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Two weeks ago, Maryland seemed on the verge of locking up an NCAA tournament bid. The Terps had a 20-point lead in the second half against Clemson at Comcast Center. The rest is misery.

Talk about free-fall, did anyone pull the cord on this parachute?

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Sunday's announcement that the Terps would be a fifth seed -- in the NIT, yikes - means that the NIT selection committee thought there were at least 16 better teams for its field of 32.

Going to Minneapolis to play Minnesota Tuesday night won't exactly be the highlight of Gary Williams' career.

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In fact, it's a reminder of how far the program has dropped: the last time Williams took a team to the Twin Cities, it was to play in the 2001 Final Four.

This won't quite be the same.

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