the dance. I hope I’m wrong but from where I sit as a college basketball fan, they are not one of the 37 best at large teams.
The Terps have two home games against NC State and Florida State next, then trips to Chapel Hill and Coral Gables, and finally the regular season finale at home against the Virginia Cavaliers. If the Terps do sweep through those five games that would give them 10 ACC wins with victories over Clemson, Florida State, and at North Carolina on their resume. I still don’t know if that would be enough for an at large berth.