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Maryland's Season Ends With Memphis

Honestly, you can't be particularly angry or disappointed with the way this game turned out. Or at least, I'm not. Of course I was rooting for Maryland, but I came into it expecting a loss. Memphis is really more of a 1.5 seed than a 2 seed, and you can't be angry for losing to a team with a significant height and athleticism advantage.

From the start, it was clear that Memphis wasn't losing this game. After trading a few buckets, Memphis went on a 14-0 run early in the game, jumping out to an 11 point lead, and at that point there was just a sinking feeling about the game. The players can say whatever they like about the conference and the team and their confidence, but in the end, you have back it up. Sometimes, Maryland can do it. Today, they couldn't.

I'm not complaining about the outcome of the game. It was strikingly similar to the first UNC game - they shot 73% from three in the first half, and they were jacking them up. Once a team gets down like that, it's natural to lose heart.

I do wish that Gary hadn't stayed in the zone/press as long as he did. I'm not faulting him for trying it; I wanted him to do it. But after the fourth Memphis three, he should've pulled out and saw how man-to-man worked. After the fifth easy Memphis layup, he should've realized the press wasn't helping. I don't think it would've changed the game's outcome, though.

There are more qualms: Greivis shouldn't talk before a big game. There were some missed layups. There were some bad passes. The defense was lacking. But this isn't a game to nitpick or dwell on flaws. There was no expectation for Maryland to win this game. They're a 10 seed. Memphis is a 2 seed. Would it have been great to beat one of the best five or so teams in college basketball? Yeah. But it didn't happen and you can't complain about it.

Instead, focus on the accomplishments of the team this year. They overachieved based on talent and size. They had to overcome a ton of adversity. They started a 6-6 center (no one's height floats around more than Dave Neal's) and ended up as one of the 32 best teams in college basketball. It was truly a crazy year: I've never seen a season involving open warfare between coach, athletic department, and press, a loss to Morgan State, and win over UNC.

But I digress: this isn't a season recap, it's a game recap. Unfortunately, I don't think you (I know I don't) want to hear too much more about the game. So, I leave with these positive remarks: Lance has outperformed Tyreke Evans in most of their head-to-head matchups and is seen as a better overall player by most scouts. Imagine having Tyreke on this year's team. Maryland only loses one player (granted, he was a huge part of the team) and gets two 6-9 big men next year. With all they've overcome already, one has to wonder what it'll be like next year when there's not a massive disadvantage in every game.