Maryland had to fight back tonight, but the Terps were able to grab the comeback win on the backs of Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez. Now they need to focus on Wake Forest tomorrow to clinch a bid.
First off, I don't know what it is with Hayes and the state of Georgia, but the last time he was in Georgia, he scored 15. When he played a team from Georgia before that (GT) he dropped 17. Tonight, he was instrumental in the win, with 21. Without a doubt in my mind, he was the MVP tonight (Vasquez was a close second). Without a couple of threes in a row in the middle of the first half, Maryland doesn't make a run to tie the lead at half and probably end up losing. His three point shooting was perfect tonight, he played solid defense, and made good decisions. If he can play similarly tomorrow night, I like Maryland's chances. For whatever reason, he gets a pretty big amount of open threes; if he starts to knock them down, Maryland is a much better team.
He wasn't alone, though - Greivis Vasquez had another big game, this time earning a double-double. He had trouble with outside shooting tonight (1-5 from three), but he was great when he drove the lane. Not only did he hit the runner in the lane consistently, he made great pass-outs from those situations to open guys (particularly Hayes). When Vaz and Hayes play the way the they did tonight, Maryland is a very difficult team to beat.
On Mr. Church League, Dave Neal is as clutch as clutch gets. He's not always the most consistent, but when he needs to make a big shot, he usually hits it. He made two really big threes tonight when Maryland needed them, which made up for a couple of poor defensive possessions.
I don't like comparing the two because they're different styles, but Dino Gregory outplayed Landon Milbourne at the four tonight. Gregory only had six points, but he took a charge, had a huge block on the fast break, grabbed seven boards, and didn't consistently get stuffed. Milbourne, meanwhile, had seven points and just three boards in 35 minutes, compared to Dino's 23. Oh, and he got rejected about three times. I'm not saying Milbourne should be benched, but why did he play 35 minutes tonight when Dino was clearly outplaying him? He's been coming up short recently - he's due for a big game against Wake Forest.
Credit where credit is due: the zone worked perfectly tonight. Costner only had four points (though much of that was due to foul trouble), and NCSt had to rely on a freshman bench player for offense. I'll take my chances on that every day of the week.
Looks like the FT problem was fixed tonight, as well. Maryland had 21 attempts, which was a nice return to getting points from the line.
Again, the minutes were a little funky tonight. Both Bowie and Tucker only had 13 minutes, which was a bit lower than I would've had. When they were really struggling offensively, Tucker should've been in the game. He's one of the bigger offensive weapons on the team, and Maryland needed all the help they could've gotten.
On the bubble front, Maryland got helped out; Miami is officially dead in the water, Virginia Tech, although they got a win, were hurt badly by Clemson's loss. Clemson has really been slumping lately, and that was VT's "marquee win". Providence was blown out, Arizona State beat Arizona, and Rhode Island lost to Duquense. A few bubblers got wins, but it was about as good as you could expect.