Terps basketball, March Madness with Eric Prisbell

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Matt Bonesteel,Eric Prisbell
Thursday, March 4, 2010; 12:00 PM

Washington Post college basketball writer Eric Prisbell was online to take your questions on Maryland basketball and March Madness.

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Terps fans: Any truth to the rumour that from now on all U-Md. home games will be rated "TV-MA" for crude language?

Eric Prisbell: Thanks for coming, everyone. Let's get right to it. Ask about seeds, berths or anything else on your mind. I'm running on very little sleep -- but at at least I got my morning shoot-around in -- and I have a sleeping baby behind me awaiting his Murray State jersey in the mail. A great time of year.The Maryland games should be rated TV-MA for the language, and it's a shame. Last nigt was a great, great college atmosphere, but I could not help thinking that it may be tough to bring young kids to the game because of the filth you hear from the crowds. I just heard four-letter words that begin with F last night. That's not unusual for Maryland games, or for some other games, for that matter. A few years ago, though, I still remember the poster about Redick's sister and seeing a young female student drop other four-letter words. That's someone's daughter. I just think we should be able to root for the team we root for and respect the opponent at the same time. Duke doesn't "suck" Duke is good. And that makes Maryland's win that much better. If Duke "sucked" then Maryland's win would be devalued.

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Ikea close by: Is it any wonder that Ikea chose College Park as a location for one of its stores? Seems that win or lose somebody loses furniture in Terpland whenever there is a Duke game.

Eric Prisbell: Not a bad point. I used to live right across from that store when I first got here back in 2003. Went there once, got lost.It's a great time of year, hopefully everyone can celebrate the right way.

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Terps: If they keep up this kind of play, could the Terps be a dark-horse candidate to make a region final or further?

Eric Prisbell: Yes, they could be a dark horse candidate. A lot depends on matchups, etc., but Maryland right now is looking at a 4/5 seed in the NCAAs. Here's what that means:It likely means Maryland will be headed to Jacksonville, New Orleans, San Jose or Spokane because of the way everything breaks down (too complicated to get into right now). This Maryland team won't wow you on paper, but they are experienced and guard-oriented, they have a star who oozes confidences, a team that is never flat, and a coach who is one of the very best in the country and still coaches with the hunger of a guy who is looking for his first victory. And, let's not forget, they have a freshman big man who is emerging right before our eyes.Other 4/5 seeds right now: Michigan State, Wisconsin, Baylor, Butler, Temple, maybe Vandy, Tenn.

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Classy in College Park: Big win for the Terps, for sure, but I have to say I'd be embarrassed today to be a Maryland alum after the audibly classless F-bomb cheers and the "hallowed tradition" of rioting postgame. Is there no one in the ranks at Maryland, starting with Gary Williams, who has the guts to tell the students that's no way to represent their institution?

Eric Prisbell: Before I forget, I'll be on Washington Post Live on Comcast SportsNet today and Tuesday to talk college hoops before I head down to the ACC tournament.And we're starting a Twitter feed with The 65 blog, so look for that to crank up soon and keep rolling throughout the entire NCAA tournament as we travel from coast to coast for games and stories.As for the language, again, it's just a shame. But if that's what Maryland fans want to be remembered for, then so be it. Doesn't matter much to me, but I don't yet have kids old enough to take to a game anyway. The chants aren't very classy or respectful, to say the least. But that's the choice of the students and if no one at Maryland wants to do anything about it they'll F-bomb Duke now until Scheyer's grandkids are playing at Duke.

Matt Bonesteel: The 65 on Twitter

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Saturday: Going to the game in Charlottesville on Saturday. What sort of anti-Vasquez chants should I be prepared for?

Eric Prisbell: If Virginia is no different than anywhere else, be prepared for a lot.I think it's important to point out that bad fan behavior is not found only at times at Maryland. Not by any stretch of the imagination. West Virginia fans, some, are out of control, much more than Terp fans. Miss. State fans, some, should be ashamed of themselves. Throwing stuff on the court is far, far worse than the language issue, and more dangerous.And racial comments directed at VAsquez or anyone else? There is no place for that either, but it happens, and I have heard it at several road games. I still remember some fans at an ACC road game heckling DJ Strawberry about his father and Gary Williams saying something to those fans. I liked that move by Gary.

