Terps ready to go dancing after Big 10 Tournament

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Screen Shot 2023 03 07 at 1.12.43 PM
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Luke Jones and Nestor welcome the madness of the Maryland Terrapins road show back to March and ponder where the men of Kevin Willard will wind up on the big bracket board.


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Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

Looking back at W N S, T, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are positively swaggering into March here. Hoping the weather gets a little bit better so I can work on my tan. We are going to be taking the Maryland crabcake tore out on the road we are not coming to fade these this week we had to punt on that can later in the month. I’m going to have a whole roster of April’s in maize and June’s and maybe some oysters involves all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery. This is the 50th anniversary and I’m going to be given these things at this wishbone motif is back for the Maryland lottery. And of course our friends at winter nation. I get to wear the floppy hat whenever I do, I think it goose and his stupid floppy hat. So I like it. It’s when donation 866 90 nation buy to get two free and you get two years 0% financing, take advantage. They’ll put the windows in but you have to figure out how to keep the ants and spiders out this time of year. If anybody’s got solutions on ants and spiders. I’m all yours from you note nests at Baltimore. positive.com. You can find this guy at Baltimore Luke you can find him Luke at wn St. dotnet. He is out on the social media place. His little fingers are in the keyboard. Do you already have the wn St. Tax Lamar Jackson has been Do you have that brought to you by kuj? Ford? Right ready to go? Or are your fingers were there? Right? I mean, some things are gonna start happening on that front. But in the meantime, like Terps are interesting Oreos that there’s other stuff going on besides Lamar, Lamar, Lamar Luke?

Luke Jones  01:28

Oh, there really is. And at this point in time, if you’re like me, I think you’re just you’re so fatigued. You’re out, Lamar? Oh, no, no doubt. I mean, I could have said that weeks, if not months ago, you know, obviously this week gives you the franchise tag update. And you know what, we’ll see what happens from there. But there is a lot going on. And I think what’s interesting about the Terps, specifically, since you mentioned them, is you have this season that’s been so encouraged, encouraging in so many different ways. When you look at where Maryland was picked to finish in the big 10, you know, right near the bottom, and they go into this final week of the regular season, where they’re 11 and seven in the big 10 have a chance to be the number two seed, you’re feeling great. You’re looking at the schedule, and you say Ohio State, and then finishing up at Penn State two games that on paper should be winnable. And then you remember, well, they’re not playing in College Park. And that has been such a dramatic difference for this basketball team. And it really is incredible. And let’s be very clear. When you look at the big 10 standings top to bottom. And you look at the road records. Your immediate takeaway is how it’s really difficult to win on the road in the big 10. So let’s, let’s put that right out there in the forefront there. We understand that. But when you’re talking about a Maryland team with their 11 and nine finish in big 10 play, and that that is including a tenant Oh record in College Park in big 10 play, and one in nine on the road. I mean,

Nestor Aparicio  03:04

to like, any sport anywhere, anytime, for it to be to be so lopsided. I mean, the history of sport, I can’t think of anything quite like this.

Luke Jones  03:17

Really? Yeah. I mean, it’s extreme. It really is. And look, let’s be clear. If this were Maryland, went nine and one at home, and three and seven on the road, something like that, kind of shrug your shoulders because as I mentioned, it has been that difficult to win on the road and the big 10 I mean, you look top to bottom, even the very best teams. Road records aren’t so great. So you look at that. But I think what’s just so frustrating is a week and a week ago, you and I were talking about the Terps and the optimism and look that’s still there. And I don’t want to throw cold water on what they’ve done this year, it’s still been much better than anyone would have anticipated in year one of the Kevin Willard era, but opportunity to for me it was really not winning in Columbus not beating Ohio State which would have locked up they would have been the they would have had a first round buy and understanding or double buy I should say, Well, let me clean up my language there. But you look at that you look at the fact that going into Sunday at Penn State where they lead for most of the first 30 plus minutes and they had a double digit lead and they played so well defensively in the first half and you know if they had a chance that they could have been the number two seed I mean that that was on the table for them and they lost so you lose these two road games. You end up being the sixth seed you’re playing late Thursday night, you know and look, it’s going to be the winner of Minnesota or Nebraska. They should win I mean, help. Minnesota is the one road game that they won all year in big 10 play. But you just look at this and it’s just such a an underwhelming deflating kind of way to fit finish the final week when, boy, they were riding high and had a chance to be the number number two seed and second place. And wow, that’s amazing. And instead it’s just good, right? I mean, everything about this is still good. But you keep looking at this thing and said, Okay, well, they’re not going to be playing on the road. So they’ve got that going for that man. Well, they did beat St. Louis in Miami on a neutral court back in, you know, early in the season. And you know, they fell, they lost a lot by three to Tennessee who was number seven at that point in time. So you try to look at that. But everything about this team just feels so special when they’re playing in College Park. But it’s sobering realizing that yeah, they’re not playing in College Park again, the rest of the season. So

