As the last week or so of the regular season gets under way, the Terps have a tough game coming up against the fourth ranked Duke Blue Devils. Everybody in the state of Maryland knows this is an enormous game, but I want to take a look at what this game can mean for the Terps heading into the ACC and NCAA tournaments.
I feel that the Terps can beat Duke at home on Wednesday night. The Comcast Center has been quite favorable to the Terps in the past few years, and they always play Duke well. And the main key to the game will be whether or not Greivis Vasquez decides to show up and play like he just did against the Hokies on Saturday night. Hopefully he can outshine Jon Scheyer. Vasquez’s 41-point performance was an epic performance for him. If he and the rest of the Terps show up, they can take down Duke, positioning themselves for a much higher seed on Selection Sunday. Another interesting match-up that could have a huge impact on the game will be Jordan Williams against Brian Zoubek, who torched the Terps last meeting with his double-double.
A victory over the Blue Devils will also give the Terps momentum for the ACC tournament. But at the same time, is it a good thing to win the ACC tournament? I have talked with some friends of mine, and is it worth going all out and play extra games just to tire the team out before the Big Dance? I feel that it is. First off, the ACC is a little weak this year, so the ACC tournament shouldn’t be too difficult for the Terps to get through. Plus, an ACC tournament victory will help snowball even more momentum for the NCAA tournament. And the further the Terps go, the higher the seed they will get, possibly giving them an easy road in the Sweet 16 or Elite 8. And once you get that far, everything is up for grabs. I feel that the Terps can make a serious run. Maryland will be back on the national scene, and then all these Gary Williams critics out there can go back into hiding.