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I want my two hours back: If Connecticut somehow manages to win the Big East tournament, can the NCAA go ahead and deny them a berth anyway? Good grief, that was a terrible game. Notre Dame may be on the bubble, but they stink, too.

Eric Prisbell: Funny.The Huskies now need to make a big run in the Big East tournament. They are running out of chances, and now Notre Dame looks pretty good. The pool of bubble teams is weaker than most years, so there is room to get in if teams want to win some games. But we keep seeing teams like Miss. State, Florida, Illinois take steps back. And now Wake Forest is on the bubble, as well.

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ACC rookie of the year?: Who are the candidates for ACC rookie of the year besides Maryland's Jordan Williams? Does U-Md. sweep player of the year, rookie of the year and coach of the year?

Eric Prisbell: Gary Williams should win ACC coach of the year. Greivis Vasquez should win ACC player of the year. Jordan Williams should get serious consideration for ACC rookie of the year, but I still expect Derrick Favors to win the award (without looking at other candidates more closely).Vasquez told us late last night that Jordan could wind up having a better college career than he did. That's saying a lot.

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Vote NO to 96!: Eric, this year's lack of compelling bubble teams has got to be a blessing. Imagine if the committee had to fill 96 slots. How many teams with losing conference records would get in -- more than 20? What about a minor expansion so that eight teams were added and each "play-in" winner was then matched against the 4 top seeds? Anything more than that is an utter and complete mockery.

Eric Prisbell: My feelings on expansion have grown more mixed, probably because I know it's coming in some form or fashion, and coming probably next season. I spend many, many hours filling out a 96-team mock bracket yesterday morning. That should be going into Saturday's paper, along with a story on possible expansion. We could probably spend the whole hour on the issue if we wanted to. Yes, it would water down the field. I'm not going to give away how many teams I wound up putting in from the Big East or ACC, or which teams were my last ones to make the cut, but it was astonishing how middling the resumes were.

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Mid-majors: What mid-major teams are in the NCAA tournament regardless of what happens at their conference tournament?

Eric Prisbell: I'll take mid-majors to mean non-BCS teams for this question.Butler. Gonzaga. New Mexico. BYU. Temple. Xavier. Richmond. Northern Iowa. Probably UNLV. probably ODU with a respectable showing in the CAA tourney. Possibly Utah State and Siena with narrow losses in their respective conference tourney finals, but those could be stretches. UTEP has a chance as well as an at-large team. Don't think I'm missing anyone.I'm not going to rip on Cal anymore. I think Cal is in regardless, and probably as an 8/9 seed. So no more joking about Pac-10 teams in the Bracket Buster event for me.

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VT Dance Chances: Eric, Virginia Tech earned a ho-hum victory last night vs. North Carolina State. After the worst possible outcome for last week, is there any way the Hokies get into the Big Dance with their horrible strength of schedule without a couple ACC tourney victories? Obviously, a win this weekend vs. Georgia Tech is a must, but even then, this annual collapse has to have severely hurt their chances, right?

Eric Prisbell: What has hurt Virginia Tech's chances has been a nonconference schedule ranked 340th nationally. I cannot remember in recent memory a team with that type of nonconference schedule with even slim hopes of an at-large bid. I think VT needs to beat Georgia Tech and win one game in the ACC tournament to have a reasonable chance at an at-large bid.Remember, VT is very close to being out of the field right now, but the bubble will be squeezed with an upet or two in other league tournaments. So VT could remain where it is now and still be squeezed out of the field. it needs a quality victory in the worst way. The fact that VT still has a shot considering that schedule also speaks to how weak the pool of bubble teams is right now.Tournament contraction anyone???

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Streaking Terrapins: Would Terps fans rather finish regular season with a win or get get a loss out of the way now so they can have a longer postseason push. The streak can't last forever.

Eric Prisbell: If you're going to lose, lose next Friday to a good GEorgia Tech team in Greensboro. A loss to Virginia would be a bad loss and could potentially drop Maryland a seed. If Maryland beats Virginia, I really don't see the Terps falling lower than a No. 5, and that's a good position to be in.

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Freshman of The Year: After the last two weeks I'm voting Jordan Williams as ACC freshman of the year. What's your take?

