The Maryland Terrapins, a bubble-team fighting for their NCAA tournament lives, found themselves in a critical game against the #2 Duke Blue Devils this afternoon. Duke, always looking to lend a helping hand, decided to help the Terrapins spice up their tournament resume, handing them an 83-74 victory over a top-five team.
The Blue Devils did their best to make it look like they weren’t throwing the game, having freshman Rasheed Sulaimon explode in the first half for 12 points to keep the game somewhat close.
“Oh my gosh,” Coach K could be heard exclaiming “I totally didn’t see this coming! He’s like, a struggling freshman. Oh my gosh!”
The rest of the team, however, struggled to keep up with the acting chops of Sulaimon. Ryan Kelly missed numerous wide-open three pointers, all of which were followed by Kelly shouting, “OOPS! I guess I am all thumbs today, guys! Sure hope Maryland doesn’t beat us!” At one point, Quinn Cook attempted to throw up a lob to Josh Hairston, causing a few Maryland players to question whether the Blue Devils were even trying. Hairston, however, shot down questions, saying that he had been putting in a ton of work at the squat machine, and now had the vertical prowess of Chicago Bulls star Nate Robinson.
Meanwhile, Mason Plumlee…
Okay, I can’t write this crap anymore. I want to believe this happened, because, outside of this, I’m not entirely sure how to explain what transpired in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament this Friday afternoon. The Blue Devils, appearing to be comfortable with their current resume, came out looking flat and largely uninspired.
Their defensive rotations were sloppy, as they often had two players crashing down on the ball-handler, resulting in numerous open looks for Maryland, both on the wing and around the basket. I’ve reached a point where I’m sick of watching this entire team rebound. They don’t fight and scrap for the ball, instead settling for those that bounce directly to them, opting to allow the opponent to grab the rest. On numerous occasions, Ryan Kelly watched as a rebound bounced right in front of him, leading to a Maryland player swooping in and grabbing it. Plumlee and Hairston didn’t help the cause, either, as both were pushed around like rag dolls for most of the game.
Offensively, the Blue Devils struggled to find open looks on a consistent basis and failed to convert when they did, shooting a combined 4-25 from beyond the arc. Plumlee and Sulaimon were the only consistent contributors, with Plumlee finishing with 19 points and Sulaimon tacking on 16. Most of the game, Duke was plagued by bad shots and bad decisions and, despite only turning the ball over six times, they always appeared to be a little on the lost side.
With a solid tourney run, Duke could’ve ensured a spot as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Now, however, all they can do is sit and wait.
Is Duke still a number one seed? Sound off in the comment section below.