Duke Blue Devils (16-3. 4-1 ACC) at Maryland Terrapins (12-6, 2-2 ACC)
Wed Jan 25th 9pm Comcast Center, College Park, Md
Last game: Duke- lost to FSU 76-73 MD-lost to Temple 73-60
Leading scorer: Duke- Austin Rivers 14.4ppg MD- Terrell Stoglin 21.5ppg
After that, there is likely to be nothing but bad news, as the visiting and sixth ranked Blue Devils come to College Park looking to avenge their first conference loss. No matter what their fans may chant, Duke and Maryland are rivals as the Terps have more success against the Blue Devils then every team in the conference but North Carolina. The crowd is sure to be electric and the crowd is sure to be their loud, taunting selves. The Terrapin faithful is sure to turn the Comcast Center into the home court advantage it has not been all season. Just ask this guy what the Maryland crowd is like.
Outside of the crowd and the emotion of the court dedication Duke has the advantage everywhere else. Once again the Blue Devils possess a team that is capable of winning the national title and one that on paper is far more talented than the Terps. The Blue Devils have looked vulnerable in their three loses but those losses came against teams that had strong interior games coupled with good guard play. Their three point shooting makes up for their short coming’s in the inside game and will likely carry them past the Terps and deep into March.
The emotion of the court dedication and the fierceness of their rivalry should help keep the Terps in the game early. There is nothing a Maryland player or fan likes to see more than this.
Terrell Stoglin is more than capable of going off for 30 points but he alone will not be able to carry the Terps to victory. Coach K is sure to have a game plan in place to stop Stoglin so someone else will have to step up and knock down shots. In addition to that, Padgett and Pankey will need to be monsters on the glass to limit Duke’s second chance point and also provide some extra opportunities for their team. The game is not played on paper and you never know what can happen, but it will be a tall task for the home team spring the upset Wednesday night.
So not only do I still have to feel the sting of that Ravens loss, and the Prince Fielder doesn’t don the Orange and Black but now I have to watch the Terps face a talented Duke team that is sure to be angry and will likely run them out of their own gym. I would love to be wrong on this one but I have a feeling it could get ugly. The only thing that will keep this game close is the early emotion of the court dedication, the crowd and the rivalry. I expect the Terps to hang around early but the Blue Devils to pull away to win comfortably. Either way, I still hate JJ Reddick.
Duke 81 Maryland 64
You can follow Marco “The Little Roman” Romanell on twitter @mromanell and Baltimore Sports Report @BalSportsreport