Does Maryland Still Have a Chance?

With three straight losses, I had basically written Maryland off when I did yesterday’s RPI update. Later, I started wondering if I had written them off too soon and decided to take a little closer look. Here’s Maryland’s record since the end of the OOC cupcakes:

Sat Jan 7

(61) Miami FL 84, Maryland 70


Wed Jan 11

(1) Duke
76, Maryland


Sun Jan 15

Maryland 90, (108) Wake Forest


Sat Jan 21

Maryland 81, (129) Virginia Tech 72


Wed Jan 25

Maryland 86, (145) Georgia Tech 74


Sat Jan 28

(46) Temple 91, Maryland


Thu Feb 2

(26) North Carolina 77, Maryland 62


Sun Feb 5

(22) North Carolina St. 62, Maryland


So over the last month, Maryland’s only wins have come against teams ranked 100+…not generally a good sign. But on the other hand, they have not any terrible losses either…and four of the five losses were on the road. While the recent results do not build confidence for the remainder of the year, is all hope lost?

Since State does not play Maryland again and they do represent one of State’s wins against RPI top-50 teams…let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and look at what they need in order to finish the year in the top-50 and at least stay on the NCAAT bubble.

Here is their remaining schedule sorted hardest to easiest:

Sat Feb 11

Maryland vs. (1) Duke


Sun Feb 26

Maryland vs. (26) North Carolina





Tue Feb 7

Maryland vs. (55) Virginia


Sun Mar 5

Maryland vs. (55) Virginia


Wed Mar 1

Maryland vs. (61) Miami FL


Wed Feb 15

Maryland vs. (63) Clemson





Wed Feb 22

Maryland vs. (74) Florida


Sat Feb 18

Maryland vs. (145) Georgia


So let’s start with some gross assumptions….Let’s assume that Maryland can’t beat Duke or UNC….and that they can’t lose to FSU or GT. That would put Maryland at 6-6 in conference with the following games left against their friends on the bubble:

Feb 7

Maryland vs. (55) Virginia



Sat Feb

Maryland vs. (1)



Feb 15

Maryland vs. (63) Clemson



Sat Feb

Maryland vs. (145)
Georgia Tech



Wed Feb

Maryland vs. (74) Florida St.



Sun Feb

Maryland vs. (26)
North Carolina



Mar 1

Maryland vs. (61) Miami FL



Mar 5

Maryland vs. (55) Virginia



So would 3-1 against the bubble teams be enough? That would put them at 9-7 going into the ACCT. A win on Thursday in the ACCT would certainly be required…and a win on Friday would probably seal the deal.

Is this a hopeless fantasy? Interestingly, two of the next three games come against the bubble teams on Maryland’s schedule…Which will give us something to watch for:

– 2-1 with only a loss to Duke…and Gary may have MD back on track.
– 1-2 and hopes are getting dim.
– 0-3 and you can turn out the lights.

What do you think….do they have a chance?

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

General NCS Basketball

41 Responses to Does Maryland Still Have a Chance?

  1. Trout 02/07/2006 at 8:31 AM #

    “So let’s start with some gross assumptions….Let’s assume that Maryland can’t beat Duke or UNC….and that they can’t lose to FSU or GT.”

    I’d put the game @FSU in the loss column right now. I dont think you can assume they beat FSU in Tally. FSU is playing much better basketball right now, as evidenced by the way they easily took care of Clemson and played Duke, and the officials, down to the wire.

  2. VaWolf82 02/07/2006 at 8:42 AM #

    So you’re saying there’s a chance? 😉

    There are very few gimme’s in the conference. But MD has two choices…win some tough games…or start lobbying for an opening round home game in the NIT.

  3. Mr. O 02/07/2006 at 8:57 AM #

    FSU looked like the possibly the 2nd best team in the ACC against Duke this weekend.

