Seth Allen finished with 20 points and Dez Wells added 18 as Maryland knocked off No. 5 Virginia in College Park in their last regular season ACC game ever, 75-69, in overtime.
The Terps, who are headed to the Big Ten after the season, are probably out of bubble contention at this point. They are now 17-14 on the season and just 9-9 in the conference, but they have played much better in the last month. This was the first time they were able to get over the hump to land a marquee win, however. Close losses to the likes of Duke, Syracuse and Pitt cost them a shot at a tournament bid, but finally landing a win should help with their confidence as they head to Greensboro for the ACC tournament next week.
Winning in overtime is not an easy thing to do when you blow a late lead in regulation, but that’s precisely what Maryland was able to do. Kudos.
The bigger story, however, is Virginia.
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The Cavs entered Sunday with an outside shot of playing their way into the final No. 1 seed, although in order to do so they were going to have to win out — meaning beating Maryland and winning the ACC tournament — and, clearly, that didn’t happen. With an ACC tournament title, the ‘Hoos ceiling is probably a No. 2 seed.
Should we be concerned about them?
This group was riding as high as they have since the days of Ralph Sampson entering the weekend, as they were coming off of a massive win over Syracuse eight days ago and had locked up an outright ACC regular season title. But a by-product of that title is that Virginia was only playing for NCAA tournament seeding, and that will only give a team so much motivation.
They’re an improved team playing their final home game of the season — and of their ACC tenure — that still has a sliver of hope of playing their way into the NCAA tournament. Desperation can do wonders for a basketball team.
So no, I’m not worried about Virginia, but that’s mainly because I thought that this team was being slightly overvalued. They only have two losses in ACC play, but they didn’t have to play at Syracuse and they didn’t have to play at North Carolina. In terms of talent level, Virginia is closer to being a No. 3 seed than they are a No. 1 seed.