First Cut: My Ode To Scott Van Pelt and Previewing Maryland

Dearest readers, in the latest installment of "First Cut," I thought I would provide you all with some background material to aid you in your appreciation of my column in this morning's Chronicle, for however more deeply it can be appreciated—which at this point is about as up in the air as the outcome of tonight's game. That being said, here goes:

Exhibit A: The infamous Scott Van Pelt voice mail. Whoever posted this might be the worst girl in the history of the world. But then again, without her, I would have never known truly the self-effacing brilliance that is SVP.

Exhibit B: The Maryland Terrapins, from the lowest of lows in January (when head coach Gary Williams and ranking members of the athletic department were embroiled in a tumultuous fingerpointing over the loss of top recruits) to the highest of highs last Saturday (when the Terps upset No. 3 UNC 88-85 in OT).

Exhibit C: Terpness—that's right, the University of Maryland has now named its own spirit (like "truthiness," only classier!). OK, so this wasn't mentioned in my column at all. But, come on, someone needed to bring this up. Ridiculous. If Blue Devil fans decided to brand their spirit "Dukeness" or something like that, we'd never hear the freaking end of it. I'm really fearing the turtle now.

That's all I got for now, kids. Be sure to check out today's The Chronicle for full previews of tonight's game and come back right here to this very spot later tonight for another super-duper installment of The Chronicle's Sports Blog live blog, hosted by yours truly from the Comcast Center beginning just before tip at 9 p.m. Until then, go to class. It would make one of us.


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