The Terps punched their ticket to their first sweet 16 in 13 years tonight. Put another way, it is the first time since I started this blog 12 years ago that I get to write a post about Maryland in the Sweet 16. Oh man, how I've waited for this! I don't care how it happened, I'm gonna enjoy it!
It wasn't pretty, in fact it was down right ugly for stretches, but the Terps won despite an atrocious shooting performance.
Never before in the history of the NCAA tournament had a team shot a poorer percentage from three point range (minimum 10 attempts) and won. For that, Terp fans should celebrate because you know, survive and advance.
How did they do it? Well, there was 45 seconds of brilliance - keyed by a Damonte Dodd block - that ended with the lone three of the night from Melo Trimble. It put the Terps up 7 and it was a lead that they'd never relinquish. In the end, the Terps pulled away by 13 for a convincing win.
It wasn't all peanuts and balloons. Maryland got brutalized on the glass but they were ice on free throw line netting 28-31.
Next up is Kansas. Winners of 16 straight. Maryland has the talent to beat Kansas but the Jayhawks are a team and the Terps have yet to show that they are more than amalgamation of extremely talented individuals. Thursday night is the ultimate chance to prove to everyone that they are a team. A win and Maryland is playing for a Final Four.