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Do Terps Fans Now Cheer For Memphis?

First, a quick note on the blog schedule for the coming week. I'll be traveling throughout the Midwest, making my way slowly but surely to Memphis for the South Region semifinals and final. But while I'm pulled over at various interstate rest stops, I'll be posting some season review-type entries.

Starting tomorrow, we'll look at the seasons of some specific Maryland players (beginning with Greivis Vasquez) and go from there. We'll do two or three players per day and wrap up the week with your thoughts on how Gary Williams and his staff did this season. Email me at yandas@washpost.com if you have any specific areas pertaining to the Terrapins that you'd like to open up for discussion on the blog.

And now, back to this particular post. Vasquez said something following Saturday's loss to Memphis that I found interesting, not because it was original but because I guess I didn't think Vasquez would hold this view. He acknowledged the Tigers made him eat his words regarding the strength of their team and their conference, but that wasn't the surprising part.

Vasquez finished his thought by stating he hoped Memphis would continue on and claim this year's national title.

"They definitely proved me wrong," Vasquez said. "I hope they prove everyone else wrong. I hope they win the tournament."

This is a common perspective shared by athletes whose teams have just been eliminated from postseason play. They say they would prefer the team that beat them go on to win the crown because that, in some way, will further validate their loss. I suppose the line of thinking is that if you're going to lose, you might as well lose to the eventual champion.

But do fans think this way? Do you all now want the Tigers to win the title (your own bracket predictions aside)? Do you think that will make Maryland's loss easier to swallow?

By Steve Yanda  |  March 23, 2009; 12:12 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

I don't particularly care about the NCAA tournament anymore as long as Duke goes down in a flaming pile of wreckage. Oh and UConn as well.

Posted by: Joran | March 23, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Nope. Spring football practice starts tomorrow.

Posted by: virtueandvice | March 23, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

normally i root for the ACC teams...even dook and unc as it just speaks better for maryland when the acc does does better than other conferences...

but im so disappointed in the way this tournament is playing out...

not unhappy about maryland other than would have liked to have seen a closer game against memphis...otherwise they met/exceeded expectations...

but everything its playing out agaist what i would like...

ACC is all but out of the tournament...all the teams in between unc/dook and maryland lost in the first round...maryland out in the second and now im stuck rooting for unc and dook...

arizona is in the sweet 16...they shouldnt have even been in the tourney in the first place...then they get a great draw in Utah and then a gift from wake by getting cleveland state after that...i was actually rooting for louisville instead of the cinderella upset from siena...just because i didnt want to see arizona with an easy path to the elite eight...

really was hoping for teams like fsu, wake, clemson and bc to actually do something this year so i could wave the acc banner without having to do so for unc and dook...

i guess everything will change for me the second arizona loses and i normalcy sets back in...

but otherwise this has been a lacklust tournament...no cinderella...not real buzzer beater theatrics...all the upsets were pretty much predictable and even those that were surprises weren't very shocking by games end...IE wake being dominated by cleveland state wasnt so surprising in the last 10 mins...

its like the tourney was all hype but its really just been rather boooooooriiiiiing!!!!

maybe we'll get our shockers this next weekend...so long as it is NOT arizona...

ive got 2 favorite teams this year...ther terps and whomever is playing arizona...

i just wish we coudl have somehow been playing them in the second round...before our inevitable a$$whoppin....

Posted by: deadskin | March 23, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Memphis is a "college" team with an asterisk. How anyone could root for that kind of squad beats me.

Vasquez was being gracious. A lot was said about his comment. Not much was said about the Memphis player's comment that started the little bit of reparte'. You do remember the real large dude from Memphis saying that he did not know much of anything about Maryland, only that they had a player whose name he could not recall who he understood could play a little. Instead of referring to V as "a Latino player who can really play but whose name escapes me," the kid took what for me sounded like the low road, real low, substituted a common Latino name when he damned well knew who Vasquez was.

The interesting thing, the media, including Mr. Insider here, gave the Memphsis kid a complete pass. This is how Mr. Insider reported it:

"When Chick Hernandez from Comcast mentioned that some of the Memphis players couldn’t pronounce Vasquez’s name – implying that they didn’t know who he was –
Vasquez said, 'I like that. They will know my name. They will know who I am tomorrow on the court….I thought it was disrespectful not knowing my name, but, uh, it’s definitely going to be a good game, a competitive game. Hopefully the best team is going to win and hopefully we get this win so we can shock the whole world.'"

