It’s here. Game day is here. #5 Maryland vs #12 South Dakota State. 4:30 pm live from Spokane, Washington. Winner moves on to play either Hawaii or Cal, loser goes home.
Starting in the preseason, I was ranting and raving and waving my hands in the air like I just don’t care about this Maryland team. So much talent. 5 potential draft picks on the roster. And then…nothing. Vanilla pudding offense, lackluster hustle on defense, and a coach who can’t figure out in between. This has been an up and down season where Maryland never even got close to their full potential. Not even close.
But the good news is none of that matters. All that matters is the tournament. We’ve seen teams get hot and makes runs year after year after year. And this year’s field is wide open. Maryland has the individual talent, but have yet to come together as a team. The optimist in me says this is the time, the pessimist (and realist) in me says that shit doesn’t just change over night.
So am I worried? Sure. Of course. Not only because I’ve seen the Terps lose to Minnesota this season, but because they are the daunted 12-5 matchup. South Dakota State is your classic “random white boy team who beats under-achieving big school”. Everything is lining up in the stars perfectly for this to end poorly.
On the other hand, Maryland has too much talent to let this game get away from them. Losing on the road in the B1G is normal. It’s hard to win on the road in the B1G. But losing first round to South Dakota State in the big dance? Nah. Ain’t happening.
Prediction: Maryland starts slow then pulls away. Covers the 9.