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Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow said on Wednesday that all the paperwork was in order to host an NIT game (or two) if the Terps were relegated to playing in college basketball's consolation tournament.

Now that Maryland is headed in that direction after Thursday's opening-round loss to Boston College in the ACC tournament in Charlotte, N.C., the question needs to be asked: will it do the Terps any good?

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The risk is certainly not as great as it was for the 6-6 football team taking its chances on having a losing record when it accepted a bid to the Emerald Bowl last season, then went out to San Francisco and lost to Oregon State in a forgettable night at AT&T Park.

Is winning the NIT a reward after an 18-14 season or just a prolonged reminder of what went wrong?

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The feeling I got in the Maryland dressing room after the team's 71-68 loss to BC was that the Terps will have to talk themselves into getting excited about playing in the NIT. The feeling I have from Maryland fans is many of them might be watching another elimination contest -- "American Idol" -- on Tuesday and Wednesday, when the NIT first-round games would be held at Comcast Center.

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