Eric Prisbell: I think that's fine. I've seen Jordan Williams more than Favors this season so I tend to favor Williams from a personal standpoint. Also, I unfairly judge Favors on what I saw from him in high school, when he was such a dominant player. And I tend to give Williams points for being much, much better than expected. But I think that's a fair vote.

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What happened in college park last night?: It sounds like there are two very different stories of what happened. One story paints the students as being out of control. While the comments make it look like there was some extreme police brutality. How bad was it in College Park last night?

Eric Prisbell: Don't know. After interviews, I talked to a staff member, watched Juan Dixon sign a couple autographs, said goodbye to Dan Steinberg and some friends and then walked out of the arena with Gary Williams. I drove home, blogged, slept for a few hours, hit the gym, and unlike many fans awoke with no hangover.I have no idea what happened in College Park, much less who was at fault.

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Toning it down: But seriously, doesn't this same happen in other arenas? As a sportswriter, have you witnessed more mature language at Comcast than at any other gym? Even when heated up, the fans at Duke, at North Carolina, at Kansas all sit nicely and scream things "dandy" and sweet. Come on, please tell.

Eric Prisbell: It does happen in a lot of places. Maryland has gotten a lot of attention for it because the team has been darn good the past 10-15 years. I've covered college basketball for some 13 years, and the most rabid fans I have ever witnessed in person -- not vile, however -- were at Texas-El Paso. It was a sight to behold. i loved it. i love crazy, out-of-control fans. Again, doesn't bother me. I just wonder about the young kids. Trying to think of some other places. I don't know, my favorite place to cover a game is at Kansas. Hands down.

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New Mexico: What do you think of the Lobos' prospects in the tourney? Are they for real?

Eric Prisbell: I like them a lot. i watched the BYU-New Mexico game very closely and came away very impressed. Hobson is the real deal. He slipped through the cracks and eventually found his way to New Mexico. Great story. This team is tough and that was a hell of a road win. Players could not even hear the whistle. New Mexico does not have great size, which concerns me some, but I will probably pick New Mexico to make the Sweet 16 unless it confronts Maryland in the second round.

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Maryland's chances: Well, Coach K certainly knows the F word as well, as seen when he got a couple of shaky calls last night when you read his lips. I think Maryland could give lots of teams trouble or they could go away. No in-between. What do you think?

Eric Prisbell: I said before the season -- and some laughed -- that Maryland could challenge for the ACC title and make its first Sweet 16 showing since 2003. I still feel this is probably a Sweet 16 team. I do want to see the matchups first. But Maryland right now is one of the hottest teams in the country, so it's tough to pick against them. There is no reason to pick against them right now. I keep expecting things to level out a bit but Maryland keeps rising and keeps raising hopes of what they can do this month. Gary has called this team a special team. Others should believe it, as well.

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Local seeds: Eric- Your most recent bracket has Maryland a No. 5 seed and Georgetown a No. 4 seed. Don't you think that should be flip-flopped? Maryland is the hottest team in the country and Georgetown is having some troubles. What do you think the committee will do?

Eric Prisbell: Both teams are 4 or 5s right now. I was going to do a resume comparison, but there are not enough hours in the day for me these days and just running out of time. Anyway, if you believe the committee when it says the record in the last 12 games won't matter as much this season, then you look at the overall body of work and still probably give an edge to the Hoyas. When you look at who is playing better right now? Maryland wins hands down. If this were Selection Sunday, and I had to hand in my final bracket that will be graded on what happens, I would probably have Maryland and Georgetown both on the 5 line just to be safe. Maryland still did not do anything during nonconference play and Georgetown has all those top 25 RPI wins and the toughest strength of schedule. All is not lost for the Hoyas. Not yet anyway.

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Crowd issue: Hey Eric, for those of us who have never attended games at other major schools, please describe the scene at rival schools. The crowd at Duke or Carolina or Kentucky or Kansas or Syracuse are more well mannered and you rarely hear the F bombs and sorts? I have heard/seen that Dukies get very creative, but do they also avoid MA language? thanks.

