Last year, Dick Vitale didn't rank Maryland in his Top 40. We kind of assumed he was senile, considering he loves ACC teams and Gary Williams, and Maryland had had three starting seniors, including Greivis Vasquez. Assuming Maryland would be out of not only the top 25 but also out of the top 40 seemed a stretch at the time, and Maryland of course proved him wrong with their strong season.
This year, a substantially weaker Maryland team is Vitale's Top 40, so maybe he just makes nonsensical decisions in general. Regardless, this is what he has to say about Maryland:
38. Maryland: Even without Greivis Vasquez, Gary Williams -- a future Hall of Famer in my book -- will have the Terps hungry.
And yes, Duke was #1 in this year's rankings. Big surprise there.
*Oh, one more thing: this is Dick Vitale. Don't take him seriously. I'm not. It's just a talking point. Plus, I'm bored.
Maryland has a lot of problems to overcome next year. They'll need to replace the great majority of their scoring. They'll need to find 3 ACC-level starters, including a new point guard. And they'll need to find a player to carry them in tough situations.
That's a lot for just Gary Williams' motivational abilities to overcome, but it's been a long time since Maryland had a really bad year. There's still talent in College Park, and much of the season will depend on how that talent - particularly Jordan Williams and Sean Mosley - progresses from last year. Another spot on the bubble - which is probably what #38 in the country would land Maryland - is entirely reasonable, if slightly optimistic.
For what its worth, Maryland's the 5th ACC team in the Top 40. And I have trouble imagining they'd get left out of the tournament in that situation. Okay, maybe it's a little more optimistic than most would be; it's certainly more than I would be.
How many more days til Maryland Madness? Can we get Wale there? I'm ready for basketball again.