Nestor Aparicio  05:46

I hope Springsteen plays better in State College next week than they did. Right. Right. Right.

Luke Jones  05:50

So I mean, it just but But going back to Sunday, and I don’t want to belabor Sunday too much, because of course, you turn your attention now to the big 10 tournament, and Maryland’s a lock for the big dance, we know that most of the bracketology types of you’ll kind of have them on that eight line, you know, after Sunday’s loss, you know, that number eight seed somewhere in that territory. But, you know, you’re thinking that it could have been better, right? If you’re just beating Ohio State that that Penn State game doesn’t matter as much. I mean, Penn State had a lot to play for on Sunday. I mean, they’re a team that’s firmly on the bubble right now. So you knew they’d come out and play hard. But point you have that big of a lead in the second half and goes down to the final play to guys are right there to grab a rebound. And instead it deflects, and you lose on a layup at the buzzer. I mean, it’s just, it’s a tough way to finish out what was a brutal road slate for you in the big 10. And, again, you’re not playing on the road, it’s neutral site, we get that, but it’s just that you want to regroup and you you like the resiliency of this team. But you also understand they’re not playing at home, they’re not going to have that home court advantage to the same degree. Now moving forward. So what does that mean? We’ll see. Again, they play the winner of Minnesota, Nebraska. It’ll be a late Thursday night game. And, you know, I mean, certainly if they move on there, well, we’ll see what happens. They play Indiana on Friday, if they win that game. So, you know, this isn’t a case where? Yeah, yeah, you want to have a nice run in the big 10 tournament, but they’re not playing for the NCAA Tournament lives. But it’s where I just look at this last week and say, Wait, just win one of those two games on the road. And I think we’re, we’re having a much different conversation. Even if they had lost a Penn State, if they had beaten Ohio State, I think you’re feeling that much better about this team just getting that win. And it’s not like Ohio State’s any good either. So I mean, it’s just

Nestor Aparicio  07:43

say about this week, and next week, and having been at this for a long, long time, these big 10 games, it’s where’s the tournament, who’s going to travel to the tournament, I saw the Maryland women get overwhelmed near the court in their, you know, in their tournament game, because they were playing Iowa and it looked like I were brought 4000. You know, I mean, fans, that kind of turned it into a little gem down in the bottom of Minneapolis where you know, it’s a big, you know, but those women are used to shooting baskets and 18,000 seat gyms at that time of the year where there might not be that many people. And I’m interested in how they play late at night, where there’s going to be 1400 people and the Maryland pep band will be over there. But it’s a totally different vibe with these tournament games. And it was always that way in the ACC. I went down to the Capitol, Senator 30 years ago, I experienced that, you know, when your fan base travels, or can travel or does travel, it doesn’t even matter if the if the place is cavernous, which is one of the reasons I think the ACC like Greensboro and stuff because it always felt like you could move down, there’ll be a little bit of vibe up near the court, that nobody would play in an empty gym, right? Because they’re all of these games are subjected to all of that, based on where they are, and what time the game is. And like all of that, and what time Duke plays when we don’t play with Duke anymore. This team shoots so poorly and other places, right? They love their own place and the vibe and the energy and whatever that Janice ACWA you know, whatever the Mojo is that the building has, and it has a lot of mojo, especially you saw the old deal, right? Somebody’s kids don’t even remember that from the first time. They’re like, Oh, he sucked. That’s a new thing. No, no, no, we did that a long time ago, they stopped that. I would just say that. I don’t know what to make of this. But I would if they went two or three games this weekend. it bodes better for how they might perform when it gets very sleepy in there and wherever they’re going to be next week. And it might not be sleeping, it might be you know, they might have a chance to play somewhere nearby where they could bring the pep band and hear the America you know and get that whatever that thing is, but this is a really weird team and I want to this is a Interesting tournament for me with them to see how they do when it’s sleepy or whether I fall asleep early on Thursday night and they’re, you know, they wake up on Friday waiting for the the bracket draw because that’s certainly a possibility to for all that you’ve pointed out which is, boy see save the car in the garage from we need to drive it, you know?

