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Terps Don't Win a Must-Win at Virginia

This was probably the most depressing loss of the entire year. Yes, that includes the 41 point demolition at Duke. It was a game Maryland needed to have, and came out flat as can be. Despite playing horribly for most of the game, they were still in position to win at the end and couldn't do it. Because no one has a lot of stats out yet (and I don't want to look at them yet anyway) I'm just posting basic things I noticed.

First, why was the final possession so horrible? Greivis got the ball, dribbled around for awhile, then drove the lane and forced a bad shot. That's the worst possible combination. Horrible decisions. At least put up a three instead that mutation of a runner. Another bad one: why didn't Gary take his final timeout then? It was clear to me that this possession was bigger than the next one, because if they didn't score then, the next one didn't matter. Bad time management.

Eric Hayes can't take threes anymore. He can't hit them when he's open. He did hit a big one, but the other 11 he missed were killer. I'm a huge EH guy, but he came up short today. Actually, everyone came up short when it came to 3pt shooting. It was a poor all-around effort; Dave Neal hit a few big ones, and Vaz had that rainbow off the inbound, but they were few and far between.

I hate blaming the refs, because it sounds like it's whining. Obviously, Maryland shouldn't have been the position to let the refs impact the game. But it's clear that the game wasn't called fairly. UVa got a lot of fouls called down low, not to mention the Bowie foul call on the three (which was a horrible flop by Diane, and the shot wasn't affected at all). The biggest one was when Karl Hess called a TO when Calvin Baker was about to get a 5 second call. I know UVa didn't score on that possession, but the momentum shift was nowhere near as big as it would've been. Nothing outside of that was particularly heinous (seriously, Hess should be fined for that), but UVA got calls Maryland didn't all game long. Take a look at the free throw attempts comparison - it's pretty clear.

The jump shot also contributed to the Terps' death today. No one could hit one, and they refused to go inside, which was the only play anyone found any success. Don't forget about Mamadi Diane - he had a horrible year, and just slaughtered the Terps on senior night. It's as unlucky as possible, and it makes the loss feel even worse. Another bad thing: Maryland could've put away the Cavs very early in the game. If they had gone inside a few more times, gotten an easy basket or two, UVA would've lost confidence and the game would've been a walk-through.

The season isn't completely lost. The bubble is still extremely weak - some still think Kentucky has an outside shot - and two wins in the ACC tourney would probably consitute getting a bid. But it's a pipe dream at this point.