Eric Prisbell: The Duke fans always amuse me. Back in 2005, when I was still young enough to blend in with the students, I got a hold of a cheer sheet and posted it online. We've done that pretty much every year since and now they don't give them out to the kids anymore. Yes, very creative. But I loved -- just loved -- when someone fooled them and got them chanting Myron Piggie, the name of the disgraced AAU coach who was involved with Meggette years ago, during the game. That ranks as one of my top 15 college basketball moments, just behind going to Havard to listen to Sonny Vaccaro speak to the Harvard students, imploring them to protest on campus because OJ Mayo's SAT score is being questioned by the big, bad NCAA!!I watched one fan at UTEP try to run on the court during action because he was so enraged at the officials. Had to be restrained. I also think it's a hoot when you go to some of these hell-and-gone places and the sportswriters are openly cheering for the team they cover. Hilarious.I have always wanted to go to the Big Sky Conference tournament. Someday perhaps.

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Terps: What's the point of sitting Vasquez out for such a long stretch in the middle of the game? I know he wasn't hot, but Im not sure it helped. And does that net thing happen often? It really cooled off the momentum the Terps had in the very beginning of the game. And will any of the three seniors make it in the NBA really?

Eric Prisbell: Vasquez could make it. Wouldn't surprise me if he makes a roster next season. Even if he does not, he'll make a lot of money overseas and will be a legend in College Park forever. i'll miss covering him. It's been a rollercoaster, but a pleasure.

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Vasquez appreciation: Liked GV's show of gratitude towards the university, fans, professors. Yes, GV is a showman, but still refreshing to see a four-year player absord the whole college atmosphere. Pretty special.

Eric Prisbell: He gets it. He appreciates where he is, where he came from and where he is going. And he is very thankful to those who have helped him during the journey. He's one of the better stories in college basketball this season.

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"The 65": When they expand the tournament to 96, will you refrain from changing the name of The 65 blog in protest? Three weeks, six rounds (let's ignore the ignominy that is the "opening round") for something that grabs the imagination of the entire country. Do they really thing a fourth week and a scintillating 23 over 10 "upset" will have people talking?

Eric Prisbell: No, it would be watered down. No way around that. 96 teams would cheapen the early rounds. I'm not sure if a 96-team field is coming, but change is likely coming.After a long love affair with this symmetrical bracket, I'm conditioning myself for the end of the relationship. I'm open to some sort of fling with a larger bracket, but I'm not committing myself to anything, no strings attached. And I reserve the right to hate it in the morning. In fact, I pretty much hate the 96-teamer now, to be honest.

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"Riots": Eric, Were you there for the "riots" in CP? Why on earth don't the police cordon off Route 1 for a few hours and let the kids party? By treating it as if a revolution was going to break out, it only makes it worse. Just let the kids have their fun and arrest the few idiots that want to rip up signs. I heard some kids were seriously beaten by the police last night. My point is, the confrontational stance by the police only makes the situation worse.

Eric Prisbell: Again, I didn't see anything. I let the arena a little after midnight, talked to Gary for a bit on the way out and headed home.

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Chants: What's all the fuss? Weren't the students chanting "Love Duke" and "Love You Scheyer" ;)

Eric Prisbell: Yup, that's what I heard, as well.

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Biases: I saw this from a poster: "refreshing to see a four-year player absord the whole college atmosphere" and I had to ask if the poster felt the same way about Tyler Hansbrough last year? Probably not. Everyone should realize they view things through their own colored glasses, sometimes things are presented as fact that are clearly opinion. But the passion is what makes it great.

Eric Prisbell: Good point. Thanks for sharing.

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Gary Williams and Greivis Vasquez: commitments for next year, then who were these recruits? For the year 2011? And what have you been hearing secretly on the recruiting scene this year compared to last year. Thanks and great work.

Eric Prisbell: Thanks for the question. I was surprised Gary after the game referenced people who "dogged" the team last season, making a clear reference to me and colleague Steve Yanda. I just thought he'd enjoy the ride this season rather than spend anytime rehashing that turbulent season.I think Maryland's recruiting has improved some, the class coming in next year, even without Ross, is solid. And the results this season show Gary can still field a national contender. And coaches should be commended on player development. Maryland, unlike some teams in the ACC, does not have a team loaded with blue-chippers. But they are very good players right now. You take some players at other ACC schools and put them under Gary for four years and they will grow more than they are growing under their current coach.That said, Gary still loses kids because he won't cheat, and he still can't get some kids because he does not wish to deal with some of the unsavory characters, namely runners, around many recruits these days. Hard to fault him for not dealing with those guys. He'll take his five and win with them.

