[Running commentary from the first half of Maryland-Memphis from the Sprint Center.]

Halftime -- Memphis 53, Maryland 33


Eric Hayes' 3-pointer as time expired in the half just cut the Tiger lead to 20. Probably not what Maryland fans hoped to hear as their team headed to the locker room.

This is officially getting ugly. I can't believe I declared two days ago this was a promising matchup for the Terps. I mean, it was at the time -- in the first round, Memphis looked terrible and Maryland looked more than solid. What a stupid I am.


Terps switched back to a man defense. But it doesn't seem to matter. What an amazing display of shooting we're seeing. Memphis just cannot miss.

Meanwhile, the Terps leading scorer -- Vasquez -- has only 6 points, on 2-of-7 shooting.

2:20 -- Memphis 48, Maryland 28

A friend just sent me a Gchat message that read: "Dude, the team you're covering today is putting up so many bricks you could construct a university."

It's not just that Maryland can't find the hoop; rather Memphis can't miss it.

I'm not sure what adjustments Williams is going to be able to make. Memphis will not let up defensively and Maryland is struggling to run anything that works. There's a reason Memphis gives up only 57 points a game.

Meanwhile, Maryland has no answer defensively either. They've switched back to a man defense, and Mack just shot another 3-pointer, this time over Vasquez. He's on fire right now. Much like Sallie two nights ago.

Right now, Memphis is shooting an incredible 70 percent from the field. I believe they're 7-of-10 from behind 3-point arc, as well. Not sure many teams would be leading a Tiger team shooting that well.

3:21 -- Memphis 44, Maryland 26

I hate to state the obvious, but Memphis looks a lot different than they did in their first-round game against Cal St. Northridge. I know not everyone agrees, but seems to me this team could probably win a couple of ACC games.

Actually, a Memphis fan seated behind me just screamed: "Hey Greivis, welcome to Conference USA." At least he pronounced Greivis right.

Memphis has the hot shooting hand right now. Doneal Mack drilled three 3-pointers made it an 18-point ball game.

Mosley had a nice block to save 2 points on a Memphis break. I think it was on Evans, but the Tiger mascot with the Calipari mask is distracting.

Vasquez returned to the game at the 6:29 mark.

6:29 -- Memphis 31, Maryland 19

This Tiger defense is too tough for the Terps. Maryland's best chance today might to find someone with a hot hand. Thus far, shots aren't falling.

Memphis is sticking with a man, but they have no problem switching defenders. Vasquez is not looking good, and you can bet if his frustration mounts, things good go downhill quick for the Terps. I have him at 2-of-5 from the field, but he's getting no good looks.

Tiger fans could be having a lot of fun at his expense when this is over with.

It's be nice if Bowie could develop some confidence in his jumper before next season.

With eight minutes to play, Vasquez went to the bench and was replaced by Cliff Tucker. Not sure that's the answer.

Memphis has just one field goal in the past three minutes -- a big Dozier dunk.

9:53 -- Memphis 24, Maryland 14

Landon Milbourne just showed a nice spin move on the baseline to cut the Tiger lead into the single digits. On the next possession, Adrian Bowie drove hard to the hoop for a layup, making it 19-12.

I talked to Bowie yesterday and he said Gary Williams has been telling him all year he needs to be more aggressive and attack the hoop more. He says he's finally feeling comfortable doing so -- four times already today -- and that it's really a mental block more than anything.

Memphis is shooting the ball well today. The Terps switched to a zone after that last timeout, but Memphis is moving the ball around the perimeter.

Sallie's 3 and Dozier's 2 keeps Memphis up by 10. Terps failed to take advantage of Evans brief visit to the bench.

12:48 -- Memphis 19, Maryland 8

So how are the two team's top scorers faring? It took Vasquez more than four minutes to even attempt his first shot -- a miss -- and he didn't score his first basket until 14:09. Meanwhile Evans already has 11 points (and we're not even midway through the half yet!)

Antonio Anderson is giving Vasquez zero breathing room. It's a tight man defense from the Tigers thus far. Vasquez has penetrated to the hoop twice -- both misses -- and is 1-for-3 thus far.

The Terps are also sticking with their man defense.

Geez, now the Tiger mascot is wearing a Calipari mask. Unlike the Memphis cheerleaders, it's an improved look for the Tiger, who is more cartoonish than ferocious. I like my jungle cats to strike fear in people's hearts, not spoon-feed me breakfast cereal.

16:01 -- Memphis, 13, Maryland 4

The Terps just had to call a timeout, which was wise. Maryland's shots aren't falling and Memphis has already build a 9-point lead -- thanks in large part to Evans' 7 points.

I fear that if Maryland falls behind by any margin of note, it'll be hard for them to fight their way back into it. Memphis is too good defensively.

Robert Sallie checked in at the 16:23 mark and received a loud ovation from the Memphis fans. Probably something to do with those 35 points the other night and the way he single-handedly carried the Tigers into the second round.

The Terps have missed their past shots.

17:35 -- Memphis 7, Maryland 4

Maryland opened up in a man-to-man defense and came out sprinting on offense. On the break, Sean Mosley bounced a pass to Dane Neal for the lay-up and the game's first points. It also marked the first appearance of the Dave Neal Growling Face, which I've come to enjoy.

The Terps picked up two fouls within the game's first minute -- Neal and Greivis Vasquez. They will not win this game shorthanded.

Tyreke Evans shot a trey over Vasquez to break a 2-2 tie. Maryland is terrible at drawing fouls this year, but it'd be wise if they could somehow get Evans into foul trouble today. Memphis is a different team without him on the court.

20:00 -- Maryland 0, Memphis 0

As the national anthem played, the Terps stood in a straight line. They all swayed from side to side, shaking their legs, flexing their fingers. They're clearly eager to tip-off.

This is the first game of today's session at the Spring Center, so there are a good number of empty seats early on. Blue outnumbers red by a comfortable margin right now, and Greivis Vasquez was greeted with loud boos during the pregame introductions. Maybe when the Oklahoma and Michigan fans show up, they'll side with the No. 10 Terps to register an upset.

Here's what scares me most about Memphis so far: the cheerleaders. OK, they look fine, and I'm not exactly a beauty-queen judge. But they're wearing masks featuring the mug of Tigers coach John Calipari. Not exactly how I like my cheerleaders. Then again, there are many reasons they don't like me.

-- Rick Maese

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