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If A Terrapin Falls In the Woods ...

... and no one's there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Maryland players -- and certainly their coach -- are not deaf to the many questions observers have raised about the talent level and ability of this year's squad. They also realize not too many outsiders are expecting them to fare well this weekend at the Old Spice Classic.

"We’re underdogs, not that anyone’s talking about us, so we’ve got something to prove," senior forward Dave Neal said. "If we go down and steal some games, people will start talking about us again."

Neal raises an interesting point -- in order to be an underdog, does one have to at least be recognized? Each game has a team that is favored, which naturally would suggest the opposing team would be the underdog.

But is that necessarily the case? Is there a level more undervalued or overlooked than being considered an underdog? If so, does Maryland fit that bill?

You can count Gary Williams among those who does not believe the Terps should be afforded the underdog tag, though I doubt he would say they deserve a less flattering designation, either.

"Michigan State will be the favorite, but that doesn’t mean we think we’ll be the underdog," Williams said. "That’s other people saying it."

I'm curious to hear what you all think. What exactly constitutes an underdog? Is Maryland an underdog? Is there a level below "underdog"? If so, does Maryland belong there instead?

Toss this subject around while you're waiting for the big meal to be prepared, and let me know what conclusions you and the fam reach.

By Steve Yanda  |  November 27, 2008; 1:29 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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