All year long, the Maryland Terrapins have been touted as one of the more talented teams around the country. While the talent is hard to argue with, the results that that talent has produced have been questionable on a number of occasions.
However, on Friday against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, that talent came together. The Terrapins showed how dangerous they can be in a tournament scenario.
Here are some of the things that we can take away from their 11 point victory over the Cornhuskers:
1. The Terrapins are a very dangerous team when they're rolling
Once this team gets it going offensively, they're an extremely tough team to get a win against. Their defense wasn't what Mark Turgeon would like it be, giving up 86 points, however their offense managed to cover the mistakes that were made on the other end of the floor.
Maryland is one of the best defensive teams in the Big Ten, so you certainly wouldn't expect them to give up 85+ points in games moving further into March. If they do, the outcome might be quite a bit different when playing a team that's better than Nebraska.
2. Maryland is one of the most balanced teams around offensively
In this Friday win, all 5 of the Terrapins starters finished in double figures in the scoring column. Jake Layman had one of his better games of the year, finishing with 26 points on 8-13 shooting, including 6-8 from behind the three point line.
The freshman sensation Diamond Stone added 23 points and also gathered 8 rebounds. Melo Trimble had 16 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds in a great all around performance. Robert Carter and Rasheed Sulaimon provide big emotional lifts and also statistical production, posting 13 and 10 points respectively.
For Maryland to continue to win games in the month of March, they'll certainly look to maintain this balanced approach offensively. When all five guys on the court can hurt you at any time, it's a nightmare for the defense. Maryland is one of the few teams in the conference who almost always have five guys on the floor that can hurt you. Most teams have at least one offensively weak component on the floor at a time, but that isn't necessarily the case with this squad.
3. Nebraska's season ends quite fittingly
While the Cornhuskers could still potentially receive an invitation to a small postseason tournament, any and all NCAA hopes hinged entirely on winning this conference tournament. It ended in a fitting fashion for Tim Miles' squad after the year that this team has had. For four years, Shavon Shields has been one of the more dynamic offensive players in the conference.
On Friday, he may have seen his Nebraska career come to an end. He played fairly well, scoring 19 points and adding 5 rebounds. The problem at Nebraska is that so much pressure was on he and Andrew White III to put up great games to beat teams. That was the formula when they won at Michigan State, and it was going to have to be the formula for them to continue a run in the conference tournament.
It's been two years now since Nebraska reached the NCAA Tournament, and you have to wonder when they'll make it back again.