I don't know if you guys noticed, but it's going to be pretty busy around these parts this week with coverage of the B1G Tournament, so I'm going to keep our weekly trip out east short and sweet. Let's get right to it!
The Terps were coming off back to back heart wrenching defeats the week before, so a matchup with bottom feeder Virginia Tech was just what the doctor ordered. Predictably, Maryland was down one at halftime, but used an 18-5 run to open the second half to fuel a 64-47 bludgeoning of the Hokies. Jake Layman lead the way with 13 points (four-of-nine from distance) and five rebounds, and Dezmine Wells chipped in 11 points, four assists, and three rebounds. Rebounding Machine Charles Mitchell did not play at all in the second half of the game due to disciplinary reasons. I'm assuming it was because the rest of the team was sad that there were no rebounds left for them, and complained to Mark Turgeon. Jealousy is a stinky cologne, rest of the Terps. In their last game of the season, and their last regular season ACC game, Maryland had a chance for a statement win against ACC regular season champs and #5 ranked Virginia, and hoo baby did they jump at that chance. Maryland upset the 'Hoos 75-69 in overtime to clinch a .500 record in conference. After UVA forced overtime with a brilliant inbounds pass lead to an open jumper for Anthony Gill, Maryland's Seth Allen scored two straight buckets and the Terps were off to their best win of the season. The aforementioned Allen lead the way with 20 points and Dez Wells had 18. Jake Layman went for 10 and eight, while Evan Smotrycz added 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists. The Terps (17-14, 9-9 in ACC) enter their conference tournament full of confidence and a two game winning streak. They face off with fellow middle of the packer, Florida State (who they split the season series with), on Thursday in the second round of the ACC Tournament. If Maryland wins a game or two, they should be sitting pretty for a plum seed in the NIT.
The Scarlet Knights had another tough week, losing to both of the ranked teams they matched up with, but both games were competitive and could give the team a needed boost heading into the AAC Tournament. In their first game of the week, Rutgers lost to 19th ranked UConn 69-63 due to Shabazz Napier going off from three point land (seven-of-eleven). Myles Mack had 16, five, and five to lead the way for Rutgers and Wally Judge had a double-double with 13 and 10. Rutgers finished the season with another close loss, this time to 15th ranked, and AAC co-champions, Cincinnati 70-66. J.J. Moore lead all Kinghts scorers with 19 points, while Myles Mack had 10 points and nine assists. Kadeem Jack registered a double-double with 15 and 12. Rutgers (11-20, 5-13 in AAC) did not have a great season, but definitely played better as the year wore on. They have a first round conference tournament matchup with USF, who they swept this year, and a potential date with Louisville, who might be underestimating the improved Scarlet Knights. Postseason play is out of the question for Rutgers, but being the #CHAOSTEAM of the AAC Tournament is not.
With tournament play heating up, we'll keep you posted on how our future conference mates do this postseason. Check out Testudo Times and On The Banks for up to the minute coverage and advanced scouting on Maryland & Rutgers.