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Terps prepare to close out regular season at U-Va.

Two days after an emotional win over No. 4 Duke that placed Maryland in a first-place tie with the Blue Devils atop the ACC standings, the Terrapins wrapped up their preparations for Saturday's regular season finale at Virginia. Coach Gary Williams was asked Friday if he has consciously attempted to ensure his team doesn't come out flat against the Cavaliers after such a stirring performance Wednesday against Duke on senior night.

"We've been in some games this year that are just hard to describe, and we've been able to get ready for the next game," Williams said. "I'm basing our preparation after those games how we'll prepare for Virginia. That's our job as a team is to realize that you have to complete a season. You have to complete a regular season. You can't prepare for 15 games and not prepare for 16 games. So that's what we have to do."

Indeed, the Terrapins have been involved in some wild games this season -- and most of them came out in Maryland's favor. There was the overtime loss at Wake Forest in early January, but since then, the Terrapins have held the upper hand. Cliff Tucker hits a last-second shot to beat Georgia Tech. Sean Mosley leads a comeback win over Clemson. Greivis Vasquez spurs Maryland to a double-overtime win at Virginia Tech.

In many of its wins this season, Maryland displayed an ability to finish off opponents, to prevail in tight situations, to recover quickly from dry stretches. Mosley said those are characteristics the Terrapins didn't have on a consistent basis last year.

"Last season we were struggling a little bit about closing games out, and that's what cost us to be on the bubble last year," Mosley said. "This year, you know, we're just playing. We're having fun as a team, we've got inside presence, you know, from Jordan and Landon and Dino and James, and we have a lot of guys that come off the bench and can come on the court and produce the same amount of energy and same amount of points and do whatever they have to do to stay on the court and help the team to win. And we're doing a great job of closing games out this year. We're staying tough. We're playing hard for 40 minutes."

Maryland certainly is not on the bubble this season. With a win Saturday over Virginia, Maryland will claim at least a share of the ACC regular season title. With a win and a Duke loss to North Carolina, the Terrapins will own the regular season league championship outright.

By Steve Yanda  |  March 5, 2010; 1:25 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Duke win brought out emotional side of all Terps (even Hayes)

Comments

If the Terps win today, this will have been a hugely successful season, regardless of what happens in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. The Dance is great, and of course I hope we make it to the Sweet 16 and beyond. But it's too bad that all anyone seems to care about is whether a team is on the bubble or what seed they'll get. The recent stretch of thrilling come-from-behind ACC victories has been one of the most exciting, entertaining stretches of basketball in Terrapins history. Let's all enjoy it for what it is, and forget about the NCAA Tourney for now. Go Terps! Win the ACC!

Posted by: SmittyATL | March 6, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

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