* Whoa. They made Gutierrez cry. Right there on the bench. "You love to see kids who care that much," Brando says. The Terps scored 50 points in the second half, and won 84-71. Greivis looked at the crowd, smiled, and pounded his chest.
* Gary Williams on getting a tourney berth, circa early January: ""If you go 7-9 in the league, you probably go home." The Baltimore Sun on a tourney berth, circa early January: "Maryland knows it will need to win at least half of its 16 ACC games to qualify for the NCAA tournament." With an 11-point lead and 30 seconds left, Greivis starts motioning toward the crowd for more noise. He has 27 points.
* Brando on Gary: You talk about passion energy and enthusiasm, he has always had 'em." Then a Gminski speech about how hard it is to coach at your alma mater. Then a Gregory bucket, which leads to him being called "a human pogo-stick." Then Patrick Christopher fouls out, and the Terps are actually going to win this game in a blowout. Up 15.
* "Fire and ice from the Maryland back-court," says Brando after a Maryland fastbreak. Not sure what that means, but Terps have hit seven of their last nine shots and are up 11. "Let's Go Maryland" chant clearly heard from the crowd.
* With 8:45 left, Milbourne gets his fourth foul. Then Vasquez airballs a three and screams, but steals the ball and scores in transition for a 10-point lead. Third media timeout begins with Greivis holding his finger up to the crowd for quiet. Brando: "Oh, a silencer, says Greivis, get the mustard off my friend."
* And as predicted, with the Purdue game over, U-Conn up by 40 and UNC up by 38, everyone in the country who likes basketball is watching the Terps right now.
* Randle still scoreless in the second half. And a free throw, Bowie floater and Hayes three-pointer give the Terps a five-point lead. Then Milbourne hits a three, and Cal takes a timeout, down 59-51, the biggest margin for either team. So, great coach or better-than-advertised talent? Three parts, next week in The Post.
* Back to the Terps, with Maryland up one.The teams trade buckets, then Maryland misses and Robertson hits, giving Cal just its second lead of the game. Brando: "That Dave Neal just keeps opportunities alive on the offensive end, he does the grunt work, which makes him special." Second media timeout, 51-50 Cal, which will allow the announcers to pass love notes to Neal on the Maryland bench.
* Purdue's up three with 2.2 seconds left and shooting free throws. And really, it's still not time to switch?
* The much-loathed double TV timeout: we leave Purdue, arrive at Maryland, and then that game goes to break with the Terps up two. And when we come back, we're back watching Purdue finish off Northern Iowa. Uh, this one's over guys. Terps, please?
* And that was inevitable. Four-point game, second half, but we're off to Purdue-Northern Iowa for the final 28 seconds. At least those of us on local cable. Get ready to bounce. I'd actually rather watch the Terps, thanks very much.
* Brando on Neal: "He became a human highlight reel, setting that amazing screen against Duke." Maryland's up 40-37, though the refs' whistles are beating both teams.
* Brando: "It's amazing to see guards trying to post up on guards each time down the court." Indeed, amazing. And now Brando is comparing Dave Neal to a long snapper in football. Next up: oil rigger comparisons. Please.
* And now Milbourne gets his third with more than 17 minutes left. As does Cal's Theo Robertson. If this game goes to overtime, four players will foul out.
* Neal scores the first bucket of the second half. Brando: "He's playing like a senior that doesn't want to go home." Like, ever? Cal's Jorge Gutierrez gets his third personal. Then Adrian Bowie gets his second.
* That Memphis game earlier today, you (or at least I) always had the sense that eventually Memphis would win by double-digits. This one, no such sense. This one feels like a four or five-point game one way or the other. If I'm Maryland, I'm worrying about two stats: Cal is winning the rebounding 23-14 (with 10 offensive), and Cal is shooting just 3-of-13 from three. That'll likely change eventually.
* Halftime, Maryland leads 34-31. Remember that 1994 win over seventh-seeded St. Louis that everyone keeps comparing to this year? In that game, Maryland led 35-30 at the half. Eerie? Or just one line in an endless blog post?
