What Maryland’s Loss Means For The NCAA Tournament
What does Maryland’s loss mean for the NCAA Tournament? Big picture, the Terrapins still have the inside track to win the Big Ten.
That said, although the team will likely claim the top-seed in the conference tournament, a certain era of home invincibility has now been lost.
On Saturday, the Terrapins were upset by Michigan State 78-66.
The loss was Maryland’s first home defeat all year long. Coming into the outing, the Terrapins had won 10 of their last 11 games.
Overall, the final result could be attributed to both Michigan State playing up to the level many had in mind when they were ranked as a preseason No. 1 team, and Maryland not doing it what it needed to do.
Maryland guard Anthony Cowan said this much after the game.
“I think it was both. They played really well. They hit a lot of shots. But then we also gave them a lot of second chance opportunities. Can’t do that against a team like Michigan State,” he said.
“It’s disappointing. Obviously you want to do well for your fanbase, because the fanbase did so much for us in terms of being here early this morning, just being loud.
“We just didn’t give them enough tonight. But that happens. So just got to move on to the next one.”
It was a dominant showing by the Spartans from start to finish. Maryland never held the lead and barely ever even found itself within single digits in the second half.
The losing side’s head coach, Mark Turgeon, acknowledged this following the game.
“We could never get control of the game,” he said.
“We never, ever had control of the game. I think we cut it to 10 in the second half one time, and then I felt pretty good and then we went down.”
So where does Maryland go from here?
Following their missed opportunity to clinch a piece of the conference title, the team will need to shake the defeat off and look forward.
This coming Tuesday, Maryland will take on a spunky little Rutgers team on the road – which is concerning because Rutgers has lost just a single outing at home all year long. That, coupled with the fact that the squad is on the bubble, means Maryland can not underestimate the threat in front of them.
All in all, Saturday’s defeat was unfortunate for the Terrapins, but not a death blow by any stretch of the imagination. The group will still likely get to where they were headed, the route will just be a little longer than anticipated.