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Maryland, Turgeon excited about NIT appearance

Tuesday - 3/19/2013, 10:17am  ET

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Saturday, March 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

AP Sports Writer

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Maryland is excited to be back in the postseason, even if it means playing in the NIT.

There once was a time when the Terrapins were regulars in the NCAA tournament, but the program is currently in a rebuilding phase under second-year coach Mark Turgeon.

Maryland (22-11) opens NIT play Tuesday night at home against Niagra. It will be the Terrapins' first postseason appearance since 2010, when Greivis Vasquez led Maryland into the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Turgeon says, "For where we are right now, this is huge building block."

The Terrapins are coming off an uplifting performance in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, where they beat Wake Forest and Duke before falling 79- 76 to North Carolina. Duke and the Tar Heels are in the NCAA tournament.

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