* Eric Hayes: "Coach's son." Never, ever saw that one coming.
* Timeout. Something from Brando about Gary Williams turning his jets on. Timeout. Another showing of that ad where the guy puts deodorant on while doing a backflip. Brando on Gary: "There have been those critics who have questioned his passion." I would say that's 100 percent false. No one questions his passion.
* Gminski on Dave Neal: "He just doesn't look like he should be in an NCAA tournament game, but he's been terrific."
* Terps get two free throws. Now on a 2-0 run.
* Final media timeout of the first half. Maryland leads 24-23. That means (math, math, math), a total of two points were scored since the last media timeout. And that's the one when I was complaining about a lack of electricity. Also, they just got in their mandatory reference to Dave Neal as a "blue-collar player." Since they already crossed "YMCA moves" off the list, all that's left is to suggest that he couldn't jump over a clipboard. Cal now shooting 20 percent from three.
* Gminski describes this game as "sort of Hoosiers vs. Hoosiers." He meant because of the lack of post players, but still, that's the first time anyone has suggested Greivis could have been in Hoosiers. Vasquez is back in the game with two fouls, which could be interesting.
* Randle scores on a finger roll. "The Iceman, George Gervin, would love seeing the little fella pull that off," Brando says. Then describes it as a finger roll off the kiss. The Terps turn it over for a fourth straight possession.
* Cal, the nation's leading three-point shooting team, is 2-7 (.286). But the Bears are out-rebounding Maryland, 13-7.
* Third media timeout. 24-21 Maryland, though the Terps turned the ball over on their last two possessions. And I'm reminded again of how watching this event on television is so much more enjoyable than watching it live. Two teams from opposite coasts playing in the exact middle of the country does not lead to electricity.
* 8:26 left and Vasquez gets his second foul and sits down. It looks like Bowie might have slashes shaved into his mohawk? Or some sort of pattern?
* 10:05 left in the first half before we get our first shot of Gary talking with disgust to his assistant coaches.
* Brando: "The handle for Randle! So special." Another production meeting special. Randle has nine points already, and Greivis goes right back and hits a three to give him nine as well. At this point, those guards have combined for 18 of the game's 41 points.
* Second media timeout: 17-15 Maryland. Adrian Bowie's mohawk is clearly visible. Haven't heard anything about it from the announce team yet.
* This didn't occur to me before, but this will likely be the only competitive game in the second half, with U-Conn and UNC likely to win going away and Purdue's game going on pace to finish well before the other three. So a national audience should get to watch the end of this one.
* Greivis and Gary have been giving each other grief about the World Baseball Classic. Naturally. CBS indicates a double team by freezing the frame and putting the numbers "1" and "2" on the defenders. In case you lost you count.
* First media timeout: 14-10 Maryland. I'm not convinced the Terps can guard this Jerome Randle kid. Also, Tim Brando just called Greivis Vasquez "The Vivacious Venezuelan," if I'm not mistaken. Wish I could have been there when they came up with that in the production meeting.
* Gminski: "There were a lot of things written about Gary Williams this year, but his team never gave up on him."
* Dave Neal scores, announcers make the mandatory YMCA comment. The Maryland fans are pretty loud when Cal has the ball. Still haven't seen Mike Wise's bald head on press row, though I'm looking.
* The announcers praise Maryland's schedule, and credit that for the Terps' bid. Because they really requested all those games against Duke, Wake and Carolina.
* Notable alumni for Maryland: Larry David and Jim Henson. Norman Chad and David Simon fume.
* Bowie scores in four seconds. Cal turns the ball over. Milbourne scores. Cal misses. Maryland hits a three. Cal turns the ball over. That's 7-0, though Cal State Northridge was up big early, too.
* The winner faces Memphis. Tim Brando and Mike Gminski on the mic, which means at least one person will claim Gminski is biased in favor of the ACC.