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Nonconference strength of schedule: of schedule numbers? I can't find them anywhere.

Eric Prisbell: Jerry Palm is the king of all RPI numbers. www.collegerpi.com.

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Sad Heel: Hey, do you think they can make the tournament field 96 this year? Would my Tar Heels be in if they did?

Eric Prisbell: I know the answer to that question. But, I'm sorry, I'm going to make everyone hold out until Saturday's 96-team bracket is unveiled.

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GV great college player: GV will play professionally somehere, perhaps in Europe. Don't you think he should go down as a great ACC college player? Laettner was a GREAT ACC college player. Played professionally (albeit in the NBA).

Eric Prisbell: Yes, his stats alone make him a great player. But he has such a flair for the game and such a passion, he will be remembered for some time.

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Tournament contraction anyone???: Yes, yes, yes! Conference winners only. Fill out with the AP top 25 to get those teams that lost their conference tourney. Make the tourney exciting every round that way instead of a complete waste-of-time first weekend.

Eric Prisbell: I just think it's pretty darn good right now for lots of reasons.I'm going to start answering with shorter answers because I have to run soon...

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UNC run in ACC tourney, 'Cuse in FF?: Two quick comments: Any chance UNC makes a run in the ACC tourney? They beat a fading Wake team over the weekend. Syracuse looks extremely dangerous to me. Their vaunted 2-3 zone and length at the top looks tought to beat. IMO, they'd take out a weak three-point shooting team like Kentucky. Boeheim has got some studs on the interior. I'm picking 'Cuse in the Final Four.

Eric Prisbell: Yes, UNC can make a run, but I want to see first what they can do against a team other than a fading Wake Forest team.Syracuse and Kansas are Final Four locks for me right now. Also like Ohio State to probably get to Indy if they are in another bracket. Probably won't pick Kentucky.

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NIT: 1 and 2 seeds. I guarantee if that was done you'd see some No. 2s and possibly No. 1s losing.

Eric Prisbell: But you can't play the NIT before you play the NCAA tournament, right? What about the CBI?

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Hokies' chances?: Eric, At risk of asking a non-Maryland question, is Virginia Tech's game this Saturday against Georgia Tech a must-win to get into the NCAA tournament? Will they have to win an ACC tournament game or two? I know we have a crappy SOS this year, and even when we don't, we tend to get picked over anyway because we lack basketball tradition. So I guess my question is: What must the Hokies do from here to make me feel confident come Selection Sunday?

Eric Prisbell: Well, you used the word "confident." To feel somewhat confident, Tech needs to beat Tech and then win a game in the ACC tournament. They have a good mount of work to do. If they lose to Tech, they need to make a deep run in the ACC tourney.

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Baylor women's sucker punch: Did you see Baylor's Brittney Griner throw a haymaker at Texas Tech's Jordan Barncastle last night? Yikes. Just as bad as the Oregon football player, and it actually happened during the game.

Eric Prisbell: Thanks for sharing that. With all the craziness of last night, i did not catch that.

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Jordan Williams: I'm ready to buy his jersey. Print them up! I like having an intelligent low-post player who can finish around the basket, rebound well and not get stupid fouls. I hope Bowie can be solid at point guard next year so we can continue having a good point guard-center combo.

Eric Prisbell: Maryland fans should feel a lot better about next season because of what Jordan Williams has shown in Year One.

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DIno Gaudio: Wake Forest Coach Dino Gaudio seems to be a pretty darn good recruiter. Reminds me of Georgia Tech's Hewitt in that he lands some real talent but doesn't get a lot out of it. Tragic what occured with Skip Proesser, but do you think there's any chance Gaudio is on the hot seat?

Eric Prisbell: I'd say no, and part of that has to do with the tragic circumstances under which Dino took over. He helped keep a great recruiting class together after the death of Prosser. But they should be getting more out of that talent and should not be fading like they are this season. At least Cleveland State is not in the NCAAs this season.

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Riots, etc.: Historically, I believe, most people arrested for rioting in College Park after games are not students. Also, people act like the Maryland students are the only ones in the country with profane chants (not that I'm in favor of them). Hello, you can hear the "B-S" chant after bad calls in nearly every TV game, no matter the home court. And did anyone throw anything from the stands at the Duke bench? If not, that at least gives Maryland one up on the West Virginia fans.

