On March 8th, our Demon Deacons will take on the Maryland Terrapins in the No. 8 vs. No. 9 matchup of the ACC Tournament. This will be their first meeting since the January 11th matchup, which the Deacs lost 70-64 at Comcast. After the jump I'll provide a quick recap of that game, and what I believe our Deacs will need to do in order to pull out a victory.
Wake will certainly miss Ty Walker's presence against Maryland -- at least the Ty Walker who showed up against Maryland the last time. Ty had a near triple-double and recorded eight blocked shots. He was able to contain Padgett and Len. Carson Desrosiers will have to continue to play as well on the defensive end as he has been. He's really developed his shot blocking ability this season, so that could be a huge asset for us tomorrow.
Travis McKie will need to have another monster game. Last time he had 25 points on just 14 field goal attempts. Our entire team will have to win the turnover battle. Last time we had four more turnovers than Maryland, and that could very well have been the difference in a two possession game. Our team needs to play smart and disciplined in order to get this victory.
Chase and C.J. will need to knock down several threes, and it would be tremendous if Carson would continue to knock down perimeter jumpers. Nikkita has played well offensively lately, and if he can continue to attack the basket and utilize his post moves, that could create additional trips to the foul line. If we can get him into the bonus and earn C.J. additional trips to the line, that would be extremely beneficial.
Wake must hope that Terrell Stoglin continues to be his inefficient self. Last time it took him 18 field goal attempts to get 20 points. I welcome the opportunity for him to do that. That will play right into our hands if they can come up with empty possessions. The key will be to control the glass on all of his misses. With Pe'Shon Howard's injury, Nick Faust will have to play more minutes at the guard position, and that should lead to a decrease in true shooting percentage and effective field goal percentage.
On the podcast last night I predicted that Maryland would win 70-65, but I'm starting to talk myself into the Deacs.
What the heck?
I can't pick against Wake in this game. Here's to the ultimate hedge: Wake 70 Maryland 68. Go Deacs!