The Plan To Get The Terps Into The Dance

1/17/2011 8:54:34 PM The season is just over half over.  The Terps sit at 11-6 and without a well-documented signature win; are likely on the outside of the NCAAs looking in.  What needs to happen in order for the Terps to get on to the right side of the bubble? 

There is only one team on the calendar that is definitely better than the Terps (Duke).  The others are equal or worse.  That means there a plenty of winnable games, but the room for error is small.  Only a few losses will be tolerated.  Here's how I think it plays out:

W - 1/20 vs. Va Tech (12-6) The Terps need this one like nobody's business.  The Terps can and will establish Cole Field House as a difficult place to play.  The season is basically on the line.
W - 1/22 vs Clemson (13-6)  Maryland does tend to struggle against the Tigers; but we are more athletic than in year's past.  The home crowd gets us over the top.
W - 1/27 @ Virginia  (14-6)  The Cavaliers just aren't that talented.  There is always the risk of Virginia's guards getting hot and shooting us out of the building; but ultimately, I think we overpower them down low.
W - 1/30 @ Ga Tech  (15-6)  Tech would be the laughingstock of the ACC if it weren't for Wake.  Their victory against UNC notwithstanding, this team sucks.
W - 2/02 vs. Duke (16-6)  Well here we are.  The Terps should be on a four-game win streak and we have our chance to exact revenge against a Duke squad that Maryland knows it can play with. The only question is will we collapse again or we will get over the hump. 
W - 2/05 vs. Wake (17-6)  Winston Salem High School might give us a better game.
W - 2/09 vs. Longwood (18-6) No analysis is neccessary.
L - 2/12 @ BC  (18-7) We're not going to win out and BC has proven to be one of the better teams in the conference.  I'm tempted to pick the Terps in a revenge game; but ultimately, BC is too tough at home.
L - 2/15 @ Va Tech (18-8)  The Terps don't play well in Blacksburg and our freshman get overwhelmed.
W - 2/20 vs. NC State (19-8) The Wolfpack has already started to quit on SIdney Lowe.  What's it going to be like in late February?
W - 2/23 vs. Florida State (20-8) This will be a doozy.  It's likely to come down to a final shot.  Maybe Cliff Tucker pulls off another miracle?
L - 2/27 @ UNC (20-9)  Who knows what to make of the Tarheels.  One thing is for sure; the Terps won't get outcoached.  The Tarheels are tough in Chapel Hill
W - 3/2  @ Miami (21-9) Quick! Name one player on the Hurricanes roster?
W - 3/5  vs. Virginia (22-9) No way do the Cavaliers come in on senior day and beat the Terps- especially when Turtle Soup is in the house!

If the rest of the season plays out this way; I think the Terps are 8/9 seed regardless of how the ACC Tournament plays out. If they can turn any of the L's above into W's; they will move up a notch or two. 

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