Eric Prisbell: I did.The West Virginia and Miss. State fans that threw things should be ashamed of themselves.

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Enough about the Terps: How important is Austin Freeman to Georgetown. I still think they can do damage in the tourney.

Eric Prisbell: Extremely important.The Hoyas have no bench. No one knows what to make of this team, even when it is totally healthy. Too inconsistent.

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NCAA Seeds: Mr. P: This is a year in which I think even a region's fifth or sixth seed going all the way wouldn't be that much of a shock. Agree?

Eric Prisbell: I would not be shocked if a 4/5 or two get to the Final Four, but I would still be surprised if one won the thing. I still give an edge to Kansas and Syracuse. But teams like VAndy, Wisconsin, Tenn., Baylor, A&M, New Mexico, Maryland -- they can all make deep runs. No question.

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ACC reputation: Any thoughts on how Maryland's big win effects perceptions of the ACC overall? Does it make the conference look stronger because U-Md. is clearly a better team than many thought? Or does it look weaker because Duke isn't as good?

Eric Prisbell: People are going to be down on the ACC because Carolina is down. I think the ACC is better than most people do. No great team. 6/7 good teams 6/7 teams that could win a game in the NCAAs. Maybe no team that will be in the Final Four.

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Gary Williams: I thought he did not have enough talent to win in the ACC? I swear I read a three-part story on that somewhere. It was probably written at a lesser paper though.

Eric Prisbell: Funny. Read it again. The 12000-word series said recruiting setbacks were a prime reason why Maryland declined since the national title team. That remains the prime reason why they have not been to a Sweet 16 since 2003.maryland made some mistakes in recruiting. and gary won't cheat, so he has lost a handful of players who i can name and speak in some detail about the schemes other schools used to get those players. This year's success does not re-write what went wrong and why between 2004 and 2008.

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Terps-Duke Game: How does ESPN allow U-Md. fans to shout "F$%# Duke" on national television? When are they going to reign in these inappropriate student sections? I feel like I can add College Park to the list of places (Morgantown, Blacksburg, etc) I can't take my kid to see basketball.

Eric Prisbell: Fair point.ESPN loves Duke, so another fair point.

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Rushing the Court: I am a 19-year-old college student. I sat in the student section last night and rushed the Maryland court once the game commenced. In all the madness I notice that the individual next to me has to be in their mid-30s. How old is too old to rush the hardwood? "What's my dad doing on the court?"

Eric Prisbell: Great question. I am 32 and would not rush the court if somebody paid me. I'm older now. Ten years ago? Sure. I think older than 25 it gets a little questionable. And if you are wearing a jersey and you are older than 30, that is questionable, too.I want to get a Mount Zion and Genesis One prep school jersey, but it's for different and more warped reasons.

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Ex-Marylander: Hey Terplings! You won the whole thing not too long ago. Don't go rushing the court and rioting just because you beat Duke. Act like you know what winning feels like.

Eric Prisbell: It was a big win. I think the fans deserved the chance to do it.

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Was Vasquez's shot overrated?: Okay, I was at the game and while I was "caught up in the moment" and was cheering, it was more because of the scoring. Watching the video that Steinberg put up from the TV broadcast, it appears the announcers were trying to sell it. Maybe I'm a jaded Terps fan and have seen Vasquez throw up crazy shots for the past couple of seasons so that was just another shot for him. I'm not sure it got him player of the year, but it didn't hurt his chances. Overall, Vasquez bumped up a bit, and Scheyer down a little after last night.

Eric Prisbell: Greivis should win ACC player of the year.

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Terps seeding: Longtime Terps fan here. It's great that they beat Duke and are playing great basketball, but am I crazy for not wanting them to be higher than a No. 6 seed? I don't think they can rise to a 3, unless they perhaps run the table. If they end up a 4 or 5 and, given how they always seem to get sent west (and the west is sure to have most of the 4/5 pods given the lack of good teams out there), I really fear them essentially drawing a "road" pod in Spokane with Gonzaga (regardless of whether the Zags are a 4 or 5). Some poor 4 or 5 seed is going to get shafted (not protected as they are supposed to be) with a Spokane assignment. I'd rather be a 6 than a 4/5 -- not much difference first round, slightly more difficult second round opponent, and you get to avoid a No. 1 seed until the region final.

