Jan. 25, 6:00 a.m.: Here is what we learned about our locals during an eventful weekend:
The story will soon be less about one loss, even if it was the worst loss of Gary Williams’s head coaching career, and more about the direction of a program that is accustomed to national relevancy. Five games against top 10 teams still remain, which means Maryland is destined for the NIT for the fourth time in five years, barring a dramatic change of fortunes. The problem is recruiting, not coaching.
The conference is brutal. But after three consecutive losses, including Sunday’s loss to struggling Seton Hall, it’s time to wonder about the Hoyas. They have played the nation’s toughest schedule and have the U-Conn. victory under their belts. But in this conference, a few losses can become a lengthy losing streak, particularly on the road, where Georgetown will play its next two games.
Sunday’s overtime victory at Miami gave the Hokies back-to-back road wins over top 50 teams. And now the Hokies have a 4-1 ACC record and a solid tournament resume. If the season ended today, they would be in. Those narrow losses during non-conference play are looked at in a different light now.
The Patriots need to set their sights on winning the CAA tournament. Back-to-back road losses against the conference’s two other contending teams, VCU and Northeastern, dropped George Mason into second place. The Patriots could have used second-leading scorer John Vaughan against VCU.
The Colonials dropped their ninth consecutive game this weekend when it lost to Rhode Island in double overtime. They may not match their nine-win total from last season. GW has been competitive of late, but the same questions being raised in College Park need to be addressed in Foggy Bottom.
The Midshipmen have lost two of their last three games. A showdown against American looms this week.
A six-game winning streak was snapped with the loss at Holy Cross. The Eagles remain in the Patriot League race, but Holy Cross has established itself as a legit contender as well.
January 26, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
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