Where: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
Where to Watch: ACC Network/ESPN/ESPN2 (I believe it's ESPN2, but I'm not sure)
- Round 3. Maryland lost the first two rounds, and pretty vigorously. The first time, their youth was exposed; the second, their entire team. So, now that their season depends on it, can they win the one that really counts? They'll need quite the game to do it. (Secret weapon: they won't be wearing their alternate unis this time. Surely, that was the reason for the losses last time).
- Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, just one more time. Yesterday, we bade goodbye to Sidney Lowe. Today is the last time Maryland will ever have to play against those two, barring a crazy ACC tournament run and improbable NCAA tournament matchup. It couldn't have come soon enough.
- Hangover? Duke hasn't played in a week. That last game was a decisive loss. Do they come out focused and ready for payback? Or are they rusty, distracted, and a little down on themselves? This may tell the story.
Keys in Cliches:
- Stay balanced. Maryland's youth and inexperience was showcased in both of the first two games when they let things get out of hand or couldn't sustain a lead. They're a few months smarter and more seasoned now, so perhaps they'll perform better this time. Staying balanced - after both their's and/or Duke's runs - is crucial.
- Get a strong performance from Jordan Williams on the glass. Duke still has no one to counter Jordan Williams, at least not that I can see. As such, Williams will probably have a ridiculous game on the glass. That's good, because he has to. Duke has the conference's best defensive eFG%, but only the 9th best rebounding percentage. The latter could help to cancel the former out.
- Honestly, play perfectly...and maybe then some. Maryland isn't this good. If they win, they'll execute their gameplan (whatever that is) plus a little extra. Maybe they'll get a Gilchrist-esque performance from Terrell Stoglin. Maybe Jordan Williams will drop 30. Maybe Smith and Singler combine for 6. I don't know what happens, but if Maryland wins, they'll need some kind of super-sonic performance along those lines, above and beyond what they're normally capable of.
|Terrell Stoglin (Fr., 6-0)||Nolan Smith (Sr., 6-2)|
|Adrian Bowie (Sr., 6-2)||Seth Curry (So., 6-2)|
|Haukur Palsson (Fr., 6-6)||Kyle Singler (Sr., 6-8)|
|Dino Gregory (Sr., 6-7)||Ryan Kelly (So., 6-11)|
|Jordan Williams (So., 6-10)||Mason Plumlee (So., 6-10)|
Prediction: I'll give Duke a double-digit edge. Maryland is just too flawed to win this game. Duke is a legitimate top ten team, and the Terps are still in shambles. Again, they could win it, but it's going to take a lot more than they've been showing lately.