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Duke-Maryland Weekend Preview by Max
A critical game for Maryland takes place Saturday at Comcast Center. The ESPN College Gameday crew will be on hand and it is sure to be an eventful night. The Duke basketball team is coming off a big home win against North Carolina and has reclaimed the top spot in the ACC. The Terrapins were in a tailspin until they arrived in Durham on Jan. 26. They pulled a shocking upset in the first meeting and since then the team been stagnant, winning two games and losing two games. The line will come in near even and the following text will evaluate what each side must do in order to win this contest.
Maryland will have the home crowd to lean back on and they will be a crucial factor in this game. The Terps star point guard John Gilchrist ran into some early season problems, but he has figured them out and played much better as of late. He has the ability to beat teams by shooting or passing the ball. Maryland as a team seems to be more effective when he looks to pass instead of looking to score.
Maryland's main advantage in terms of position will come at the forward spot. Nick Caner-Medley and Ekene Ibekwe are a much better duo than Shavlik Randolph and Sean Dockery. Caner-Medley has a height advantage over his opponent and that gives him the ability to score from anywhere on the court. These two players need to come up big in order for Maryland to be successful.
Duke played their most important game of the season Wednesday night at home against their in-state rival. I feel this was a barometer game as to which direction this team would go. They won it by one point and now I feel they will contend for yet another ACC Championship.
Duke's advantage in this game comes in two spots: the guards and center positions. J.J. Redick has really improved his game and now can beat opponents from inside the arc. He is one of the best pure shooters in the game and he along with Daniel Ewing can create major problems for opposing defenders. Maryland will struggle to keep pace with these two outstanding guards.
The Devils also have an advantage inside with Sheldon Williams versus Travis Garrison. Garrison is a big body, but is nowhere near as polished as Williams. The Duke center is averaging a double-double this season and has a knack for sending the ball away from the rim.
The difference in the game will come down to one of two things. The first is Maryland's ability to play to their potential. They have the talent to compete with the Devils and they always seem to be ready for this game. Maryland has upset Duke numerous times over the last five years with inferior talent. However, the Terps have had some puzzling losses this season against Clemson, Miami and NC State. One never knows which team will show up.
The other factor is Duke's ability to recover after such an emotional win during the week. This could be a trap game for them and Coach Krzyzewski will have to get his players to concentrate on this game and put the big win behind them. This has not been a problem for the Devils in the past but this is a different Duke basketball team.
Doc's Sports has been hitting over 60% of their weekend preview selections so be sure to check back on Saturday for the winner of this highly anticipated contest.
Click the link for Doc's college basketball picks.
One E-mail A Week Is All You Need! Our weekly newsletter is loaded with exclusive free picks,insight and advice from our expert handicappers