After nearly a week of stewing over a near-miss, we're back. Game is at 4:45 (who's idea was that tip time?) but the TV situation is a little weird. It's only on MASN, unfortunately, with no ESPN3 simulcast. Out-of-towners (like me) may have some trouble unless some kind soul has a non-kosher stream. As always, we'll stay on the lookout.
(Update: Actually, Versus is also showing it if you're aout of the market. That's where I'll be watching.)
Random Baseless Prediction: Sean Mosley hits a buzzer-beating three-pointer. Not sure which buzzer it'll be, exactly, but there will be a buzzer.
Prediction: It's hardly a guarantee, but I feel like Maryland might have an edge here. Notre Dame isn't as good as Illinois, and the Terrapins nearly pulled that one out. And not only are the Irish not as good as the Illini, their style might be a bit better for the Terrapins: it's slower and won't put pressure on Maryland's questionable ballhandlers.
Assuming the same Maryland team shows up in this one, and not the one that struggled so mightily against Iona, they'll have a chance and more likely than not will be the better team. If they can knock down the open looks they'll almost certainly get, they should be able to pull out a victory.
What scares me a bit is Notre Dame's defense - it's based upon making the defense beat them while playing smart and efficient basketball. "Smart and efficient" hasn't exactly described Maryland this year. If that's been because of defensive pressure, they should be alright. If it's because they're simply sloppy, Notre Dame will make them pay again and again.
I guess we'll find out today. Still, I'm picking Maryland in this one, 59-52. (Points!)