Maryland played what I consider to be their best defense of the entire year for about 22 minutes.. Clemson had trouble getting the ball inside, had trouble hitting outside shots, and the Terps were forcing a decent amount of turnovers. For a little while, I actually thought there might a win in it if they could just start executing on offense. And then the play happened. And then ESPN made us watch it another 45 times.
I don't like marginalizing a game that much, saying it all came down to one play, and it didn't have to. Landon could've boxed out Booker, or Maryland could've answered on the other end. The run could've been stopped any number of times. But the fact is that it wasn't. Maryland was on a roll, doing well, and then Booker dunked home the putback, and the entire atmosphere changed. The crowd got back into it, Maryland got jitterity, and Clemson got confident. That was the beginning of the end.
That doesn't mean all is lost for Maryland. This was a game that, in my mind, they were supposed to lose. Maybe it didn't need to end as bad as it did, but it's not like the season is lost. Maryland has three more shots at it. Every single year, they get an ACC win they're not supposed to. Why would it be different this year? I'm pretty confident that at least one of UNC, Duke, or Wake will lose to the Terps, especially if it ends up being Maryland's season on the line.
There's also things to build on. No matter how bad the last 18 minutes were, the first 22 were just masterful, at least defensively. If Maryland can continue to play that way, one of the remaining Big 4 will lose, especially with two of those games in Comcast.
There's also things that have to change. The biggie - hit open layups. I love Sean Mosley, he hustles, he gets rebounds, he's a great defender, and he's tough - but he can't hit a layup to save his life. These are shots that need to be made in the future.
I haven't really looked at the stats yet (today's been really busy) but I will tonight and should have a few more thoughts.