Alright, here's the deal: I'm coming at you from the past, as the noon tip means I can't actually watch this game. I'll check in the GameThread as much as possible, but I won't be able to see it or post a recap right away. So enjoy amongst yourselves.
Now, game tips at 12:00 on ESPN2 and presumably ACC Network as well. Not expecting anything more than a double-digit loss, but it's impossible to win one in your conference tourney (especially as impressively as Maryland just beat Wake Forest) and not start to have a little voice talking about making a Gilchrist-esque run. So yeah, it's kind of exciting.
I'm also really curious to see what happens with balanced Terrell Stoglin. Balance is always a good thing, but given the competition he might need to be a bit more forceful at times than he was yesterday, because North Carolina isn't going to allow such free ball movement or open looks. Guys like James Padgett and Sean Mosley probably won't find points as easy to come by, and that might mean more shooting for Stoglin. We'll see.
Random, Baseless Prediction: Good game from Ashton Pankey, who shows some unexpected toughness after getting off the schneid yesterday. Ends up with something like eight points and five boards.
Prediction: Stoglin stays balanced and Maryland plays well in the first half, but show a lack of overall quality as they enter the break down six. A short run fueled by a nine-point outburst from Stoglin gives Maryland the lead early in the first half but it's not sustainable (obviously) and the Tar Heels run the final twelve minutes. Terps fall, something like 78-66.
Guessing Game: I feel like the entire world has forgotten that Alex Len still exists. He's been really quiet for several weeks now, and if he's ever going to have a breakout game now would be the time to do it. Give me your guess for points plus rebounds, with blocks as the tiebreaker. Also accepted, number of times Fran Fraschilla says "the Ukraine."