Luke Jones  10:19

Yeah, yeah, I mean you always we talked about this in every sport right? I mean the idea of you know, do you want to stack some wins build some you know the proverbial momentum, although momentum can go as far as if baseball you’re talking about your starting pitcher or in the NCAA Tournament? Who’s your draw? Right, Tony

Nestor Aparicio  10:37

Dungy rest His starters again in week 15. For paint.

Luke Jones  10:42

You always think I mean, you mentioned and I think this is it for me the big 10 tournaments being played in Chicago with United Center. I think you look at the schedule, Maryland, as we already mentioned, the late Thursday night game, but the game before that is Penn State and who? Illinois. So do you have a bigger crowd there for that one that you would expect? You know, compared to knowing that the big boys aren’t playing until Friday night, the top four seats, you know, who get that by all the way to Friday. But you know, how many of those fans linger and hang around for Maryland versus Minnesota or Nebraska? You would assume that Minnesota Nebraska fans aren’t eager to travel to Chicago. I mean, the the gophers are god awful this year and Nebraska. I mean, it’s Nebraska, right. So, you know,

Nestor Aparicio  11:28

between Chicago and Indianapolis, it’s a little sexy for you and me right? Like we go out we’d I got great pizza in Chicago, we’d hate it I you know, I sure like I know my way around. But like, if you’re a Midwestern er and you’ve been going to Chicago and you’re in the pep squad and you’re unless your kids are there and raskins way and right, Raskin did the hockey game I’ve talked to him about this is Roy is in is in the band at Ohio State, right. So there’s a little part of that where you do it and there’s a couple of people, but there’s never, you know, even Purdue maybe if you feel like you got the gumption and you’re gonna play all weekend maybe you go up to the big city and you and I’ve been to West Lafayette NAD terrible cheeseburgers. Thank you God for Yeti. Thank you for that. But you would have traveled through the Midwest bro. I mean, we’re not you know, I mean, we’re not tenderfoot here we’re not ever want to five seven on average not traveling you and I’ve been places. This is It’s part and parcel of it Chicago like it’s cold. Do we have a chance to win? Am I in the mood for pizza? I mean, I saw the guys are doing it. The Orioles are in Wrigley Field this year. Right. So that’s a reason to go to Chicago and they’ll be somewhere else fans there. But there’s never any vibe. I can’t imagine vibe in the United Center for much of anything for this this weekend. Because these tournaments don’t matter. They’re fun pep band thing, but they never get by be in that way ever. Really. Yeah.

Luke Jones  12:46

I mean, it matters for the teams that need it to matter, right. I mean, Penn State’s a great example of this. I mean, after they beat Maryland on Sunday, I saw Joe Lunardi did his updated bracketology on ESPN, late Sunday night. And he had Penn State has his last team in the field of 68. Penn State is absolutely it absolutely behooves them to go to Chicago and beat Illinois on Thursday, probably puts them in a position where you know, and it all depends on all the automatic bids and bid stealing and all the different mid major and smaller conference tournaments. We know how that all works. But yeah, if you’re a Maryland fan, are you really going to go to Chicago? Are you saving that money to go to wherever they’re going to go for the NCAA tournament? Cuz we know there are locks so

