The Washington Times - January 27, 2009, 11:35PM

Imagine if a television show foisted the same plot on you time and again.

You probably wouldn’t watch, unless it was 24. And only then because of the sheer awesomeness of Jack Bauer.

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That, however, is quickly what seeing this season of Maryland basketball unfold is feeling like.

The same plot, that is, not the awesomeness of Jack Bauer.

Just as it was late last season, a 15-point Maryland lead seems certain to evaporate at some stage this season. It doesn’t matter the opponent – Morgan State, Miami, Boston College, whoever –Maryland is not a team built to play complete games.

Some of it is talent. Some of it is depth. A little of it can be accounted for by competition.

And there’s really no reason to think that’s going to change.

It isn’t early anymore. Maryland is 20 games into a 30-game regular season. Its victory over Michigan State is an anomaly. The Terps aren’t that good. Its public execution at Duke is an anomaly. The Terps aren’t quite that bad.

Tonight was not an anomaly. This is what Maryland is against semi-decent teams – competent for a while, but not long enough.

So check back in Saturday when Maryland plays host to Miami. And don’t be surprised if this season’s well-worn script is followed again.

This is, after all, who the Terps appear to be at this stage.

Patrick Stevens