  4. Trout 02/07/2006 at 8:59 AM #

    I think their best shot for a road win is at UVA rather than at FSU, IMO. If I were betting, I’d go:

    Duke – L
    @UNC – L
    @UVA – W
    UVA – W
    Miami – W
    @FSU – L
    GT – W
    @Clemson – L

  5. Mr. O 02/07/2006 at 9:03 AM #

    8-8 should get Maryland in…right?

  6. Mr. O 02/07/2006 at 9:04 AM #

    Maybe they would have to win a 1st round game. The new format of the ACC tourney can give bubble teams a real opportunity to pad your resume. Last year, the fact that we got to play an extra game on Thursday against FSU was a big advantage for us making the NCAA tourney.

  7. kevin 02/07/2006 at 9:11 AM #

    regardless of conference strength, one woulds expect 8-8 in ACC to get in. It happens most years.

  8. RickJ 02/07/2006 at 9:19 AM #

    Maryland won the National Championship in 2002 and recently moved into maybe the best on campus bball facility in the country. After winning the ACC tourney in Greensboro, I thought they were positioned to elevate their program to the very top echelon of college bball. It is mind boggling to me that they are in a 50 – 50 situation to miss the tourney for the second straight year. I say they make it this year because GW is just that good a coach. We should all be thankful that he refuses to do what is necessary to recruit at the highest level.

  9. Jeff 02/07/2006 at 9:49 AM #

    I’m not sure that the old 8-8 gets you in rule is as relevant as in the past.

    With the diluted ACC and the imbalanced nature of the schedule…8 wins aren’t nearly as valuable as they once were.

  10. VaWolf82 02/07/2006 at 9:52 AM #

    8-8 should get Maryland in…right?

    When was a .500 conference record not enough? I can think of twice:
    2000……UVa…….9-7……….RPI #76
    2005…….VT……..8-8……….RPI #112

    Does anyone know of any other examples?

  11. choppack 02/07/2006 at 10:04 AM #

    Well, it all depends on how you arrive. If UMd comes in at 8-8 and tanks in the first round of the tourney – they may not get a bid…particularly if they lost, say, their last 2 games or 3 of their last 4. OTOH – if they finish 8-8 and win a game or 2 in the tourney, they get a bid.

    Right now – they are bubble city. If the tourney was held tomorrow, I suspect they’d get a bid. Regardless, this game tonight vs. UVa is huge for them.

  12. Mr. O 02/07/2006 at 10:18 AM #

    1. Duke 80.0% (68-17),(11-1)
    2. Maryland 60.76% (48-31),(4-3)
    3. NC State 59.52% (50-34),(7-4)
    4. Wake 59.49% (47-32),(2-4)
    5. UNC 50.0% (39-39),(2-4)
    6. GT 45.0% (36-44),(3-4)

    I figured out these winning percentages in the ACC over the last 4.5 years. The %’s and first set of numbers include the ACC tournament records which are in the second set of parenthesis.

    After Maryland’s nationtal title, GW had one of the best recruiting classes he has ever had in Gilchrist, Caner-Medley, Garrison and McCray. On paper, his recruiting definitely picked up after the title, but he has struggled in putting together successful teams. His program has definitely slipped since the title. If not for the miracle ACC tourney run, then it would be a lean 3 year stretch for a program coming off a national title.

    Herb will most likely be 2nd in ACC winning percentage(all games) after this season over the last 5 seasons. He is currently 3 games back of Maryland two games back of Wake Forest for only ACC regular season games.

    UNC will have a shot to catch Herb next season.

    Note that I realize that Final Fours, ACC titles, Reg. Season titles, and Nat titles are very important in measuring coach. I realize each of these other 5 programs have one of these other accomplishments over the last 4.5 years. So the point of this isn’t to get a discussion of the importance of “peak seasons” because they are important to me too.

    I just found the numbers interesting in terms of our success within the ACC last 5 years. I wonder how long we would have to go back to find a five year stretch where we were the 2nd best program in ACC winning percentage.