Nowhere did Insider actually say what the Memphis player actually said. Instead, picking up on Mike Wise's theme that Vasquez was out of line, they let the Memphis guy completely off the hook. What's up with that? The kid took a page out of his coach's book (you do remember when Channey threatened to kill Calipari a few years ago because of something he said). Remind me, for a second, the Insider is covering which team?

BTW, if Memphsis was in the ACC, anyone not think that it would be more likely than not that they'd have lost to UNC, Duke, and Wake? Would anyone have been surprised if a load of other ACC teams with equal size and athleticism and much better shooters would had beaten them--Florida State,Miami (ditto), BC (ditto), Clemson (ditto).

And, if Memphis doesn't shoot 70 percent against Maryland the first half, who knows how that game would have turned out, and Memphis, you put them in the gym alone, they don't make 70 percent with their shadows guarding them.

V was right the first time, and I hope that they go down. Hard.

Posted by: cohenra | March 23, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

cohenra, tsk, tsk, tsk.
Your bitterness makes me chuckle.
GO TIGERS!!!!
I sat amongst Maryland fans at the game and were equally bitter and foul.
GO TIGERS!!!!!

Posted by: tigerbon | March 23, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Good luck in Conference play next year.
GO TIGERS!!!!

Posted by: tigerbon | March 23, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Calipari is one of the biggest scum bags out there. No way will I ever root for one of his teams. He's right up there with Calhoun for shadyness.

Posted by: pipkin42 | March 23, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I will root for Memphis despite being an MD fan because I went to Memphis for grad school. And COHENRA, unless you've actually watched this team play, seem the out-of-conference schedule Calipari puts together, get it out of your mind that it's not their fault they're in a lousy conference and recognize that Calipari still gets top recruits, you shouldn't comment on the Tigers. They are a legitimate team. And you know what, they came from C-USA last year when they went to the final. Memphis would probably win 10 games in the ACC (although the argument is pointless) and would've beaten MD regardless of whether it shot 70 percent in the first half.

As for Vazquez's comment, it wasn't offensive, necessarily, it was just stupid and ignorant. He shouldn't have said it. Those are the kinds of comments that team feeds on.

Posted by: CDon | March 23, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

RE: "Sanchez or whatever his name is"

Cohenra,

Alright, you don't want to say it. I will. What Pierre Henderson-Niles said was bigoted. Not overtly racist, but still bigoted. I am probably the last person to accuse someone of racial hostility, but if Grievis's last name was, say Thomas, do you really think Henderson-Niles would have said something like "Thompson or whatever his name is."

Henderson-Niles got a pass because the press covering the story decided the frame it around Vasquez's big mouth instead of about how Memphis said some pretty offensive things to which Vasquez responded.

Posted by: terpsfan09 | March 23, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

hey tigerbon,

How many National Championships has Memphis won in Men's Basketball....

(sound of crickets)

Yeah, I thought so. The answer is zippy, zilch, zero.

Now go away troll.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 23, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

cohnra...let it go...we lost...what memphis guy said was a BIT disrespectful...but if that was maynor or curry or someone like that they were disrespecting...those guys would have kept there mouth shut, lit it up on the court and then posed the question back to memphis in the post game presser...whats my name now b!#ches!!!

instead he had to run his mouth and disrespect a team that was full of talent waiting to explode...

stupid stupid stupid...media didnt do that one...greivis did...greivis was way over the top on that...

as for how the game would have gone if they had shot their averages in the first half...

well no doubt it would have been more of a game...but they were the better team and still dominated the game...they let off the throttle in the second half...


Posted by: deadskin | March 23, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

i'm a Terp fan by virtue of growing up in White Oak, attending HS with the Wards and the Driesel's. i am NOT a huge ACC fan. i'm inclined to look northward, rather than cross the Potomac. so i'll be pulling for ANY of the Big East teams to take the prize this year.

Posted by: mdrockjock | March 23, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

You know why the national media like CBS, ESPN and unfortunately our own sorry local media didn't cover what fat ass Pierre Henderson-Niles said?

Because the big slob hardly plays. He's a non-factor. With him involved there's no story. So, they ignored his part in it and focused on GV because he is 2nd team ACC and is known to be outspoken.

That being said, I wish GV would have taken the high road and not given bulletin board material to a team that sleep-walked through their first game.