Eric Prisbell: Fair point about avoiding a 1 seed in the Sweet 16, but unless Maryland is a 6 and gets New Mexico in San Jose in the second round, it won't be a road pod. Spokane could be like hanging out at Dupont Circle with Georgetown and Maryland fans. Both could be there.

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Big step back for Michigan?: Did Michigan fail miserably this season, or were the expectations too high. They're well out of the tournament picture. Do they seem to be on track long-term, or is this a perenially second-rate program. With the football team almost certain to go on probation (along with the eventual firing of Rich Rodriguez) there's not much to root for in Ann Arbor except hockey.

Eric Prisbell: The only thing worth rooting for in Michigan is the economy. I know that after getting back to Detroit for the Final Four last season.And my day was going well until I mentioned Detroit and the Final Four. My life really has not been the same since.

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In defense of the articles from last year: I'm a Marylander, and a Maryland fan. I read the articles and thought they were well researched and made a great point. I also thought they were actually positive articles about Gary Williams. Williams is notoriously thin skinned and honestly uses any perceived criticism to amp up his effort. His teams tend to do the same thing. The articles though showed how honorably Williams recruits players without delving into the shady world of AAU, a direct contrast by the way with a certain coach in Durham. So I for one am pleased that Gary has managed to still be competitive inspite of not bending the rules and essentially bribing AAU coaches to get their players. All those people decrying Maryland fans should really question whether their schools and coaches are acting as decently as Williams and Maryland with regard to recruiting.

Eric Prisbell: Great point. Thanks for reading.

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Vasquez All-American: Clearly Greivis Vasquez should be ACC player of the year this year, but any chance that he will be a first-team all-American? Shouldn't voters honor players that actually stay in college for four years over the one and done'rs that just go for a year because they have to?

Eric Prisbell: I don't see him being a first-team all-American. But ACC player of the year? Yes.

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fan behavior: I'll ask the same question of you I asked of Boz in his chat today. When is someone at The Post (to say nothing of U-Md. administration) going to take a stand on student/fan behavior at Maryland? I can understand the excitement of beating hated Duke, and smarmy Coach K (I don't like them anymore than any other non-Duke fan). But Maryland fans take the vitriol to a whole new level. Crude, disgusting and sometimes outright dangerous, Maryland fans are consistently rated as the worst behaved in the ACC, and yet the administration does nothing, not even when they go out and destroy College Park once every few years. I've never felt less comfortable being a road team fan than I've felt at U-Md. football/basketball games. But nobody does anything -- nobody takes a stand against it. Meanwhile, I know plenty of Maryland alums who are ashamed of this, and yet the administration does nothing. The Post says nothing. What is it going to take, a death?

Eric Prisbell: Thanks for the comment. I gave my take earlier in the chat.

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Honoring vs. Retiring: Does Maryland retire jerseys or just "honor" them? If Steve Francis's jersey can hang from the rafters after only year at the school, isn't it a no-brainer that Vasquez's should be up there too?

Eric Prisbell: Not sure. Maybe in time.

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Mason in the CAA tourney: Looks like George Mason will play VCU on Saturday, assuming VCU beats Delaware. Given that Mason is such a young team, and not great on the road -- the Richmond Coliseum is essentially a home game for VCU -- do you think Mason is one and done this year?

Eric Prisbell: Mason is just too young in a competitive CAA to win the thing this year. Would be a heck of an accomplishment.

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Terps in tourney: It seems like Terrapins have a good shot to go far in the tourney, if they play like they do now. They are accustomed to playing bigger guys, they have played against good defenses, and now we know they can play pretty efficient half-court offense. So with a little luck, they could surprise a few in the tourney it seems.

Eric Prisbell: I agree. Though it may not be a surprise anymore.

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ACC Tourney Seeding: I understand that if Maryland and Duke have the same regular season ACC record, they are considered "co-champions." What is the tiebreaker process for ACC Tournament seeding in that situation?

Eric Prisbell: You take the next team in the standings and look at how MAryland and Duke fared against that team. The tie-breakers favor Duke.


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