  13. class of '74 02/07/2006 at 2:23 PM #

    Do they have a chance? Sure they do! Will they do it? Not likely. The road is very tough and they are at a huge disadvantage without McCray. Less than 50% chance to make the NCAAT even if Gary sweats through eight suits.

  14. JeremyHyatt 02/07/2006 at 7:55 PM #

    hey guys, are we supposed to root for Carolina or Duke tonite? i.e. do we pull for Duke to start losing so we can compete for 1st place or root against teams that are trying to challenge for the coveted 2nd place? I’m leaning towards the latter but i sure would like to see Duke soon an ACC game.

  15. JeremyHyatt 02/07/2006 at 8:23 PM #

    By the way, I’m checking out the Tennessee/Kentucky game. Tennessee, in watching 3/4 of the game, shoots the three alot like us, except they don’t make as many. But boy do they go after the rebounds. Obviously if we could equal that type of aggressiveness on the boards we would be disgusting and beat the crap out of most ACC teams, and be a realistic top 10 team. Anyway, you already knew that.

  16. HeelsFan 02/07/2006 at 8:23 PM #


    Was talking to some State fans today at work………… I know you HATE the Tar Heels, but you guys really have a chance to win the ACC Regular Season. You have a VERY Good team that knows how to win……. Come on, pull for the Tar Heels!

  17. PACDADDY 02/07/2006 at 9:01 PM #

    Thanks Mr.O..makes you want to say hummmm…what you think about VA?


  18. newswolf 02/07/2006 at 9:34 PM #

    Here is something I don’t understand, and this goes for all sides. Who gives a F about winning %’s, how many someone has lost against X, it supposed to be about winning titles.

  19. VaWolf82 02/07/2006 at 9:44 PM #

    I guess some people want to compete for the Gene Keady Memorial Award.

    Back to the original subject:

    Maryland completes one baby step.

  20. PACDADDY 02/08/2006 at 12:20 AM #

    newswolf…it’s a process…win games…get high seeding and improve odds greatly to win titles…acc or national. Nobody can argue with your statement…We all follow the season closely in hopes to win titles. But if I had to pick a place for this program to be right now, considering the number 1 team is a top 3 national program, and the other 2 behind us(or soon to be behind us) are recent national champions…that ain’t too bad.

    Beats the heck out of being a bottom feeder don’t it?

    back to topic…Maryland will tank it this season.

  21. Jeff 02/08/2006 at 6:49 AM #

    ^ So, how many high seeds have we achieved in the last decade?

    If we don’t have a good season next year (no Bennerman, Bethel, Evtimov)….what will it be about next year? Will it be recruiting? or subjective improvement that seems to be on the horizon?

    My only point is this…you say it is about the process, but (including this year) we will have only had 2 seasons that we didn’t squeeze into the NCAA on the Bubble. How does that mesh with your statements?

  22. class of '74 02/08/2006 at 7:12 AM #

    How many of you looking forward think we will have the second best percentage over the next five years? Better than Duke and UNC? Lets get real! We may be seeing Herb’s highwater mark this season. I hope not but if you look at the real world it certainly would seem that way.

  23. class of '74 02/08/2006 at 7:18 AM #

    And the win last night was huge for Maryland’s chances. Not saying they’ll make it but a loss at home last night would’ve really put them against the wall.

  24. Mr. O 02/08/2006 at 7:42 AM #

    ACC winning percentages over a 4.5 year period are pretty telling.

    It took Gary Williams 13 years to win a national title and 16 to win an ACC title. Should Maryland have fired him prior to his 13th year?

    The idea that it is all about titles is unrealistic.

  25. VaWolf82 02/08/2006 at 8:07 AM #

    The idea that it is all about titles is unrealistic.

    There are only two NC State coaches since the formation of the ACC that haven’t/didn’t win a conference title. Why is it unrealistic to expect Herb to at least match the achievements of 50+ years worth of his predecessors.

Leave a Reply