For Gary Williams and his Maryland Terrapins, tonight's road game at North Carolina is easily the biggest game of the season.
And while you could argue that every game from this point forward is a big game for the Terps, tonight they have a chance to do something they have yet to do all season: defeat a ranked opponent. What's more important is that it may be their final chance to do so before they submit their tournament resume to the selection committee.
The Terps come into this game having won their last two games, ACC victories against N.C. State and Florida State. They currently sit at 7-6 in the conference, and will likely need to either win out the rest of the way or have a great showing in the ACC tournament if they want to earn an NCAA tournament bid.
The good news for the Terps is that they may have found some offense from players other than Jordan Williams. Freshman guard Terrel Stoglin has started to emerge as the secondary scorer, as he has scored 25, 25 and 17 points in his last three games respectively, and is beginning to fill the point guard role that the Terps desperately need.
Although seniors Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie have struggled this year, their fellow classmate Dino Gregory has also begun to step his game up lately. In his last five games, Gregory has had double digit point totals, including a career high 18 against N.C. State to go along with 10 rebounds.
The Terps will be going against a Tarheel team that is currently ranked 19th in the nation, and a club that has one nine of its last ten games, with the lone loss being a road defeat to Duke.
Gary Williams knows that tonight is the last big chance for the Terps to get that signature win they desperately need, and he may have recent history on his side. Despite UNC's success over the last few years, the Terps have won four out of their last five games against Roy Williams' club.