Nestor Aparicio  13:33

many years ago where they played in Austin, Texas, and I didn’t go it was still 30 long carry long, long time ago. They played in early, and I didn’t go and I think I didn’t go because I didn’t think it would be any fun. And maybe I thought they were going to lose quickly because I did that Knoxville and it sucked. I did a couple of it. I did see Frank get some of those games. And it’s fun to do them and I would do them again. Now that I haven’t done one in 15 years. If it were in the right place. You know Spokane didn’t sound interesting to me. Then I went to Spokane and I’m like, that might not be so bad. The Weed Eater bowl. You know, some of these things that didn’t sound very sexy in the beginning, right? They start to sound a little more interesting to me then. I don’t know go into Detroit and gonna ravens game or something like that. I don’t know. But I do wonder about the traveling part of this because it’s been played and like all of that big 10 All these places are different. But if you believe they can win and look, do we did a segment last week when we really were talking 16 and stuff now we’re talking like, geez, can they just shoot the ball and Chicago late Thursday night against whoever there? Can they just be a breathing team someplace that not College Park? That’s a different place. I mean, they don’t smell like we’re gonna be talking about them after St. Patrick’s Day, do they? I mean, they really don’t.

Luke Jones  14:55

I mean, it just, it’s like, and I said this when we talked about this last week, it still comes to down to what are the matchups, right? I mean, it’s so important. We’ve seen that so many times. I mean, the one Mark Turgeon sweet 16 team, which was sulamani. diamond stone, you know, the higher the higher guns year, right? I mean, it’s it’s kind of what it was, if you recall, go look at who they beat in the first and second round that year. I mean, their second round, Thrall was a dream for them to be able to get to the round of 16. Because remember, that team was kind of wavering down the stretch and had not been as good as it looked like it could it was going to build their confidence. Yeah, but but but for me, I mean, it’s a couple things. Really, I mean, one they need they need guys to step up beyond Jameer young. I mean, he was again, fantastic on Sunday. But look at what happened. I mean, even with Maryland having the lead that they had until the final eight minutes or so. Dante Scott, at one point came hard at three points. I mean, these are your seniors. Right? I mean, I’m not and I’m not saying they have to put 20. But I mean, you have Jameer young. We know Julian Reese has played well down the stretch it Ian Martinez had a great first half for them on Sunday. But look at the rest of the contributions. I mean, no, no, I don’t want to give their defense a pass because their defense, which has been their calling card all year was not good in the second half. And yeah, Penn State made shots and shot the ball better than they did in the first half. But they gave up 43 points after halftime. I mean, you can’t do that, especially in the big 10. So, you know, for me, if there’s anything I want to see from this big 10 tournament beyond Yeah, sure you want you certainly don’t want to bow out Thursday night, you want to least when Thursday night get to Friday, see what happens against Indiana. And you know, whatever happens after that, again, it’s the big 10 tournament. It’s not what everyone cares about. If your tickets been punched for the dance, you know, the conference tournaments, just not just not guys have a

Nestor Aparicio  16:53

little something more to play for. And I want to point out that the one thing about these tournaments is you’re not playing anybody else’s gym either. Right? If you’re going to Brasky I mean, it’s just a quiet place to play. And that makes it uniquely different where maybe they shoot the lights out in a quiet gym, and they’re playing on Sunday. You know, I mean, I don’t know, but eventually they’ll run into an Indiana or Illinois, you know, they’ll run into somebody Purdue that’s gonna, like, bring some people in and turn it into a road game by Saturday, I would think unless one of the lesser lights sneaks in and doesn’t have anybody there either. Chicago is one of those weird places, though, where like, they would run out and be a part of it. Because so many people live in Chicago from all those places, that those places if Northwestern some happens, oh my god, it’ll turn into a home game like quickly.

Luke Jones  17:41

Yeah, well, and that’s why I made mention that as much as we’re looking at that sleepy late Thursday night game Illinois plays right before then. So and I get it champagnes not, you know, right down the street from Chicago, but it’s same state. And you wonder, and, you know, Illinois had some performances. I mean, they they gave Purdue everything they can handle over the weekend. But you know, it’s certainly going to be interesting to see how they respond. Playing on a neutral site. You’d like you got you just mentioned, depending on the crowd, can you bring your own energy if there isn’t that crowd? If it is a crowd that’s a little more partisan, which certainly, if you know, if they win Thursday night, they’re playing Indiana Friday. Hoosiers are gonna travel right. I mean, you would expect that I mean, that’s, you know, that’s not that far away for them to bring a ton of people. So how do you respond to that? Because, I mean, it’s, again, how, how much of that can you take away from to apply to the big dance? Again, it’s hard to say, Where’s your draw? Or where are you playing? Who draw

