Maryland Terrapins (15-10, 5-6 ACC) At #22 Virginia Cavaliers (19-6, 6-5 ACC)
Saturday Feb 18th John Paul Jones Arena Charlottesville, VA
Leading scorer: MD- Terrell Stoglin 21.7 ppg UVA- Mike Scott 16.9ppg
Last game: MD- def. Boston College 81-65 UVA- lost to Clem 60-48
Thursday night during the Terps 7 for 9 start from 3 point range Tim Brando who was calling the game said “ I haven’t seen the Terps shoot this well all season”, that may be the understatement of the year as I haven’t seen them shoot that well in about two years. Maryland couldn’t seem to miss against Boston College and showed that if they shoot like that they are a tough team to beat, however few Terps fans expect the same against the Cavaliers on Saturday. Despite losing two games in a row the Cavaliers are still a staunch defensive team, that, and their size should present problems for the Terps shooters. Even though they beat maybe the worst team in the conference, there is something to be said about coming into this game off a win, so the Terps should have confidence heading into Charlottesville. Will the hot shooting continue? If it does the Terps will be tough to beat.
I was a guest on a Charlottesville radio station two years ago to break down the Maryland/UVA game and I said that within three years Tony Bennett will have the Cavaliers contending for an ACC title. For the first nine ACC games I looked to be prophetic, however a two game losing streak has the Cavs needing wins to strengthen their tournament resume. Watching a UVA play offense is like watching paint dry and that has cost them in all of their losses this season. Scoring less than 50 points doesn’t win you many games and I believe they will need to score in the 60’s to have a chance in this game.
Mike Scott, is versatile enough on the offensesive side to single handedly lead Virginia to a win and the Terps will likely focus their defensive game plan towards stopping him. I do not put a ton of stock in the hot shooting of the Terps last game as most of it was due to an inferior opponent and I believe they will struggle to score points against a Tony Bennett defense. There is no reason to expect a game in the high 60’s for each team but the first team to get there will win the game. UVA’s ineptitude on offense keeps their opponents in the games and it gives the Terps a great shot at winning. Call me crazy but I think the Terps go in to Charlottesville and hand the Wahoos their third straight loss.
Terps 61 UVA 58.
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