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Porous defense and lack of support dooms Maryland in Big Ten quarters vs. Northwestern

Porous defense and lack of support dooms Maryland in Big Ten quarters vs. Northwestern

The No. 3-seed Maryland Terrapins fell to the No. 6-seed Northwestern Wildcats 72-64 in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals due to a blistering offensive performance from the Wildcats in the second-half. 

How It Happened: It was a tail of two halves in the paint. The Terrapins held a 20-6 advantage in first-half points in the paint. But in the second half, Northwestern had an easy path to the basket seemingly every time down court. The Wildcats dominated the glass all night, finishing with 32 rebounds, 10 on the offensive glass.

First Team All-Big Ten selection Melo Trimble finished with 20 points, and got a solid effort from freshmen Kevin Huerter (19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals) and Anthony Cowan (13 points).

Noticeably absent was Justin Jackson, who finished with just 2 points. Jackson, along with big men Damonte Dodd, L.G. Gill and Ivan Bender combined to score just 12 points.

For Northwestern they were led by their standout trio of Vic Law (17 points), Scottie Lidnsey (17 points) and Bryant McIntosh (16 points). 

A Game of Runs: Maryland raced out to a 7-2 run. But Northwestern responded with a run of their own to tie it at 14. The Wildcats followed that up with a 13-4 run before the Terps responded with a 10-4 run to tie the game at the half. The Terps got out of the second-half gate quickly with a 10-0 run, but once again, the opposing team responded with a 16-2 run. That 16-2 run turned into a 20-5 run.

Home Court Disadvantage?: Although the box score will indicate it was a neutral site game, there was no denying that the Terps were playing in front of a pro-Maryland crowd. But the Terps struggled to gain the affection of the referees, who swallowed their whistles on several high-impact plays when Melo Trimble and Anthony Cowan attempted to get to the rim. The Terps were called for nine fouls in the first half, while Northwestern was whistled seven times. It wasn't a big discrepancy, but the issue was what plays the referees did deem a foul and which ones they didn't. It was all over the map.

A Game About Nothing: Northwestern sophomore Charlie Hall might be the most famous walk-on in the country. His mother happens to be "Veep" and "Seinfeld" star Juliua Louis-Dreyfus. The former Elaine Benes was in attendance for the Big Ten quarterfinals. When the jumbotron cameras cut to her in the second-half, the Verizon Center erupted with a chorus of boos.

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The cameras then cut to Maryland alum and SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt, which resulted in a raucous ovation,

What's Next? Even with the loss, the Terrapins are headed to the NCAA Tournament, thanks to a resume worth of an at-large selection. But a strong Big Ten Tournament performance could have resulted in a seed in the No. 3 to No. 5 range. Now it is more likely that the Terps will garner a seed somewhere between No. 7 and No. 10. For the Wildcats, they move on to face No. 2-seed Wisconsin, which beat No. 10 Indiana 70-60.

The Wildcats too, will be headed to the NCAA Tournament regardless of their Big Ten Tournament finish, thanks to a strong resume.

It will be the university's first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.

Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.

Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing.  At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.

Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.

Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.

Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.

Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

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Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.