Nestor Aparicio  18:42

all that five thing this weekend? It’s just I think, this weekend. And I do think the last two games on the road this week, that sort of, it gets in your head, right? It’s clearly in their head, they’re losing the teams that how could it

Luke Jones  18:57

not be they’re a better team? Yeah. And look, I mean, I, obviously, we’re living where I live in southern Pennsylvania, not that there’s a whole lot of juice for Penn State Basketball compared to Penn State football. But anyone who’s watched Penn State this year, I mean, pickets, a phenomenal player, one of the best players in the big 10. He’s been there guy, but they’ve relied on three point shooting. Now they have very little post presence, they shoot, they shoot and they shoot some more, and we saw them finally start hitting some shots down the stretch on Sunday. But yeah, that’s a team that you’ve got to go on play well, because at times, they look like a team. That’s a legitimate tournament team. And other times they’ve looked kind of like Maryland in that way. So you know, but I think for Maryland, it’s what you just said, it has to be in your head at this point. And yeah, you can point to the fact that they won a couple games earlier in the season on a neutral floor. And, you know, how applicable was that and you know, when you’re talking about November or December, I mean, it’s just it’s hard to say, but it is frustrating because you look at his team and there’s so much to like and there’s so much to be excited about. And I mean, Jameer Young’s been such a phenomenal player for them. But this last week was deflating it. No question doesn’t mean they can’t recover. As I mentioned, it’s gonna come down to who do they draw? Where are they playing? All of that. So, you know, I certainly not expecting a deep run in in March, but I’m not going to sit here and say that with the right drawl, they can’t win a game or two. So, but they got to figure out a way to what they’re able to do in College Park, you got to be able to duplicate some of that on a neutral floor. I mean, you don’t have to be perfect but certain only you look at some of the games they’ve lost on the road and just say you’re better than that team. I mean, Penn State fine. No, again, Penn State was a desperate team on Sunday, but losing how they did against Ohio State the game before that, that that to me was the game that that really bothered me. You know, it’s kind of like a captain obvious statement where you look at where Ohio State finished in the standings but you turn the page, see what happens. Go out to Chicago, you’d like to have a nice showing win a game or two at the very least. And then get yourself ready for the NCAA Tournament you’re going to be in you know, so that’s where you should go to Chicago and be loose and want to play well but also you know, the the pressures not a mentor on you. So go out there and bring some energy and try to win a ballgame away from College Park and if you do that, just think what that might be able to do in terms of giving you a little extra juice then for when the brackets are announced next on Sunday night.

Nestor Aparicio  21:34

Mayor then we’re all behind you. We will be watching Terps basketball and we want to welcome our newest sponsor to Hollywood casino Perry Ville and the Barstool Sports, restaurants and area and Sports Bar and Lounge and positive vibes only up in Berryville. To make your wagers on March Madness. I’ll be talking more about that next week. As we get into it. It’s sort of the first March Madness of mobile in the state as well. We’re going to be taking the Maryland crabcake to her back out on the road we had to postpone our family’s endeavor this week which it did not stop me from getting a couple of fake these crabcakes last week I did took them down to the Maryland lottery when I picked these up for Roz, it’s the lottery scratch off so be given these way all spring on March April. It is the original 50 year anniversary for the Maryland lottery also got these big old $50 scratch offs just to show because they’re beautiful and there’s a $5 million prize in there’s gold in them Hills is what they would say our friends at wind donation 8669 donation, you buy two you get two free you get two years 0% financing, it’s a better deal they gave me and make sure you ask him about the ants and spiders. Now that it’s a springtime. I gotta work that out. I’m sure it’s spring it’s spring cleaning being done around here. Looking after talks and baseball. We are certainly going to talk some football as we get into this Lamar Jackson thing we’ve had combine we have a draft all that going on. I’m gonna get to Marilyn crabcakes we’re back Adelard I am Nestor, we are WSD eight and 1570, Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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