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Terps' Magic Number

Their coach might not want much, if any, part in this discussion, but Maryland's players, at least, understand the overtones of tomorrow night's game against Virginia. At 1-2 in conference play, the Terps can ill afford a home loss to a .500 team. Such a defeat would only muddy a team's NCAA tournament resume.

"We know we've got to win a certain amount of games to make it into the tournament, so we keep that in the back of our heads," senior forward Dave Neal said today. "But if we just come out and play here at Comcast I think we should be fine. Hopefully, we'll win all our home games; that's our goal."

Asked if he believed that meant tomorrow was a must-win for the Terps, Neal agreed.

"Yeah, tomorrow's pretty much a must-win," he said. "We know that to go 1-3 in the conference is going to be tough for us."

Neal keeps track of this sort of thing better than most college players, so he then was asked if he had a number in mind in terms of how many conference wins Maryland needed to collect to ensure an NCAA bid.

"I don't know exactly what the number is," he said. "Usually it's 20 games, 21 game wins and if you're 8-8 in the conference, that's pretty good. But with mid-major teams, how good some of those teams are getting now and how many teams are playing well in the mid-majors, we'll probably have to win a little more. If we win 21 games and go, say, like 9-7 in the conference, I think that's a lock that you're in the tournament.

"But you can't really look towards that; we've just got to come out here and play hard. We've got to win the games we should win and win the home games and then just go on the road with the mindset that we can win road games."

By Steve Yanda  |  January 19, 2009; 3:35 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Seems a little early for magic number, IMHO. If they get their head out of the sand, and play some ball...the wins will take care of itself.

No problem talking about magic numbers as a fan...but the team...should be focusing on UVA.

Posted by: cej75024 | January 19, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Although I'm a big Terps fan, I just can't see them making the NCAAs, they just don't have the horses. And have yet to play any of the top 4 in the ACC.

Posted by: NatsMan21 | January 20, 2009 3:43 AM | Report abuse

Gary Williams is a very good coach,maybe a little old school but in today's world of azz kissin i'll do anything short of paying you to come to my school recruiting he is a refreshing change the Terps don't have the personnel to compete for a berth in the tournament yet here they are 1-2 in the Acc and had the ball bounced differently they could have been 2-1 or 3-0 if Grevis(mouth almighty tonuge everlasting)Vasquez plays within himself they have a shot at shocking the expert's and actually Gary is only one blue chip recruit away from this team being dangerous.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 20, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

perhaps, recognizing the remoteness of the NBA, Neal's angling for a gig in Lost Wages, Nevada....

Posted by: mdrockjock | January 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

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