Threat to make the Final: No. 3 Maryland
As a hardcore Maryland basketball fan who has followed this team closely all season, the term “threat” perhaps should read “potential” because that has been the story all season for the Terps. The potential is there for this team to be special. However, they have been anything but “threats” to anyone they have played this season. Just ask Minnesota who they got their first conference win against Maryland. This is a team with talented guards in Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon, length on the wing in Jake Layman, and size down low with Robert Carter, Damonte Dodd, and Diamond Stone. On paper at least, this group presents significant challenges for any team.
The Terps have size and talent, but they lack grit, toughness, and they do not do the little things well. What do I mean by the little things? The Terps struggle to secure rebounds, protect the ball even without pressure right in their face, and find energy when playing away from the confines of the Xfinity Center. If Trimble drives through the lane and attacks the basket to open up shots for the other players, Maryland could upset the Spartans in the semifinals. First, they need to take care of business against No. 6 Wisconsin, who they will likely play in the quarterfinals barring an upset. A good run in the conference tournament will help boost the Terps tournament resume and seeding in a big way.