Maryland’s letdown at Boston College pushes the Terps to the fringes of the bubble picture

The afterglow from Maryland's upset victory over Duke on Saturday night hardly even lasted 72 hours.

Unable to reproduce the focus and intensity they played with against the Blue Devils, the Terps fell 59-48 on the road against a Boston College team that entered play Tuesday night just a game out of last place in the ACC. Reserve guard Logan Aronhalt scored 26 points and knocked down a season-high seven 3-pointers, but no other Maryland player managed more than nine points.

If the loss isn't a mortal wound for Maryland's at-large NCAA tournament hopes, it at least leaves the Terps on life support.

At 18-8 overall but just 6-7 in ACC play, Maryland almost certainly wouldn't be in the field of 68 if Selection Sunday was today. Victories over upper-tier ACC foes Duke and NC State provide some punch, but the Terps' RPI is just No. 69 because of their poor league record and their lack of quality non-conference wins.

To work its way back into at-large contention, Maryland now faces an uphill road, one the Terps may not be able to navigate given their lack of consistency.

A home game against Clemson and road tests at Georgia Tech and Wake Forest are all winnable, but the Terps cannot have a letdown in any of those games like they suffered Tuesday night in Chestnut Hill. Maryland may need to win its final two games at home against fellow bubble teams North Carolina and at Virginia too, though splitting those and making an ACC tournament run would give Mark Turgeon's team some hope as well.

There won't be any late-season surge from the Terps if they don't perform better than they did in the second half Tuesday.

A seven-point halftime lead quickly evaporated as Maryland missed 22 of 26 shots to start the second half. None of its guards besides Aronhalt were effective and potential lottery pick Alex Len had more fouls (five) than points (four), a far cry from Saturday when he was last seen thoroughly outplaying Mason Plumlee.

After Saturday's game, Turgeon made a point of saying he planned to avoid all bubble banter. Unless the Terps get on a winning streak, he may not have to worry about it.

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