Big Ten

Terps' NCAA tournament run cut down in loss to Kansas buzzsaw


Terps' NCAA tournament run cut down in loss to Kansas buzzsaw

It took a little while for the blades to fully sharpen, but the Kansas buzzsaw eventually emerged Thursday night, cutting down Maryland's chances of cutting down the nets.

The Terps were steamrolled in the second half, outscored by 14 after halftime as their offense fell off a cliff in a 79-63 loss to the NCAA tournament's No. 1 overall seed in Louisville.

Despite sticking with the Jayhawks for the entirety of the opening 20 minutes and even leading by as many as six in the opening period, an inability to make shots in the second half cost the Terps the game. Maryland was just 8-for-23 from the field after halftime, with three separate field-goal droughts of more than three minutes coming over the game's final 20 minutes.

And with only a 40.5-percent shooting performance to its name prior to the half, Kansas was red hot in the second half, shooting a sterling 56 percent from the field, making Maryland's droughts all the more costly.

“I want to congratulate KU, I thought they were terrific, especially in the second half," Turgeon said after the game. "They were aggressive, they made shots, got to the foul line and made shots. They were good. And then they were great on defense. We’re a good offensive team, we’re hard to guard, and they really locked in on us.”

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After falling behind by a slight amount early, Maryland took advantage of a more than five-minute scoreless stretch by Kansas, using a 7-0 spurt to burst out to a six-point lead. The two teams played evenly from there and traded leads. Rasheed Sulaimon and Melo Trimble produced much of the offense for the Terps, scoring a combined 22 first-half points as big men Diamond Stone and Robert Carter spent significant time on the bench with two fouls apiece. The Jayhawks ironed out their offensive issues that had them shooting below 30 percent at one point, missing nine straight buckets during that struggle of a stretch. The two teams were evenly matched, statistically, in shooting, rebounding and turnovers in the first half. Maryland's poor shooting from behind the 3-point line, though, continued, and after going 1-for-18 on 3s in a second-round win over Hawaii, it was just 2-for-12 from 3-point range in the first half Thursday.

It was obvious from the start of the second half, though, that Kansas was playing with a different energy and far more effectively, at that. The Jayhawks made their first six shots — extending a streak that dated back before the break to nine straight makes — using a 9-0 run to break away from a 43-all tie and build their biggest lead of the game to that point. That Kansas run coincided with Maryland's first three-minute scoreless stretch of the second half. After Trimble hit a 3 to cut it to a six-point game, the Terps went the next four minutes without a basket, the Jayhawks' lead jumping to double digits during that stretch. The next made shot for Maryland came nearly seven minutes after that, the game all but over at that point. Kansas' electric shooting and lock-down defense allowed it to build a lead as big as 16, which was also the final margin.

“They really locked in," Sulaimon said. "Their team defense was really tremendous. I still think, the way we executed offensively, we still got a lot of the shots that we wanted to have. Down the stretch, we couldn’t make shots, and they did. Sometimes the ball just bounces that way. All credit to them for making the adjustment at halftime. One or two shots, a couple shots we normally make just didn’t fall for us tonight.”

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Maryland finished with just a 40-percent shooting mark on the night, while Kansas shot 46.8 percent, holding big statistical advantages in points in the paint (40-24), rebounding (43-28) and second-chance points (13-5). The Terps were just 5-for-25 from 3-point range on the night and shot surprisingly poorly, for them, from the free-throw line, going 14-for-20.

Jayhawks senior Perry Ellis led all scorers with a whopping 27 points, with three of his teammates scoring in double figures. For the Terps, Sulaimon led the way with 18 points, and Trimble finished with 17. No other Maryland players hit double figures.

The Terps' first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 2003 ended with a thud, and there's no telling if Turgeon will be in a similar position next season. Of the five starting players, three are seniors (Jake Layman and Sulaimon) and three more are expected to be candidates to jump to the pros (Trimble, Carter and Stone).

A season of big expectations never reached where people thought it would in the preseason, when the Terps were tabbed as one of the country's best teams. A third-round exit from the Big Dance will be viewed as a disappointment, but losing to these Jayhawks certainly can't be too depressing of an occurrence. Kansas hasn't lost since the middle of January.

“We lost to the best team in the country," Turgeon said. "33-4 now, they’re the No. 1 seed in the tournament, they’re playing really well. They’ve just crushed people lately. And in the end it looks like they crushed us.”

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.

See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings


See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings

With Week 12 in the books, here’s my top 25:

1. Oklahoma (10-1)

Still the team with the best resume in the country, no one can compete with OU’s wins over TCU, Ohio State and Oklahoma State, the latter two coming away from Norman. Baker Mayfield might not be a choir boy, but he’s the best player in the nation.

2. Miami (10-0)

You might think that being down 28-14 to Virginia in the second half was cringe-worthy, but the Canes made up for things by storming back with 30 unanswered points. Now they finally have to go away from South Florida for the first time since almost losing to North Carolina last month.

3. Alabama (11-0)

Tide gonna roll. But this Cupcake Weekend in the SEC has got to stop. While teams in other conferences are slugging it out against rivals, Bama gets to take a day off against Mercer? It’s just not fair. Also, Bama’s schedule is so soft, there’s no way it deserves to be the No. 1 team in the country.

