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Maryland Dominates N.C. State for Gary Williams' 1000th Game, Wins 88-64

Maryland didn't know which N.C. State team would show up. Would it be the one that was one of the worst in the ACC earlier in the year? Or the one that beat Duke?

As it so happened, it wasn't the second one. And it might've not even been the second one. Or, as one N.C. State fan put it, whichever team it was, it wasn't the one that plays defense.

The Terps ended up atop the ACC standings by the end of the night, riding absolutely dominating execution to a win in Gary Williams' 1000th game. Despite a relatively close game at half, Maryland shot better than 70% from the field in the second and broke open the lead, eventually winning 88-64 (and it wasn't even that close). Any time Ersin Levent gets playing time in an ACC game, you know it was a good day.

Maryland had an extremely balanced scoring night for the third time in four games, relying on major contributions from both their bigger scorers - Greivis Vasquez had 19, Landon Milbourne had 16, Sean Mosley had 13- and their role players - Cliff Tucker had 11 in 16 minutes, Jordan Williams had 9, Dino Gregory had 8. Indeed, despite occasional dry spurts early, Maryland was very efficient offensively for the majority of the night. They shot above 50%, hit 46% from deep, and had a A/TO ratio of nearly 2/1. When you consider that they played ugly for minutes at a time, it's impossible to complain about that.

The offensive efficiency wasn't all, though; everything was clicking for Maryland tonight, much the same way everything was clicking for N.C. State against Duke. Maryland won the turnover battle, held N.C. State to 36% from the field, had a rebounding advantage, and shot twice as many free throws (and made three times as many) as the Wuffies. This was a complete performance, and it's a great sign for the future of the ACC. There's no transitive property in college hoops (or any sport), but the N.C. State's Duke win does help for the resume, and it might make some people take two looks at this game.

As for individual performances, Vasquez was the obvious star, but it was Mosley that I was most impressed with. In addition to his 13 points, he had 7 boards and had his traditional tough defense and hustle. He's becoming more and more consistent offensively, and that bodes well both for the rest of the year and next season, when he'll have to take over for good.

Jordan Williams saw way more playing time than I expected, and he looked good. He seemed to wear down and become invisible as the game wore on, but he was just one point and one rebound away from a double-double against the second-best post player in the ACC. James Padgett, despite high hopes, ending up pulling a duplicate of the Boston College game, not seeing playing time until late even though it was a massive blowout. Looks like I was wrong on that count.

This was an important game for Maryland, almost a complete necessity to compete. Unlike some past years, they actually won it, and won it oustandingly. Now they move on to Miami on Tuesday, and that'll be at the Comcastle as well. Win that one, and they have a nice base in the ACC....oh, and they'll still be #1 in the conference. So there's that.

More stuff coming later tonight.