Maryland Vs. Duke: Terps Lose 80-62, Damaging NCAA Tournament Chances

A slew of missed opportunities cost the Terps as they fell to their arch rival Duke Blue Devils at home 80-62. Can they rebound and make the NCAA Tournament?

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Maryland Vs. Duke: What Does Terps' Loss Mean For NCAA Tournament Chances

The Maryland Terrapins squandered yet another chance for a marquee win, falling to No. 5 Duke for the second time this season in the worst home loss in the history of the Comcast Center. The loss dropped the Terps to 14-8 and just 4-4 in a weak ACC. So is there any realistic chance they can reach the NCAA Tournament?

The answer? Maybe, but they have a lot of work to do to make it happen.

Maryland's resume at this point is not anywhere close to being NCAA Tournament-quality, even with four additional spots open. The Terps were not in the latest edition of the SB Nation projections, and that was before this loss to Duke. The Terps' RPI is 78 right now, which is not close to where they need to be to make the tournament. The Terps are 11-0 against teams ranked below 100 in the RPI, but just 3-8 against teams in the top 100 and 0-7 against teams in the top 50. Those three wins against Top 100 teams are against College of Charleston (87) at the buzzer at home, Clemson (58) by two at home and Penn State (59) on the road. 

The easiest way to make the tournament is to keep winning, and Maryland has an opportunity to do just that. They can get to 20 regular-season wins by winning six of their last ACC games, and a couple wins in the ACC Tournament pushes them to 22. In that case, it may be hard to keep Maryland out. However, they desperately need wins against fellow ACC bubble teams if they want to make those wins count.

Here is the rest of their schedule.

 

  • 2/5 vs. Wake Forest (241)
  • 2/9 vs. Longwood (324)
  • 2/12 at Boston College (62)
  • 2/15 at Virginia Tech (41)
  • 2/20 vs. N.C. State (99)
  • 2/23 vs. Florida State (46)
  • 2/27 at North Carolina (17)
  • 3/2 at Miami (89)
  • 3/5 vs. Virginia (122)
Contrary to what it may seem, chances to get "marquee" wins do remain. A win at North Carolina would be good for the NCAA resume, as will wins against Virginia Tech, Florida State and potentially Boston College. But the Terps have backed themselves into a corner where they need those wins, and even then, it might not be enough. If the Terps win all three of those games (a tall order), they will still be at best 3-7 against the top 50.

That will mean that the Terps will also need a good performance in the ACC tournament to have a chance. Otherwise, they will suffer a similar fate to recent ACC clubs that were close to 20 wins, but didn't have the power numbers to get into the tournament.
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Maryland Vs. Duke: Blue Devils Prevail Over Terps 80-62

Well, there goes the Terps chance of earning a signature win this season. 

Maryland dropped its most anticipated regular season game of the year when they fell to the Duke Blue Devils at home, losing 80-62. 

For the Terps, this game came down to missed opportunities. There were several times during the second half when Maryland looked to seize the momentum, but every time it looked like they would make the critical shot to make it close, a big mistake was made. 

The Terps made a run in the middle of the half to cut the Duke lead to five, but that's as close as they would get in the second half. Maryland was unable to take advantage of countless amounts of three point opportunities, lay up chances, and couldn't rebound when they had to. As a result, Duke made the Terps pay for every mistake.

Duke seemed to score on nearly every wasted Maryland possession, a trend that certainly had to anger Gary Williams. It was almost as if every time there was a rebound that Maryland couldn't grab, Duke would put it back easily. It also seemed as if every time a Maryland shooter would attempt a three pointer, Duke would get the rebound (quite easily) and respond with a trifecta of their own. It was just that kind of night for the Terps.

The game's leading scorer was Kyle Singler, who scored 22 points to go along with 6 rebounds. Nolan Smith was right behind him, scoring 21 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. On the Maryland side, it was Jordan Williams scoring 20 points and netting 10 rebounds, yet another double double for the sophmore center. 

Although this loss certainly hurts for Maryland, they still have plenty of opportunity to strengthen their NCAA tournament chances. They still play in a relatively weak ACC this year and seem poised to reach double digit ACC wins. The question for Maryland is, can they do it? And, more importantly, will the selection committee be impressed with their resume without a signature win? 

Only time will tell.

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Maryland Vs. Duke: After Intense Half, Duke Pulls Away From Maryland With 40-33 Lead

After an action packed first half that is typical of this intense rivalry, the Terps go into the locker room against their arch rival Duke Blue Devils trailing 40-33.

As expected, the game got off to an intense start as both teams traded punches early. At the midway point in the first half however, things started going against Maryland. The Terps were unable to get it going using the three ball, as the team went 0-3 in the first half. Because of that, Duke went on a 23-7 run after Maryland had a 16-15 lead. The Terps then closed the half on a 10-2 run to cut the Duke lead to to just seven points.

Maryland's leading scorer is, no surprise, Jordan Williams. The sophmore put up 11 points in the half, with the rest of the contributions relatively even throughout the rest of the Terps squad.  Maryland is also doing surprisingly well at the free throw line, as they went 13 for 15 from the line, with Williams going 7 for 8.

In the second half, the Terps know they will need to play better perimeter defense, as Duke is playing the inside-out game with their shooters to get wide open three pointers. Maryland will also need to rebound better, as they have been giving up too many second chance points on the defensive side of the ball. On the offensive side of the floor, someone on Maryland needs to find their groove from the outside, as the majority of Maryland's field goals have come inside the paint. They can't simply rely on Williams to score.

Lastly, with the Terps closing the half on a strong note, they will need to keep the intensity up, keep the crowd into it, and feed off of that energy. If they can do that, then perhaps they can come back and pull off the upset.

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Duke Vs. Maryland: Jordan Williams, Terps Look For Marquee Win

The Maryland Terrapins are on a roll, having won three straight games, two of which came on the road. The No. 5 Duke Blue Devils are struggling, having lost to St. John's over the weekend by 15 points. Nevertheless, tonight's game looms large for Maryland, as they face perhaps their final chance to secure a "marquee" win.

The Terps are 14-7 and have yet to lose to a truly bad team, but they have failed in every single big test. They dropped two straight tight games to Pittsburgh and Illinois to start the season, lost to Temple and Boston College in December and blew a 12-point second half lead to lose at Villanova. Oh, and they also competed for most of the game against these Blue Devils before fading late back on January 9 in a 71-64 loss. If the Terps do not win this game, it will be very difficult for them to secure the quality wins needed to push back into the tournament picture.

The Blue Devils, on the other hand, need to rebound if they want to stay among the top seeds. As they hit ACC play, they are finally feeling the effects of the injury to superstar point guard Kyrle Irving. They still have two of the league's best players in Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, but they are not as imposing as they were a month ago.

The game begins at 9 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN. For more, visit Testudo Times.

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