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Maryland Midnight Madness: 5 things you need to know


Maryland Midnight Madness: 5 things you need to know

COLLEGE PARK -- Saturday afforded the first public opportunity to see the best men’s basketball team Maryland has fielded since it won the national championship in 2002.

Head coach Mark Turgeon, obscured behind a veil before his introduction, appeared with overhead pyrotechnics going off. He was given a microphone and spoke to the crowd.

“It’s magic,” he said. “See that? It’s magic.”

Here are five things you need to know from Saturday night in College Park.

1) The energy is there

I arrived at XFINITY Center around 4:30 p.m. and there was already a line that snaked out the side door and along the backside of the arena, fans waiting in line for an autograph session that had just begun.

Last season’s edition of this event seemed, at its core, to be a chance for Mark Turgeon to sell belief in his program. When the conversation centered around how many wins he needed to keep his job, he reiterated his love for that team and how he thought the 2014-15 season would be a fun one.

It was. And now the Terrapins no longer fly under the radar of expectations. Energy and turnout matched those expectations on Saturday.

2) Magic is the theme

Maryland legend Walt “The Wizard” Williams began the night’s festivities as the emcee, wizard hat and all to fit the “magic” theme. An Oklahoma City-based magician performed his routine, highlighted by the disappearance of his assistant, only for her to reappear in a Maryland jersey.

Crowd goes wild.

3) A standing ovation for Brenda Frese

Entering the 2015-16 season coming off of two straight Final Fours, Frese was introduced with her two sons after her team took the floor moments prior. Fans at XFINITY Center gave her a standing ovation.

4) The star of the show

Coming into the season as the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, Melo Trimble has the same level of personal expectations as this team does as a whole.

You’d almost expect it. He received the most raucous round of applause of any of the Maryland players during introductions, being both the star of the team and a star in the league.

5) “A chance to be real special”

Turgeon addressed the crowd after his introduction, talking mostly about expectations and the hard work that his team has put in in spite of those expectations.

“When I took the job on May 10, a long time ago, this is what I envisioned for Maryland basketball,” he said. “This team has a chance to be real special.”

Why? We started to see why in the brief time we saw them on Saturday. Five-star freshman Diamond Stone has cut weight and looks significantly trimmed down from his time in high school. The same for Robert Carter.

Sophomore big man Michal Cekovsky and junior center Damonte Dodd both look to have added upper body strength.

During the team’s scrimmage, Carter looked strong. He had a jump hook in the lane that was good and a faceup midrange jumper that he sank. He also blocked a shot, snatched it out of the air, and started the fast break.

Dion Wiley hit a three. Diamond Stone had a nice up-and-under finish near the rim. Melo Trimble had a nice layup, and one. He also hit a three.

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Maryland women's shooting struggles lead to second-round loss vs. N.C. State


Maryland women's shooting struggles lead to second-round loss vs. N.C. State

RALEIGH, N.C.  — Kiara Leslie had 21 points and 11 rebounds against her former team, and North Carolina State beat Maryland 74-60 on Sunday in the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament.

Leslie, who spent three seasons at Maryland before graduating and transferring to N.C. State, finished one point shy of a career high.

Kalia Ealey and Chelsea Nelson added 12 points apiece while Akela Maize scored 11 to help the fourth-seeded Wolfpack (26-8) earn their first Sweet 16 appearance since the late Kay Yow led an inspirational run in 2007.


N.C. State, which shot 45 percent and was 7 of 14 from 3-point range, will play the Oklahoma State-Mississippi State winner on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.

Brianna Fraser had 17 points for the fifth-seeded Terrapins (26-8), who were held to 37 percent shooting.

Leading scorer Kaila Charles, plagued all day by foul trouble, finished with four points -- 14 fewer than her average -- on 2-of-8 shooting before fouling out with 2:29 left. She had scored in double figures in 30 of her previous 33 games.

Maryland's offense, which averages 80 points, had trouble scoring against one of the nation's stingiest defenses.

N.C. State allows 56.7 points per game and only one team in the past two months -- top-seeded Notre Dame -- has reached 70 against the Wolfpack.


Maryland: The Terrapins were denied their sixth Sweet 16 in seven years in part because their potent perimeter game was nonexistent. Maryland, at 39.1 percent the nation's seventh-most accurate team, missed all five of its 3s. Kristen Confroy, who's third in the nation from long range at 40.3 percent, didn't attempt one.

N.C. State: Leslie kept tormenting her former teammates by turning steals into layups. Big brother C.J. Leslie led the N.C. State men's program to a Sweet 16 in 2012, and now she's headed to one, too.


N.C. State will play either top-seeded Mississippi State or ninth-seeded Oklahoma State on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.


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Big Ten season comes to a close for Maryland in final seconds of second round


Big Ten season comes to a close for Maryland in final seconds of second round

NEW YORK -- After struggling with injuries and poor play most of the season, Wisconsin is peaking at the right time.

Brevin Pritzl broke a tie with a foul-line jumper with 28 seconds left and Khalil Iverson secured the win with a steal in the waning seconds, leading Wisconsin past Maryland 59-54 on Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.


Brad Davison and Iverson each made two free throws in the final nine seconds, and the ninth-seeded Badgers (15-17) advanced to the quarterfinals against top-seeded Michigan on Friday at Madison Square Garden after winning for the fifth time in seven games.

"It's a credit to these guys to my right and also the guys back in the locker room, how they've grown over the last month," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "It has been fun to watch and hopefully we've got a lot more basketball yet to play."

The win wasn't pretty, but the Badgers made all the key plays down the stretch and eight-seeded Maryland (19-13) didn't.

The biggest plays were offensive rebounds by Iverson and Ethan Happ after Pritzl and Davison missed 3-point shots with the game tied at 53.

After the second miss with 40.3 seconds to go, Wisconsin called timeout and Pritzl got the game-winner 12 seconds later.

"I think, especially at the end of this game, the possessions are magnified," Davison said. "When you do things right those final possessions, you can really turn things around."

Maryland had a chance to tie the game when Kevin Huerter was fouled by Happ with 9.2 seconds to go, but he missed the first of two free throws and the Terps came up short for the seventh time in 11 games.

"I feel like we were fighting uphill all night," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "We had the lead 24-23. It's the one time we had the lead. We tied it a bunch of times. It really came down to two things. We fouled too much and we couldn't get a rebound when we needed a rebound."


Happ had 14 points and seven rebounds for Wisconsin, which lost to Michigan State 68-63 less than a week ago. Davison finished with 13 points while Iverson had 11 and six rebounds and Pritzl 10 points. The Badgers, who lost starting point guard D'Mitrik Trice and reserve Kobe King to injuries in December, won despite shooting 36 percent.

"I personally figure we just have to string together an entire game for 40 minutes and just staying toe to toe with them like we did last game," Iverson said. "I know we'll be ready for them."

Huerter had 20 points to lead Maryland. Anthony Cowan Jr. added 16 points and Bruno Fernando had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Wisconsin never trailed in the second half, but it never led by more than three points in the final 11:40 until the closing seconds.

Pritzl's jumper broke a 53-all tie. Huerter then missed the first free throw and made the second. Maryland fouled Davison on the inbounds pass and he made both shots with 8.5 seconds to go for a 57-54 lead.

Wisconsin fouled Cowan rather than let him attempt a game-tying 3-pointer. Since it was a nonshooting foul, the Terps had to inbound with 5 seconds to go and Iverson stole Dion Wiley's pass and then closed the game with two free throws.

"He has evolved into our defensive end stopped," Gard said. "For him to come in and make a play like that at the end to seal it was great."