The Maryland Terrapins fell behind early and rallied back time and time again, coming up short on a game-tying three-point attempt in a 79-76 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the semifinals of the ACC tournament.
Logan Aronhalt rushed a three-point attempt from about 30 feet from the basket with nine seconds to play, fading away as he did so, and the shot failed to come even close to hitting the rim. It's likely Aronhalt was afraid North Carolina would attempt to foul him before he got the shot up, sending him to the line for two free throws when the Terps were down three.
Alex Len lead the Terps with 20 points and 7 rebounds in what could be his final college game, though Maryland is likely to at least end up with a bid to the NIT. Nick Faust also played very well and kept the Terps in the game in the first half with his three-point shooting.
Dez Wells played well in spurts but looked a bit tired after outstanding performances in the previous two games. In fact, Maryland as a team looked sluggish and tired for much of the game, but showed a lot of heart in making multiple runs at the Tar Heels.
In the end, the Terps simply missed too many layups and were victim to some outstanding outside shooting by North Carolina, setting up a matchup in the final between the Tar Heels and Miami Hurricanes.
Maryland will now wait for the Selection Show and hope that they hear their name called. The Terps are expected to be one of the first teams left out of the tournament, but the eyeball test could work in their favor. Maryland clearly showed it was a much better team than others sitting on the right side of the bubble, so it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.
If Maryland's name is not called, they will certainly look back with disdain over a number of wasted opportunities, including two tough losses to Florida State and, more recently, an overtime loss at Virginia. A play here or there may end up costing the Terps an NCAA tournament berth, but at least they finally looked like a team to be reckoned with come the start of next season.