Terps are good enough to win postseason NIT

March 02, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

Face the facts all you Terps basketball fans.

Maryland is not good enough to be in the NCAA Tournament this year.

The Terps need to win their last two ACC games to have any consideration, but that bubble they are sitting on right now gets bigger and bigger.

If the Terps were in any other league, their recent setbacks would not have as much of an effect on their future as it does in the ACC, arguably the best conference in the country. Too bad for Maryland it's not in the Big Ten or Big 12.

With the way the Terps have been going, chances are slim they'll win Wednesday night at North Carolina State.

Granted, Maryland lacks experience with only one senior - Jamar Smith - and he's been a non-leader in the final stretches of games.


The Terps are an interesting team to watch. Every time they dig themselves a hole, they get out of it only to make mistakes they shouldn't be making at this time of season.

One of their biggest problems comes without any opponent in their face - foul shooting. Opposing coaches don't have to worry about whom not to foul. Chances are any Terp on the floor isn't going to make an important free throw.

The Terps play hard, but they need to play harder starting Wednesday night. They can't afford to wait until the ACC Tournament starts to begin their portion of March Madness. It starts in Raleigh.

Look on the brighter side, Maryland could win the NIT.

More on the MPSSAA

I second sports editor Mark Keller's sentiments Sunday about the MPSSAA's way of orchestrating its postseason basketball playoff seeding structure.

There's no other way to put it than to say it's hideous!

Isn't it about time the MPSSAA gets out of the dark ages when it comes to the postseason? It took steps in football, now it needs to take much bigger steps in basketball.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why this athletic association must paralyze its members with such ridiculous region boundaries and travel. C'mon now, straighten out the seeding process, break down your regions into sub-regions and be more realistic.

Clear Spring girls with a home game? Hancock boys going to Poolesville? Brunswick boys going to Beall?

There is not enough space here for me to make all the suggestions on what you should do, but I will say this: Why not make some contacts for those suggestions? Maybe follow on what West Virginia does, or I'll personally tell you how Ohio succeeds with tournaments for both boys and girls with nearly 800 schools involved.

At least the MPSSAA has one thing in its favor.

Unlike its Pennsylvania neighbor, it does not allow for a team to lose a tournament game and still continue its quest to reach the state finals.

Unbeaten season

The Mason Dixon Christian Conference, a league that stretches from Martinsburg to Frederick, does not get a lot of ink.

Kudos to boys regular-season and tournament champion Shalom Christian, which knocked off Heritage Academy in the tourney final Saturday.

No matter the sport and level, it's not easy to go unbeaten and Shalom did just that, winning all 22 of its games.

On the girls side, congrats to Heritage Academy, which won the tournament title after beating regular-season champion Cumberland Valley Christian.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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