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Things I Could Do with Never Experiencing Again After Maryland 88, UNC 85

  • Gary Williams' awkward, pre-game fist pump.
  • Brent Musberger and Steve Lavin's incessant use of the word "three-ball."
  • Maryland frat boys waving the flag of a country they couldn't pick out of a lineup three months ago.
  • Advertisements involving adventurous, fun-loving sixty-year olds and an endless list of the urinary problems they share.
  • Brent Musberger and Steve Lavin's futile attempts to tie the Oscars in to NCAA basketball.
  • Brent Musberger's constantly being wrong. Not on matters of judgment, or off-the-wall analysis, but simple things like not knowing the names of the players in front of him, or what happened thirty seconds ago.
  • Brent Musberger and Steve Lavin period, come to think of it.
  • Game-ending plays for the Tar Heels that just flat-out fail. I can't really remember the last one that was an unqualified success. Ty Lawson's buzzer beater against Florida State was, if I recall, an on-the-fly change on Lawson's part, but may count. Can anyone think of one before that?

Now luckily, UNC isn't a team that typically needs a last second shot to win, because they're really, really bad at it. And they shouldn't have needed it Saturday afternoon, what with a sixteen point lead late and talent to handily outclass the Terps even on a good shooting night. 

The thing about this collapse, for better for worse, is that it wasn't marked by the panic of the last great collapse that comes to mind (Georgetown 2007, natch.) The team calmly and methodically screwed up, turning the ball over as Maryland rained threes and ran the same two plays over and over - the backdoor cut underneath the basket and the Vasquez getting the ball just inside the free throw line and kicking it out. I suppose that's an improvement, although the case can be made the pendulum has swung too far the other way. It would be nice to see the Heels respond to the all-to-familiar late game opposing surge with an excellent team performance, rather than individual heroics from Lawson or Ellington. And barring that, and endgame play that actually worked as advertised would be nice, too.

I'm guessing were in for a few more weeks of dadgums and fricks, though. This team's ability to just disappear for stretches needs to be worked out, or yelled out, or something.