Ignoring that no men's basketball team has ever started its ACC season 1-4 and then earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, Gary Williams' Terrapins have a game tonight in Tallahassee, where they will take on Florida State in an attempt to claw back toward a .500 conference record.
A win would put the Terps right where they need to be to finish 8-8 in-conference: A 3-4 record with five home games and four road games remaining. A loss makes it an uphill battle -- not to say that it isn't already.
The Terps' have been inconsistent this season, but that shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone. Terp fans have come to know the inconsistencies of seniors Ekene Ibekwe, Mike Jones and D.J. Strawberry, as well as junior James Gist. So putting that group together with freshmen guards Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez is a recipe for a rollercoaster, and that's what we've seen this season.
The optimistic view sees Hayes and Vasquez maturing and adapting to the ACC game, giving the Terps a chance at a late run that propels them into the tournament, but that needs to start sooner rather than later.
Tipoff tonight is at 8 p.m., and the game will be televised on the CW.