Where: Comcast Center, College Park, MD
Where to Watch: ESPN (!!!!!)
Line: KenPom: Duke by 3.
Notes: Likely the most important game ever played in the Comcast Center. Operation Scheyerface 3.0. Gold rush (that means wear gold). Greivis Vasquez's senior night. Will be for a share of the ACC title.
Keys in Cliches:
- Keep Duke Off the Boards: Duke beat Maryland for a lot of reasons last time, but a major one was rebounding. The Dookies got 23 second chance points, and that's just unacceptable. Keep Duke from gobbling up their misses and turning them into points.
- Make Shots Available: Duke is good defensively, but they will give up open shots, and it's up to Maryland to hit them. I said in the game recap of the first time around that any other day, "Maryland would've shot 50% from the field and 50% from deep." Those same opportunities will be available. Hit them.
- Stay in Check Emotionally: Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the last lost is that Maryland wasn't that far away. They had the shots - they didn't hit them. They dribbled the ball off their leg. They didn't box out. Their focus waned. This team can beat Duke. We know it - they just have to do it. To do that, they'll need to be focused and keep their emotions from overrunning them. I want Greivis Vasquez to be pumped, but I certainly hope that he doesn't take his senior night too seriously.
Prediction: Yikes. I want Maryland to win this game more than any other I can remember other than the Natty, but at the same time, I just don't believe it right now. Duke by 3. It pains me to write that, and I know plenty of people that will disagree with me. I completely understand your points, but I worry over the possibilty that Vasquez goes into overdrive too early and that it simply never clicks after such a strong stretch.
(Ah, screw it. Maryland by 4).