Since Maryland has not been known this season for aggressive post play, I think we all anticipated what would happen when you matched the Terps against long, athletic Tyler Zeller and John Henson. Factor in that Zeller was playing his final home game in front of a loud, adoring Senior Night crowd. It didn't take Dr. James Naismith to figure out what would transpire.
I said in my updated game story that the dominant sound at Smith Center was that of Maryland beiing whistled for fouls on Zeller.
Zeller's 20 free throws and 23 attempts were Smith Center records. UNC is touting Zeller and an ACC Player of the Year candidate. Virginia is pushing Mike Scott.
Alex Len fouled out. So did Ashton Pankey, who had zero points and zero boards. The best Maryland defensive play of the night came not from a "big," but from Sean Mosley, who blocked a shot in the first half. Sadly, Mosley aggravated an ankle injury when he landed.
"He gutted it out," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said of Mosley. "I kept asking him if he wanted to come out, and he said no."
There wasn't much Turgeon could do. His post guys are just, well, limited. I thought Len made things tougher for the Heels when he was in there, but he struggles to stay out of foul trouble.
"We probably could have doubled the post a little bit sooner. It's harder to do things with my team. I’ll just leave it at that," the coach said.
Maryland cut the deficit to 36-30 early in the second half.
Then "the bottom just kind of fell out," Turgeon said. "We kept fouling them. We got tired."
Just as Duke did in Durham, Carolina decided it wasn't going to let Terrell Stoglin beat them. Roy Williams asked his players to crowd Stoglin, especially to the player's left. He used multiple players on Stoglin -- I noticed 6-foot-7 Reggie Bullock most -- to keep the defense fresh.
The only Terp who found some swagger was freshman Nick Faust, who had a career-high 17 points and said he's figuring things out. "I'm starting to get the hang of college basketball more," Faust said.