Bottom line though, Memphis kicked their tails from jump. It's over. Maryland looks to next year while Memphis will choke another chance to win a title with a very talented team.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 23, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Generally speaking, I'd hold this view. In this particular case, the Terps were beaten so soundly there's no real pride to claim in defeat. The "at least we lost to the champs" feels a lot more comforting when you lose by 5 or 6.

Posted by: dlgood | March 23, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

In most cases like this, I'd root for Memphis. But Henderson-Niles continued to talk even after the game was over. That was uncalled for and I can't root for them now.

Posted by: ICBomber | March 23, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Section505203,

Great points. One more thing I would like to add is that if Pierre Henderson-Niles were white and was messing up a name like Da'shawn, by saying "La'Quan or whatever his name is" you better believe every civil rights group in the country would be protesting that player's team and school and demanding an apology and Jessie Jackson would be there front and center holding a press conference etc etc etc.

Henderson-Niles got a total pass by the liberal media because he is black and because Vasquez is latino. You can dispute this all you want, but you are only kidding yourself.

Posted by: terpsfan09 | March 23, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

tigerbon

if memphis was worth a s#!t...they would be in the big east along with all the other conf usa schools that got invited into the big east conference...

the acc took the 3 best schools from the big east...then the big east took the best schools from conf usa to fill their holes...

funny thing was memphis wasnt one of them...

they may be having a good run in basketball...but it wont last forever...in the end they will be nobody in the ncaas like all the other conf usa schools...

south florida of all schools got picked to be in the big east...memphis did not...

Posted by: deadskin | March 23, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

another reason why grievis should have kept his mouth shut...he was getting disrespected by a bench warmer that only got into the maryland game 2X for a total of 3 mins...long enough to pick up a couple fouls...why even give that any power?!?!?

and yes i totally agree that what henderson-niles said would have been blown up by the media if it was said by a white guy about a black guy...

i see that all the time...its ok to say that if youre in the minority...its ok to be racist if you are in the minority...

white guys can only get away with that sort of thing if their married to a black gal...

but i harbor no ill will towards memphis or their players...i dont know if i will be rooting for memphis or not but it wont be because of the he said she said in the media or because of the drubbing...

but i do harbor ill wills against haters like tigerbalm that serve no purpose but to harass people on this blog...bad karma...that right there might have me rooting against them so i know j@ck@$$es like tigerbalm are feeling some pain...

im rooting against conferences...down with the pac 10 (and arizona) first and foremost)...then the big 10...id say down with the big east but that just isnt going to happen this year...not with the meat of the acc going down so quickly...

Posted by: deadskin | March 23, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I'll be rooting for Villanova because they have the most players from Silver Spring.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | March 23, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Deadskin and terpsfan09 are both right. The Memphis players should not have mocked Vasquez's name to start with, but his response was stupid, got Memphis angry, and that's what the story was.

It's too bad it was badly misreported though, the Memphis players were way out of line.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 23, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Anybody but Duke or UNC.

Posted by: erniegogo | March 23, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Calipari is a cheating scumbag whose first final four appearanced was vacated by the NCAA because his best player took illegal cash gifts from an agent as part of the recruiting process. And he has one kid on his team arrested for beating his girlfriend (Dozier) and another who admitted driving the car that was used for a drive-by shooting murder (Evans).

So to summarize: HELL NO I'm not cheering for those sleazebags, cheaters and criminals. Maybe if Calipari goes to the final four, his appearance will be vacated by the NCAA again.

Posted by: magnuson | March 23, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Memphis has always been a solid team lacking only national recruiting appeal and a "big-time" coach. We now have both. We have already committed some of the nations top-ranked freshman for next season. Mr. Deadskin, our NCAA "run" is here to stay, so get use to seeing Memphis in the future on your tournament bracket-sheets. Mr. Section505203, a real man is judged by what "he's" doing...not the accomplishments of "his" predecessors. Memphis has no national titles as of yet...but there coming baa-aby. In closing Mr. Deadskin & Mr. Terpsfan, Niles was wrong and insensitive with his comments and should've been "checked" by the interviewer. But lets get really real for a second. This country has been tolerating negative comments (and actions) directed at BLACK men for over 400 years without any atonement, with the exception of maybe the last 40 years....c'mon Fred Flintsones.

Posted by: NatTurner2 | March 24, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

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