Beloved commenter Doctor Death is sweet to be concerned, but need not fear for my neighbors in the wake of Maryland's stunningly crapalicious choke on Miami in the ACC tournament. Not even for Malkin, who may or may not be a neighbor. I've already committed to a strategy for dealing with her, no matter what the weather.
I'm manful enough to belly up and admit when I've made a mistake, and I made one of the oldest in preparing myself mentally for this year's ACC tournament. Simply put, I forgot what works: The soft bigotry of low expectations never disappoints. Shame on me for losing sight of that.
Hats off to Miami, and especially to their coach, Frank Haith, who has yet to lose a basketball game to Gary Williams. Haith's game plan slowed the game to a crawl, and his big boys crashed the boards hard on offense, racking up 23 second-chance points. No matter that half of those were the result of thuggery; if you're getting away with it, what are you gonna do, say no?
And the Terps showed what they're made of on a day when DJ Strawberry leaves his A game in some coed's vagina; they're made of gawky elbows, arrogance, and freshman panic. DJ recovered enough of his mojo in the second half to help spark a comeback, and the Terps were within a point with a minute or so left. But after one bad possession, they were down three, and couldn't manage to score in the final possession. They got off a decent shot that missed, and grabbed the rebound. But then, unwarrantedly cocky freshman Grievous Vasquez cranked up a panicky, windmilling, awkward 3 from the corner with about 5 seconds left, rather than attempting one more pass (as he should have done, since he was double-teamed by people bigger than he). He was fouled, and blatantly so, while shooting it, but machts nichts. He didn't deserve to go to the line for that shit, and I don't think I'd have called the foul, either.
So I will quietly do other things for the weekend, while Ilse and her mother watch what remains of the ACC tournament. I will stoke myself with a complete lack of confidence in my team. I will remind myself that they are mortal. And I will hope that this leads to a nice 2- or 3-game run in the NCAA tournament, which is really more than anyone with a spark of reason or sanity could have hoped for these boys in the first place.