4. Georgia (10-1)

The Dawgs should wrap an 11-1 regular season this weekend against Georgia Tech. But the SEC title game presents a kind of no-win scenario: undefeated Alabama or Auburn, who throttled Georgia earlier this month.

5. Wisconsin (11-0)

You didn’t need Wisconsin to do what it did to Iowa and Michigan to prove it had one of the best defenses in the country — but that sure didn’t help. Stockpiling national love with those two wins, a win in the Big Ten title game figures to make the Badgers a Playoff lock.

6. Clemson (10-1)

Why’d Kelly Bryant have to go and get hurt for that Syracuse game? The Tigers would be No. 1 and the undisputed best team in the country. Still, though, a win over Miami in the ACC title game ought to get the champs back into the Playoff.

7. Auburn (9-2)

Great job pounding Louisiana-Monroe, Tigers. You shall not escape the wrath over Cupcake Weekend in the SEC. That dumb game aside, Auburn and Alabama will meet in a titanic Iron Bowl this weekend with a trip to the SEC title game on the line — and perhaps a Playoff spot, as well.

8. Ohio State (9-2)

Not that pummeling Illinois is any big deal, but the Buckeyes are still alive in this thing and look like a team capable of making some Playoff noise. First, Ohio State has to win The Game and then the Big Ten title game to knock out undefeated Wisconsin.

9. Notre Dame (9-2)

Out of the Playoff chase thanks to that loss at Miami, Notre Dame squeaked by Navy this past weekend. Hope a New Year’s Six bowl game is enough for the Irish. We know it’s not enough for those ND fans. So maybe join a conference? Just saying.

10. TCU (9-2)

The Frogs can still make their mark on the Playoff race, even if they can’t get in themselves. The Big 12 title game will almost surely be TCU’s attempt at revenge on Oklahoma. Unfortunately, if revenge does come, it will probably cannibalize the conference’s Playoff hopes, too.

11. Penn State (9-2)

Why Penn State gave up 44 points to Nebraska, I do not know. What I do know is that probably no one cared because Penn State is going to go down as the most inconsequential 10-2 team of all-time. Such a bummer considering the preseason expectations for both the team and Saquon Barkley.

12. USC (10-2)

Yeah, I guess there’s still a way for USC to make the Playoff, but it’s hard to imagine that madness unfolding, even in the oft-mad college football. The Trojans get the winner of the Apple Cup in the Pac-12 title game.

13. UCF (10-0)

Finally we get our much-anticipated UCF-USF showdown this weekend. Make it count, Knights. This is probably gonna be Scott Frost’s last regular-season game in Orlando.

14. Washington (9-2)

It’s hard to say who has the edge in the Apple Cup, but certainly the stakes are high, with the winner going off to play USC in the Pac-12 title game. Can either team make the Playoff? Well, probably not, no.

15. Washington State (9-2)

Is this it for Mike Leach on The Palouse? He could be a hot candidate this offseason and leave for perceived greener pastures. Winning the Apple Cup would go a long way toward making that happen.

16. Mississippi State (8-3)

A win in the Egg Bowl means a 9-3 regular season for the Bulldogs with their three losses coming against three top-10 teams.

17. Oklahoma State (8-3)

Poor Okie State has been so good all year and had two losses to the two best teams in its conference, and then it went and lost to K-State for some ridiculous reason. The Mullet deserved better in 2017.

18. Northwestern (8-3)

The Cats are the fourth-best team in the Big Ten, simple as that, with wins over Michigan State and Iowa and conference losses to Wisconsin and Penn State. As commendable an effort as you’ll find in a highly competitive league. Plus, Fitz’s team is on a six-game win streak that could end up extending to eight.

19. Stanford (8-3)

Already with a win over Washington, Stanford could close the regular season with two wins over top-10 teams in its final three games. Also Bryce Love is back in the groove after back-to-back 100-yard games.

20. Memphis (9-1)

The Tigers have lost just one game all season, to the best Group of Five team out there. Heck of a season by Memphis.

21. Michigan State (8-3)

A 17-7 win over Maryland couldn't have been the most exciting way for anyone to spend their weekend. Sparty's had a mighty fine season, though, considering how badly things went in 2016.

22. LSU (8-3)

The SEC has seemingly gotten increasingly better as the year has progressed, with LSU and Mississippi State making for a solid-enough middle tier. But remember when LSU lost to Troy? That wasn’t good.

23. South Florida (9-1)

If not for that loss to Houston, USF’s showdown with UCF this weekend would be for Group of Five supremacy. Even without that, though, this should be a highly entertaining affair.

24. Virginia Tech (8-3)

The Hokies have a chance to salvage their tumble at the close of the season with a win at Virginia. But given how well the Cavs played at Miami this past weekend, a VT win is no sure thing.

25. Iowa State (7-4)

I understand the math and all, but can't the Big 12 just suspend its rules and send Iowa State to the title game? We all want to see the OU-ISU rematch. Why are you preventing us from being happy, Big 12?