Where: Conte Arena, Chestnut Hill, MA
Where to Watch: Raycom (check local listings)
Line: Vegas: Maryland -2.5 KenPom: Maryland by 4
- Crucial bubble matchup. Both teams are about as bubbly as can be, which means this game will be hugely important for both. For Maryland, it's a chance to get a decent win, and their first RPI Top 50 win (Penn State has fallen on hard times). For BC, a loss would be a huge blow to their chances.
- The home stretch begins. This is piggybacking off of the above note, but with Longwood in the rearview mirror and their tournament chances as bubbly as ever, we can safely say that Maryland's in "home stretch" mode. Every game from here on out is crucial, both for momentum and reality. After this, the Terps visit Virginia Tech before hosting N.C. State and FSU. Starting off on the right foot is a pretty good plan indeed.
- Going in opposite directions. Maryland's won 5 of its last 6, with the only loss coming against Duke. Boston College, meanwhile, has lost 4 of its last 5, with only one of those losses coming by single-digits. While the level of competition the two have recently faced aren't at all similar, the confidence levels have to be as far apart as possible.
- Injuries: BC is completely healthy, at least that I've seen.
Keys in Cliches:
- Defend the perimeter. No team in the ACC relies on three-pointers as much as BC does. Everyone that plays the 1 through 4 for the Eagles not only can shoot; they will shoot, and a lot. They shot 45% against the Terrapins last time, and it'll need to get better this time around.
- Have a perimeter option. This is always the case, but Maryland really needs someone to go to outside of Jordan Williams. Williams scored a career-high 27 last time out, but the Terrapins shot just 3-17 from 3, and that might've been the biggest reason for the loss.
- Control the tempo. BC is the second-slowest team in the conference in terms of pace, and they'll play zone, too. Maryland, meanwhile, is one of the faster, and they're (of course) terrible against zones. If they can force turnovers and keep the tempo at a high pace, they should get some much-needed easy transition buckets.
|Pe'Shon Howard (Fr.; 6.2)||PG||Biko Paris (Sr., 6-1)|
|Adrian Bowie (Sr.; 6-2)||SG||Reggie Jackson (Jr.; 6-3)|
|Sean Mosley (Jr.; 6-4)||SF||Danny Elmore (Fr.; 6-6)|
|Dino Gregory (Sr.; 6-7)||PF||Joe Trapani (Sr.; 6-8)|
|Jordan Williams (So.; 6-10)||C||Josh Southern (Sr.; 6-10)|
Prediction: Like I said earlier, I have no idea which way this is going. My gut, however, is saying Maryland pulls it out: Gary Williams teams simply don't fold over the stretch, or at least haven't in quite some time. I'm going to go ahead and say Maryland wins by a couple.