After a surprising victory over Duke, it seemed as though Notre Dame was going to be just fine in the wake of Jerian Grant’s suspension. But since that win, the Irish have dropped three consecutive games, the latest a 74-66 loss Wednesday at Maryland.

They are 1-3 in the ACC and their NCAA tournament hopes fading quickly.

1. Slow starts in the second half have been a problem for the Irish in each conference game. Even against Duke, the Irish fell behind by 10 and had to regroup. Well after a strong first half in which the Irish led by nine, they came out of the gate slow again to start the second half. Only they never truly got going again.

The Irish had just two field goals in the first 11 minutes of the half and the offensive execution that seemed so crisp in the first half was a dud in the second.

Maryland took Irish guard Pat Connaughton almost completely out of the game in the second half after Connaughton torched the Terrapins in the first half. Coach Mike Brey said Maryland changed up how they defended Connaughton by having Dez Wels guard Connaughton.

"I think they did a good job with (Connaughton),” Brey said. “He got a lot of stuff in transition. Wells was an attentive defender and we could not get him as open as we did in the first half. I give credit to Dez Wells and Maryland's defense."

2. Maryland made every rebound an adventure for Notre Dame. The Terrapins crashed the offensive glass with abandon and grabbed 20 offensive rebounds, helping to compensate for a 40 percent shooting night from the floor.

Contributing to that was Notre Dame’s heavy dose of zone defense, which makes it harder to rebound because defensive players aren’t matched up with potential offensive rebounders, who can crash holes in the zone underneath while a shot is in the air.

“We just didn't do a good job,” center Garrick Sherman said.