Q: Maryland struggled on the road, but ultimately hung tough with Virginia -- are you taking any positives away from games like this?
Todd: Frankly, as a fan I'm tired of talking about looking for positives from losses. I'd rather pick away at the negatives from ugly losses. So, no. I'm not taking away a single positive.
FlaTerp: Not from this one. Virginia just isn't all that great. They're solid and disciplined, but that's it - we're not talking about Syracuse here. Maryland couldn't make a shot and couldn't win the battle of wills that led to Bennett (as always) winning the coaching/tempo battle. Virginia, which resides in an especially dark corner of my heart, won the final ACC battle. There's nothing positive about that for me.
Andrew: I really like how Seth Allen is playing. His outside shot wasn't falling, but he got to the rim at will and was able to finish better than I've ever see from him. Overall, the team played hard and a friendly bounce here or there (or a friendly call here or there) and they could have pulled it out. The big thing is they played well enough to win on the road at a ranked team. That is not something they were doing a month ago.
John: I think we have all competed before. Losing sucks, but what I think everyone was waiting for was competitive play from the team, and for the frustration to show a bit. It did against Virginia. No one was angrier about missing the shots at the end than Evan Smotrycz. I can't lie, I was waiting to see it from him, and I finally did. This team is battling, and in a frustrating season, it is nice to see the team fight. This doesn't ease my mind at all, but seeing the fight was good.
Q: Everyone has considered Duke to be the biggest game on the schedule, who are you most looking forward to seeing in the new B1G slate?
Todd: People will probably hate me for this one, too but Michigan State. I've always respected Izzo and man I want to repeatedly beat the snot out of them to forever get back for a certain loss I won't specify.
FlaTerp: Purdue! (just kidding). You know, I'm not really sure yet. The Terps will probably have to play everyone a few times and see what kind of chemistry develops. The natural fits are PSU and Rutgers, but neither are particularly good or interesting basketball programs. As Todd said, Michigan State would be a great potential rivalry. If that's what emerges as THE circle-the-date type of matchup, I'm all for it.
Andrew: Indiana. One of my best friends growing up went to Indiana and I want to beat them so badly. I also really hate Tom Crean. I don't have a solid reason for hating him, but I do.
John: This is a tough one. For football, it's Ohio State and Michigan for the atmosphere. But I really can't wait to see if a rivalry buds with Penn State.
Q: With Maryland heading to Duke this weekend, it brings up the Cameron Crazies and how close they are to the court. How close is too close for fans?
Todd: I have to say they're not too close. Can some fans be too close, probably but I think if fans cross the line in terms of their behavior be it verbal or physical, it's up to the arena to eject them or move them farther from the court where their actions have less impact. As I recall, every ticket has something on it about "management reserving the right..." If behavior or a situation gets out of hand, let management exercise that right.
FlaTerp: It's a revenue sport, so put the fans on top of the court and let's have hostile, charged environments and really daunting home-court advantages. The Cameron Crazies are a bunch of harmless dorks anyway. What are they going to do that's so bad? As Todd said, schools and their fans should cultivate and self-police an environment that shouldn't cross the line, but if it creeps up close to that line and takes the visitors out of their comfort zone, that's good for the game. Road wins should be tough to get.
Andrew: Unfortunately, as annoying as they are, the Duke fans have never done anything to make me think they are too close. They are smart about what they do and don't do. I think one of the big differences between Duke fans and what happened with Marcus Smart and Jeff Orr is that at Duke (also at Maryland) the students are the ones sitting around the court, not older fans. That's how it should be at every arena. Students are much more likely to be raucous but I think less likely to actually have a physical confrontation with a peer.
John: If anyone is interested, I wrote a column in my school paper on this issue with a quote from former Rhode Island and current Canisius coach on the issue. I believe the fans stay, and the great majority of fans are fine. With that being said, if you are fine with the fans being so close, you have to be prepared for these types of incidents to happen (Marcus Smart).
Q: Prediction for the final Duke-Maryland regular season game:
Todd: HAH! To quote Cher (from Clueless) As if...
FlaTerp: Maryland 87, Duke 66. Because screw them. Good riddance, Puke.
Andrew: Maryland 73, Duke 70 in overtime. This thing just has to end in a game we chew our nails down to the bone.
John: I don't know why, but this strikes me as a game Maryland just pulls out. They do this every year it seems, as in, winning a game they probably shouldn't. Maryland 72 Duke 68.