2011-2012 wasn't the best of seasons for the Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team.
They finished the year 17-15 with a 6-10 ACC record that was good enough for an eighth place finish in the conference. All hopes of an insanely unlikely postseason berth were ended when UNC trounced Maryland 85-69 in the ACC tournament.
As bad as Maryland's season was, it wasn't the worst of seasons either.
They showed some signs of promise with a seven-game winning streak and had some nice upsets over tournament teams Notre Dame and Colorado.
It's also a positive sign that a team in a rebuilding season, under a first-year head coach, was able to finish with an overall winning record.
Based on factors like the possible return of the ACC's leading scorer Terrell Stoglin, and their ability to stay in close games against good teams, there is reason to believe that Maryland could improve next season.
Even with the brutal competition in the ACC, the Terps have the potential to build on this season and contend in the ACC, and could return to the NCAA tournament in 2012-2013.
Here are several of those teams that Maryland could shock in 2012-2013.
The Florida State Seminoles surprised everyone when they beat out both Duke and North Carolina to win the ACC tournament.
It was a shocker since for the majority of the year the Seminoles had merely been the conference's third best team. Now they entered the NCAA tournament with tons of momentum and confidence after having beat two of basketball's best teams back to back.
Of course, all that means nothing now as Florida State's season is over after losing a tough game to Cincinnati.
It's tournament failures like these that can haunt a program and send them backwards a few steps in the next season.
And if that were to happen, the Terrapins look to be one of the teams that benefits the most.
In their one meeting this year, the Terrapins lost a hard-fought game to the Seminoles with a final score of 84-70. Like so many other Terps games, this one had a misleading final score because Maryland kept it close in the first half, but then fell apart and allowed a 21-3 run for Florida State to put the game out of reach.
If Maryland can store up on better defensive players and not allow so many points in the second half, don't be surprised to see them get vengeance against Florida State next season.
Any Maryland Terrapins fan had to love witnessing what happened to Duke on Friday night.
Despite being an overwhelmingly favored two seed, Duke lost to No. 15 Lehigh by a final score of 75-70. The game has to be among the most embarrassing losses ever suffered by this prestigious basketball program and will leave a sour taste in the Blue Devils mouth all the way to the start of next season.
Of course because of the simple fact that they are Duke, next season they will be very good, if not even better than they were this season.
But that doesn't mean that Maryland won't be able to reach high and pick up a rare upset over their hated rivals next season.
Maryland's two losses to Duke this season saw the Blue Devils go on late runs and crush the spirit of the out-matched Terrapins.
Even Terrell Stoglin wasn't his normal self, finishing with only 16 points in the first game and 13 points in the second game.
If Stoglin's back, he'll really need to do better against Duke next season—especially since Maryland has now lost five straight games and 11 of their last 12 games against Duke.
The 90-86 double-overtime loss to the Miami Hurricanes had to be the Terrapins' most painful loss this season.
It was a game that Maryland had no excuse not to win since Miami blew a 16 point second-half lead and had three of their players get disqualified.
At both the end of regulation and the end of the first overtime period, Maryland saw missed jumpers from Terrell Stoglin and Pe'Shon Howard that would have likely given them the victory.
Between the disqualifications of the three Miami players and the ejection of Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon, this was obviously a game where both teams lacked proper discipline. That's to be expected in close games between contested rivals with lots of inexperienced players and an inexperienced coach.
Next year though, Turgeon should have better control of his team and be able to help both himself and his players keep their cool so they don't blow a winnable game like this.
This game also hurt in the standings last season as Miami was only a little bit ahead of Maryland, finishing with a 20-12 overall record and a 9-7 ACC record.
This shows that with a little bit of progress Maryland can and should catch up with Miami.
Maryland's 75-70 victory over Miami later in the year showed that the Terps may have closed the gap, and it bodes well for their chances against them next season.
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons were the rare ACC team that Maryland actually owned last season.
The Terps swept them in both meetings, the second one being the ACC tournament loss that ended Wake Forest's season.
Maryland has now beaten Wake Forest four consecutive times, so going into next season it seems probable that this trend will continue.
Of course it's hard to feel good about beating a team that has been playing as bad as Wake Forest as been playing lately.
Coach Jeff Bzdelik has had trouble fielding a competitive team during his two years as Wake Forest's head coach, with both seasons ending with a losing record. This past season Wake Forest was only a few games behind Maryland, finishing 13-18 with a 4-12 ACC record.
So while it wouldn't really be a huge surprise if Maryland beats Wake Forest next season, it still could be more difficult than it was this year. Their regular season game this season was closely contested with Maryland winning by a final score of 70-64.
Nonetheless the 82-60 win in the ACC tournament showed that for now Maryland is still the better team and that will likely remain the same in 2012-2013.
One of the teams that Maryland is really looking to get revenge against next season has to be Georgia Tech.
Although they finished the season with a losing record and were only 4-12 in the ACC, Georgia Tech still somehow defeated Maryland 63-61 on February 25. It was a crippling loss that dealt a near fatal blow to any postseason aspirations that Maryland might have had.
That loss could easily be blamed on poor shooting.
The Terrapins were an awful 7-of-30 shooting in the second half, which was enough for the Yellow Jackets to creep back in the game. Obviously missing shots will hurt a lot in a game like this, with Sean Mosley's team-leading 16 points not enough for them to win the game.
Maryland will certainly be motivated by revenge whenever these two teams next face each other.
It's early but right now Maryland's chances seem to be good against a team like Georgia Tech, which has really struggled in recent years.
This is also really important because in order for Maryland to take the next step and get back to the postseason, they are going to have to win these games against lesser ACC opponents.