Duke Preview and Game Thread

3/3/2010 3:22:13 PM

It's here.  The waiting is almost over.  How long have we waited?  I guess it depends on your perspective.  Only since beating Va Tech on Saturday have the Terps had legitimate dreams about earning a share of the regular season ACC Title.  In that sense, we've only "waited" a few days.  However, if by "waiting" you are referring to the long road back to national prominence; well, we've been waiting since 2004.

The Terps have earned tonight's game.  Comcast is hosting a game between Top 25 teams for the first time in ages and the opponent just so happens to be Duke.  It just doesn't get any better.   It's also senior night.  The Terp's seniors:  Milbourne, Hayes, and Vasquez have brought the program back.  By the time their careers are over, they will have led us to 3 NCAA Tournament appearances.  Not since Stevie Blake and Drew Nicholas has a senior class achieved that.

Despite their achievements, the season can move from a good season to a special one, with a win tonight. It won't be easy.  Duke presents serious matchup problems.  On the interior, Duke is huge.  The Terps will need to hit the glass like never before if we hope to win.  The Terps can't have 10+ rebounding disadvantage and hope to win.  On the perimeter, Maryland will need to play solid man-to-man defense.  Too much double-teaming and the Duke shooters will drain threes on us all night long.

I expect Maryland to execute its defensive strategy.  Tonight's game is bigger than just a W or an L on the record.  The Terps can stake a claim to a Top 4  NCAA Tournament seed with a victory.  That's an opportunity that doesn't come around too often.

Before I go, I wanted to leave with a few viewing tips:

1.  If you live outside of MD/DC or North Carolina expect to miss the first five minutes of the game.  You see, ESPN thinks that college basketball games only take two hours to complete.  They are wrong.  Notre Dame-UConn will be wrapping up and we will be stuck watching that game because ESPN won't switch over until the first game is over.  Let's just hope Irish and Huskies don't go into overtime.

2.  I expect the students to be a difference maker tonight (see photo).  Make Scheyer and Singler uncomfortable.  Be disruptive.  Expect a victory.  We are at home.

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