While many, including Coach Lefty Driesell, insist that Maryland's inability to win close games is a mystery, the fact remains there is nothing mysterious involved.

Translation: The Terrapins -- except for Buck Williams -- aren't rebounding. In the loss to Notre Dame Saturday, the Terps were outrebounded, 26-16, and Albert King and Ernest Graham combined for only six rebounds. They must give Williams help inside if the Terps are to beat top-drawer teams.

One other problem: point guard. Driesell needs Dutch Morley running the offense because he recoginzes defenses better than Reggie Jackson and because he can shoot an occasional jump shot. But, Driesell also needs Jackson in the game to play defense. He is the only one of Maryland's three guards who can stay with a Jeff Lamp, a Matt Doherty or a Tracy Jackson. Until platooning comes in, Driesell has a problem.

Digger Phelps on scheduling in this day of the 48-team NCAA Tournament: "I like to schedule 12 power games a year, play in as many pits as possible. If I go 6-6 in those games, great, that's all I want.

"I'd rather not go into the NCAAs undefeated or ranked No. 1. I think it puts a monkey on your back. I think the best way to win the tournament nowadays is to go in ranked between 15 and 30 so you can be an underdog in most of your games."

Notre Dame's victory in College Park provided another example of the folly of split officiating crews. Late in the game, Big Ten official Jim Bain called a hand-checking foul on Albert King, even though the teams had been doing it all day.

When Kelly Tripucka missed the ensuing free throw, Tracy Jackson grabbed the rebound. From the far end of the court, ACC official Lou Moser charged in to call Jackson for a travel.

Coaches are virtually unanimous in saying they would rather have a crew all from one conference work an interconference or intersectional game. At least that way the calls are consistent and the officials don't get into "makeup" wars as happened Saturday.