After a really interesting opening game in Kansas City, the Maryland-California game was a bit of a letdown. Going by efficiency margins, Cal was a prohibitive favorite going into the game. However, I picked Maryland on my own bracket. I wasn’t impressed by Cal when I saw them earlier this year against Mizzou and I felt like the teams were closer than the efficiency margins indicated simply because I think the Pac 10 is kind of weak. At least that’s what the President says. Also, Maryland had the best player on the floor in Greivis Vasque, which is a good enough tiebreaker for me.
The game was slugglish. The first half feature more turnovers than assists and a comibined 35% shooting. Vasquez had 11 points at the break, but it took him 11 shot to get there and he had zero assists. In the second half, Maryland was able to display a little urgency, while Cal really just seemed like they were on cruise control the whole game. Vasquez became more of a creator, which opened up the perimeter and Maryland pulled away late. Vasquez ended up with 27 points and got four assists after the half, as Maryland climbed to almost the break-even mark in shooting for the game.
So it’s Maryland and Memphis in the second round. I sat next to the section of the media area set aside for scouts (no accident) and talked quite a bit to Memphis assistant Orlando Antigua, a former player at Pitt who also played for the Harlem Globetrotters. I had the feeling that he was much more concerned with matching up with Cal lightening bug Jerome Randle than he was Vasquez. Vasquez creates a lot of offense because of his heighth advantage over opposing guards, allowing him to see the floor and pick apart a defense. That won’t fly against Memphis. In fact, I think it’s a terrible matchup for the Terps and I look for the Tigers to romp.