Maryland heads to the ACC tournament with more than a little desperation this week after dropping its last two games.
In fact, it is similar to the predicament the Terrapins (18-13) faced in 2009, when they needed to win twice to solidify a spot in the NCAA tournament. Four players on this year’s team remain from that group.
“That team we had two years ago, we were kind of in the same situation,” senior forward Dino Gregory said. “We had to beat Wake Forest, which was a ranked team, and N.C. State the game before that.”
Indeed, Maryland toppled a pair of North Carolina schools in the ACC tournament before losing to Duke in the Georgia Dome.
This is a bit different since the Terps almost certainly need to win four games to have any chance at an NCAA berth. This year’s tournament will be played in the center of Tobacco Road, and a date with Duke looms a round earlier than in ‘09.
Still, those two victories —- the only ones Maryland has secured in the ACC tournament since 2007 —- might be something of a guidepost for the Terps as they attempt to pull off the improbable.
“They’ve experienced that and they know what that takes,” coach Gary Williams said. “Hopefully that will rub off on those guys. I’ve always been big on that, if you have a positive experience, you use that as a way to justify it happening again. You can talk about and hope it happens sometimes, but once it does happen, you have legitimate reason to think it can happen again.”
—- Patrick Stevens