ACC Tournament First Round

#8 Maryland Terrapins (16-14, 6-10 ACC) VS #9 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (13-17, 4-12ACC)

Thursday, March 8th: Phillips Arena– Atlanta, GA

Leading scorer: MD- Terrell Stoglin: 21.2 ppg
Wake- CJ Harris: 16.8ppg

Last game: MD- lost to UVA 75-72
Wake- lost to GTech 69-62

The ACC Tournament leaves Tobacco Road and heads south for the first time in a few years, however the change of venue should not really effect who plays in the championship, and unfortunately it’s very likely not going to be either of the teams who play in this game. Both Maryland and Wake Forest need to win the ACC Tournament in order to make it to the NCAA Tournament, and they will take the first step towards trying to reach that goal Thursday. The earlier meeting between these two came down the to the wire with the Terps pulling out a six point win at home, but the neutral court makes this game a toss-up. Both teams have some bad losses, no signature wins, and at times both have looked like the worst in the conference. Despite their records, both teams have players who can fill up the score sheet and are capable of carrying their respective teams to a win. Whoever plays better between Stoglin and Harris will likely lead their team to take on UNC in the next round.

I wish I could give some hard hitting analysis on this game but the truth is I have no idea which Maryland team will show up. If it’s the Terp team that showed up in the first half against Wake in the first meeting then it will be a blowout…but if it’s not, they will likely be sent home packing. With this being such a young team, it will be interesting to see if they will play loose with nothing to lose or if they come out flat and tight. The noon start time and the likely docile atmosphere in the arena could also be a factor and lead to the Terps sleep walking their way through the first half. Focus and execution will be the key; unfortunately that has been Maryland’s Achilles heel this season.

I will leave the predicting to you guys. Flip a coin: heads for Maryland, tails for Terps. Okay, I guess I will give my prediction although a coin flip is probably a fairly accurate way to decide it. The winner of this game gets the prize of facing top seeded North Carolina on Friday thus leading to the end of their season. That being said I would like to think neither team wants to lose this game. I am going strictly on which team has the best player and that is the Terps. Terrell Stoglin will have a big game and the Terps advance.
Terps 69 Wake 65.

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