I’ve seen my share of upsets; but today’s performance has to take the cake. Talk about improbable! MD’s trio at the pivot of Dave Neal, Dino Gregory, and Jerome Burney some how some way held off one of the strongest frontcourts in the nation. And that wasn’t even the most incredible performance of the game! That honor, of course, goes to Greivis Vasquez.
I couldn’t be happier for Mr. Vasquez. Sure, he has caused his share of heartache during his tenure at Maryland; but the kid wants to win so bad that it hurts. He has taken his lumps in the ACC, gotten ripped in the press, and been booed by his own fans. Through it all, he has never stopped trying. Maybe, just maybe he will have the opportunity to go out on top. He may have a few more great performances in him; but surely none will compare to what he did today. 35 points, 11 rebs, and 10 assists. Greivis notched the triple double before overtime even started. He was Mr. Everything all game long.
Even with Vasquez carrying them, how did the Terps pull this off? I think it’s just that MD wanted (hell, needed) this more than UNC. I’m not saying that is the only reason they won; but it helped. I’m thrilled as a fan; but even more thrilled that 12 kids and a coach who have worked so hard all year finally got rewarded for their efforts.
How many close calls that turned into eventual losses have their been? Too many to recount here. We have talked ad nauseum about how this team “didn’t have the horses”. We lacked talent and height and just couldn’t compete with the top teams in the NCAA. That may still be true; but as I said in my thread post, there is a reason they play these games.
The Terps proved to me that they can play with heart. Sure, there have been other games where it looked like they gave up (see Duke); but if they give it their all and they play with consistency, it is a beautiful thing to watch.
Of all the reasons to be happy tonight; I hope you are happy for Gary Williams. Ripped to shreds by his hometown paper; Gary may indeed have the last laugh. For if he can take this squad to the NCAAs; he has forever proven his mettle as a great coach. If it happens, it will be his finest hour.
Now, it is on to Duke and a chance to vault ourselves off the bubble and into the dance. However, before we get too excited; remember that this is the same team that lost to Clemson by 27 points on Tuesday. Last year, MD hosted Duke coming off the upset at UNC and we ran to a 10 point halftime lead only to blow it in the second half. Maryland has a chance to exorcise all of its demons on Wednesday.