Terps-Wildcats: Maryland Loses to Villanova, Wins Mass Respect

Jarrett CarterAnalyst IDecember 7, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 21:  Cliff Tucker #24 of the Maryland Terrapins looks on during their second round game against the Memphis Tigers in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Sprint Center on March 21, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Tigers defeated the Terrapins 89-70.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Maryland Terrapins may have lost to Villanova in a rousing BB&T Classic matchup, but no other team has worked so hard to win so much respect over the course of a week.

If there’s any team that you can heap coming-up-short cliches upon, it’s these Maryland Terrapins. Their interior is young, their guards, while experienced, can have defensive lapses that are maddening to say the least. But in games against Indiana and ‘Nova, the Terps went 1-1 on the floor and undefeated in meeting expectations.

In the hearts of some Terrapin faithful, there was a fear that the Terps would struggle against the Hoosiers and have to batten-down for "must win" basketball in early December. Didn’t happen.

There may have been reserved feelings about the Terps’ chances against the Wildcats, and while it looked bleak early, the Terrapins showed a resolve becoming of an ACC contender.

There are concerns – the Terps’ unwillingness to defend three point shots, and struggles against drives to the basket are not the hallmarks of successful Maryland basketball. But, all things considered, the Terps have come a long way from losing to mid-majors.

And they don’t have much longer to go before we figure out that the Terps are a decent team.


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