Thursday night, the University of Maryland Terrapins (11-6, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) return home after a three straight road games. In those three road games, they won just one game against a clearly inferior opponent. So for Maryland, the Virginia Tech Hokies (11-5, 2-2) represents a good chance to get a badly needed win against a top-100 RPI opponent.
Maryland is an exceptionally young team that has played fairly well in big games. However, their biggest issue all season long has been free throws. It cost them Saturday’s game at Villanova and possibly cost them a game or two earlier this as well. If the young Terps expect to win Thursday night, they must make at 75 percent of their free throws.
On the other side, Maryland’s opponent, Virginia Tech, is a seasoned team. There was some bad blood, apparently, between the Hokies and the Maryland fans when these two played at Comcast Center two seasons ago. Don’t expect anything different this time.
Although the Hokies were the preseason pick to finish second behind Duke in the ACC, they have struggled to a .500 record in conference and aren’t as good as they were perceived. The Terps were picked to finish sixth. This game will determine, at least to an extent, where these two teams finish in the standings and a head-to-head win is very important.