You have every right to doubt Maryland, which defeated Ohio State by 35 points, 100-65, on Saturday.
Maybe you should.
Yes, this is a Terrapins squad that lost to Michigan four days ago, even though Caris LeVert did not play.
Yes, this is a Terrapins squad that has one victory against a top-50 team on KenPom.com (Connecticut) -- a Terrapins squad that is as lucky as any team in the country according to its 15-1 record in games decided by six points or fewer since the start of the 2014-15 season.
This is also a Terrapins squad that just handed Ohio State its most lopsided loss in the Thad Matta era.
On Saturday, Maryland reminded us -- reminded itself -- that it can be a giant in this game for the next three months. Maybe even a national champion.
We know, Ohio State isn’t really Ohio State. We get it. The program that sent Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Greg Oden and D'Angelo Russell to the NBA doesn’t have any NBA talent this season, and these Buckeyes lost to Texas-Arlington. But the Buckeyes also beat Kentucky.
This is not a good Buckeyes team, but it’s also not the appalling bunch that Maryland ruined on Saturday.
Having played 11:42 of the first half, Maryland led 19-17.
From that point, over the next 28 minutes and 18 seconds, Maryland outscored Ohio State 81-48.
Melo Trimble, the Wooden Award contender, scored eight points on a 2-for-5 effort.
Maybe Trimble just couldn’t find a rhythm on offense (although his nine assists negate that theory), right? That’s one perspective.
Another? A top-five team just scored 100 points in conference play, and its best player failed to reach double digits. That is what makes the Terrapins dangerous. They are blessed with weapons that no team in the Big Ten and few teams in the country can match.
That’s the Maryland that could run to the top of the Big Ten and the last game of the upcoming conference tourney. That’s the squad that could enter the tournament as a No. 1 seed, and once the Terps get there, they could win.
Let’s revisit what happened at Michigan on Tuesday. Sure, it’s a tough road loss in a year of tough road losses for top-25 teams. That’s true. And an opponent that hits 12 of 21 3-pointers has a shot in most games.
But a Maryland program in a realistic pursuit of a Big Ten title must compete on the road. The Terps should win a game against a Michigan squad that doesn’t have the services of its lottery pick.
The Terrapins are 2-2 on the road this season. One of their two road wins only arrived after a Trimble 3-pointer at the buzzer against Wisconsin in Madison. This fact fits the narrative of a Maryland team that has escaped an abundance of tight games since last season.
They always seem to escape those situations. That’s a sign of resilience.
The team that walloped Ohio State and manufactured one of the most impressive finishes of the season thus far is strong enough to avoid those tight spots against the league’s second tier and continue its fight for a magical conclusion.
Saturday’s effort showcased the best of Maryland, just days after it suffered its second loss of the season.
The team that lost to Michigan in Ann Arbor is not what Maryland wants to be.
Saturday, however, the Terps were everything we imagined they would be.