It's very early in the NCAA Basketball season, and the Maryland Terrapins tend to be slow starters. That said, tonight offers a major test -- and opportunity -- for the Terps. They are playing in the semifinals of the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic in New York City, and they are playing an elite team there.
Tonight, the Terps will take on No. 5 Pittsburgh at the Garden. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., and it will be on ESPN. A game between Illinois and Texas will follow, with the winners facing the winners and the losers facing the losers on Friday.
Pittsburgh returns most of their roster from last season, when they surprised many and earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They have two of the nation's best guards in Brad Wanamaker and Ashton Gibbs, which will keep Maryland's surplus of guards busy. Guys like Pe'Shon Howard, Terrell Stoglin and Cliff Tucker have had good starts to the season, but Pittsburgh is in another league. However, the Panthers will have to deal with Jordan Williams, who has gotten off to a fast start this year.
Regardless of what happens, this is an opportunity for the Terps. If they lose, it's ok. They were not expected to win anyway. If they win, however, it's a major boost on their NCAA Tournament resume.