Today was going to be a really tough 24 hours to fill the blog. Sure, I’d have a Sean Mosley post here and an Eric Hayes post there. But after Maryland tore apart Charlotte in the second half yesterday, I’m not sure they’d be really all that interesting.
(There’s also some Navy leftovers from Friday and the start of the 2008 football rewind, so all wasn’t going to be lost. But it wasn’t going to be the most compelling day).
Then Gary Williams came through, as he often does when I need something entertaining. This was right at the end of his presser yesterday, as an addendum to a question I asked about Mosley.
“At 11-2, hopefully we get some national recognition. If you look at the polls, I think we have as good a wins as a lot of those teams that are in the lower part of the poll,” Williams said. “Hopefully someone will take notice.”
It was one of those moments during which you could feel Williams’ glare, especially if you’re the only person in the room who actually has a vote in the AP poll. I’ll resist the urge to begin the ever-dangerous practice of speaking of myself in the third person and just say I had the Terps at No. 33 this week. Given the results since Monday, the inclination here is to bring Maryland up to 29th or 30th.
But Williams’ comment is valid, so how about a little resume comparison over the course of the day? Let’s see if, in each of about a half-dozen entries (give or take, since this exercise could get boring by mid-afternoon), Maryland can make a good case to be ahead of teams that are jockeying for position in the rankings.
Let’s start with the Terps’ resume, which be listed in each of these entries but will not change:
Victories: Michigan State (N), Michigan (H)
Losses: Gonzaga (N), Georgetown (N)
Bad losses: None
Average scoring margin: +12.8
That’s a good, solid resume to this point. The strength of schedule has plummeted rapidly since Christmas, but the conference schedule figures to bring that back to somewhere in the 15-40 range before all is said and done.
Now time for our first mystery team of the day!
Victories: Boston College (N), Davidson (N)
Losses: Oklahoma (N-OT), Duke (H), Illinois (H-OT)
Bad losses: None
Average scoring margin: +16.6
Overall, these are very comparable resumes. Maryland’s best victory trumps anything the mystery team has to offer, but defeating Boston College and Davidson on a neutral floor is probably better than a home win over Michigan. The Davidson victory almost certainly is.
The mystery team has an extra loss, and has fallen twice at home. But it also has two overtime losses, so it wasn’t run off the floor like Maryland was against Georgetown and (to a far lesser extent) Gonzaga.
Maryland trails in average scoring margin, but that’s sort of to be expected with the strength of schedule difference. That about makes this a push.
Ultimately, these are two quite similar profiles. So who is the mystery team?
You’re a winner if you said:
Based on resumes, Williams DOES HAVE a legitimate argument the Terps should be ranked somewhere around the team that currently occupies the No. 9 spot in the AP poll. Granted, Purdue will tumble after losing to Illinois, but it is an interesting comparison.