posted 4 years ago
Maryland’s NCAA Tournament hopes could be on the line Saturday when the Terrapins host top-ranked Duke, which is looking to extend its winning streak to seven. Maryland has had six days off since a demoralizing 80-69 loss at home to Virginia, while Duke is riding a wave of emotion after beating rival North Carolina 73-68 on Wednesday. Duke beat the Terrapins by 20 at Cameron Indoor on Jan. 26, when freshman guard Rasheed Sulaimon scored 25 points with six 3-pointers. More Free Sports Picks
With only three home conference games remaining, Maryland needs a win to remain on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Terrapins won 13 straight games early in the season, but have lost three of their last five and suffer from a lack of notable victories. The team reached a low in the loss to Virginia, when the Terrapins were outrebounded for the first time all season.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT NO. 1 DUKE (22-2, 9-2 ACC): Senior forward Mason Plumlee scored 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting in the Blue Devils’ first matchup with Maryland, and also held Terrapins big man Alex Len to a quiet eight points. Plumlee is averaging 18.2 points and 10.7 rebounds, and recorded his 14th double-double of the season against North Carolina. Duke is the ACC’s top 3-point shooting team, and the Blue Devils made 11 shots from beyond the arc in last month’s win over the Terrapins. Senior guard Seth Curry, averaging 16.5 points, has scored in double-digit figures in six straight games. Freshman point guard Quinn Cook is coming off a strong game against the Tar Heels, when he scored 18 points.
ABOUT MARYLAND (17-7, 5-6): After allowing 80 points at home for the first time since Feb. 4, 2012 against Virginia, the Terrapins will need a much better effort against a Duke team that leads the ACC in scoring at 78 points per game. Len had decent numbers against Virginia, but was fairly quiet whenever the Cavaliers decided to double-team him. The 7-1 sophomore, averaging 11.5 points and eight boards in ACC play, will need a dominant performance against Plumlee in order for Maryland to pull the upset. Sophomore shooting guard Dez Wells is averaging 12 points, and has made multiple 3-pointers in each of the past two games.
1. Duke has won six straight and 12 of the last 13 meetings game against Maryland. The Blue Devils lead the series 113-61.
2. The Terrapins are 16-1 when leading with five minutes left in the game.
3. Duke is 17-1 this season and 50-6 all-time when Curry scores in double figures.
PREDICTION: Duke 77, Maryland 66