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Maryland back in hot water after setback loss
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On February 20, 2013 @ 8:57 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Patrick Stevens, Special for USA TODAY Sports
One the mantras of the final month of college basketball’s regular season is for borderline NCAA tournament teams to play their way in.
No one seemed to get the message on Tuesday.
From Virginia to Maryland to Indiana State, no one within range of nudging their way into Wednesday’s projected bracket managed to do so.
Virginia probably did itself the least harm, but it still permitted a second consecutive opportunity to collect a quality victory away from Charlottesville slip away. The Cavaliers (18-8) lost their only regular-season meeting with Miami, surrendering a go-ahead layup to the Hurricanes’ Reggie Johnson with 5.7 seconds left in what became a 54-50 setback.
Virginia lost Saturday at North Carolina, and will be on the spot next week to bolster its profile when Duke pays a visit.
That was the formula Maryland (18-8) wanted to follow. The Terrapins knocked off Duke on Saturday, then turned around three days later and turned in a lackluster performance in a 69-58 loss at Boston College.
It was the first setback outside the top 100 this season for Maryland, which has not had a winning or losing streak of more than two games since the start of conference play.
Both Virginia and Maryland at least have opportunities to improve their profile over the rest of the regular season. The same is not true of Indiana State (16-11), which fell to Missouri Valley leader Wichita State to all but quash its at-large hopes.
The Sycamores own some fascinating victories, none more valuable than a December defeat of Miami. But they have six losses to teams outside the top 100 and no remaining games against top-100 teams until the Valley tournament.
A sweep of Wichita State would have offered a bit of a boost for the Sycamores. Instead, they’re still a ways from playing their way in — an avenue that probably now requires three victories in their conference tournament.
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