March 10, 2009
Maryland-NC State Game Notes (PDF)
ACC Tournament Central
Maryland heads to the 56th Annual Atlantic Coast Tournament as the 7th seed and faces a first-round game Thursday (7 p.m. ESPN2) against North Carolina State, the No. 10 seed. The winner moves on to a 7 p.m. quarterfinal on Friday against 2nd-seeded Wake Forest. The Terrapins tied for 7th in the league standings, but held the edge in a three-way tie-breaker with Miami and Virginia Tech. The Terps split two games with the Hurricanes, but beat the Hokies in College Park on Valentine's Day.
* Maryland comes into the game after a difficult stretch to finish the season. Of Maryland's five losses since the first of February, four have come against teams ranked 13th or better in the nation, including a two-point loss to Wake Forest, which has moved up to 8th in this week's Associated Press poll. In that stretch, the Terrapins also own an overtime win over North Carolina, which this week moved up to No. 1 in the nation in both polls.
* Maryland's next victory will extend a string of 19-win seasons to 13 straight. The Terrapins are on the cusp of making their 16th consecutive postseason appearance.
* Junior guard Greivis Vasquez was named second team All-ACC Monday in balloting by ACSMA. It was the second straight year Vasquez was a second-team selection. His triple-double in the overtime win over North Carolina is one of the Pontiac Game Changing Performances this season. He has three games with at least 20 points in his last 5.
The ACC Tournament
Maryland is the 7th seed in the tournament for the 6th time (last time in 1990).
Maryland will be attempting to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006.
Maryland was the 2004 ACC Tournament champion, winning from the No. 6 seed... The Terps dispatched 3rd-seeded Wake Forest, #2 NC State and top-seeded Duke on consecutive days to earn the title.
Terrapin head coach Gary Williams is 15-17 in 32 ACC Tournament games while at Maryland.
Gary Williams' 20th Season
Head coach Gary Williams reaches another in a career filled with milestones when he coaches his alma mater for the 20th season in 2008-09...
He is the 6th-winningest active head coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball with an overall record of 622-355 (.637)... He ranks 3rd all-time (2nd active) among coaches at ACC schools with 415 victories at Maryland, and also ranks 2nd among active league coaches with 172 ACC victories... Williams is the Terps' all-time winningest coach...
He earned his 400th victory at his alma mater on 11/21 with an overtime win over Vermont... His 415 wins in 20 years are an average of 20.8 wins per season with the Terps...
Maryland's 70-65 victory over Boston College (2/6/2008) gave Williams his 600th career victory... Only six other active head coaches in Division I have 600 career wins...
Williams picked up his 400th victory at Maryland against Vermont (11/21)... The milestone came in dramatic fashion, as Vasquez buried a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left to force overtime... The Terps scored the first 17 points of the extra period, earning the most lopsided OT victory in school history with a 17-2 edge in the extra session... Williams picked up the victory over former assistant Mike Lonergan, now in his 4th season as head coach at Vermont.
Between playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (currently ranked 1st as a league in the Sagarin Computer Ratings) and facing three ranked teams in the 2008 Old Spice Classic, the Maryland men's basketball schedule is formidable:
In this week's rankings, 5 Terrapin opponents for 2008-09 are currently ranked in the Top 12 in the Associated Press poll (#1 North Carolina, #7 Michigan State, #8 Wake Forest, #9 Duke, #12 Gonzaga)...
7 Terrapin opponents for 2008-09 are currently ranked among the Top 25 teams in the Associated Press poll (previous schools along with #17 Clemson and #22 Florida State).
8 Terrapin opponents for 2008-09 are either ranked or are receiving votes in the Associated Press poll, including American.
Maryland has played 7 games against teams ranked in the Top-10 at the time of the contest... That's the most since the 2000-01 Final Four team played 10 Top-10 opponents.
Maryland is the lone ACC team that will face conference home-and-home series with North Carolina and Duke... The Terps also play twice in the regular season against Miami.
Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams Quotes - Tuesday, 3/10
On how his team is approaching the ACC Tournament:
"The key to any tournament, ACC Tournament or NCAA Tournament, is to just play. If you're a good team and you play well, then usually that's good enough. Very few teams play a great game in a pressure-game situation. You want to play. You just want to play your game."
On his team's ability to bounce back from a loss:
"We've had to do that all year. Once the regular season is over, there is that lift you get from doing something different any way. Our guys have been really good with that...They didn't let [losses] affect the way they played going into the next game. To beat the Big Ten champion [Michigan State] and the team that is ranked No. 1 in the country [North Carolina], we've accomplished some things by being able to do that. Hopefully we can play a good game against NC State."
On why the ACC Tournament is special:
"For the players, they're playing in something special. In other words, this is the first conference tournament ever established. There's great tradition...Every team has a mission down there - whether it's to get a better seed, get a No. 1 seed or win the tournament to guarantee you your right to the NCAA Tournament. Every team has their thing they're trying to do. I think the great thing this year is every team goes in thinking they can win a game, or two games or three games. I don't think there's a team in the tournament that doesn't think they can win a game down there. That's why it's going to be a great tournament this year."
On the prospect of Greivis Vasquez becoming the first Maryland player to lead the team in points, rebounds and assists for an entire season:
"There have been a lot of great players at Maryland, and for him to be able to do that would be a tremendous accomplishment. I think Greivis making the [All-ACC Second Team] this year is a better accomplishment than making it last year. The league is a lot tougher this year with veteran players. He's been a big factor in what success we've had this year...That's very impressive to me that he's been that tough. You can see a guard [leading the team] with assists and scoring maybe. But then to throw the rebounds in there, that's the x-factor that makes that special."
On if Maryland needs to win two games to qualify for the NCAA Tournament:
"Obviously, you have to beat NC State. You don't get two wins if you don't beat NC State. Realistically where everything is right now, I'd say two wins would put us in good shape. But we're going down there to try to win the tournament just like we did in 2004. That's the goal."