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ACC Tournament 2013: Why Maryland Shouldn't Be Overlooked vs. North Carolina

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 15:  Nick Faust #5 Seth Allen #4 and Alex Len #25 of the Maryland Terrapins celebrate with teammates on their way to defeating the Duke Blue Devils 83 to 74 during the quarterfinals of the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 15, 2013 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Pete SchauerCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2013

Following yet another impressive victory over ACC heavyweight Duke, the Maryland Terrapins find themselves in the semifinals of the ACC tournament on Saturday.

The Terps handed the Blue Devils an 83-74 loss on Friday, holding Duke to a mere 4-of-25 shooting performance from three-point territory.

The win over rival Duke marked the second of the season for Maryland, as it shocked Duke with a two-point upset back on Feb. 16 in College Park, M.D.

On Saturday, the Terrapins will get a North Carolina team that has already beaten them twice this season, but still, Maryland shouldn't be counted out.

One of the most difficult things to do in college basketball is to beat a team three times in a season, and with the Terps coming off a big win over Duke and the Tar Heels having been demolished by the Blue Devils just a week ago, Maryland has more than a decent shot of beating UNC.

Dez Wells, who averages just 13 points per game, couldn't be stopped against Duke on Friday night, shooting 9-of-13 from the field and finishing with 30 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Wells seems to elevate his play against his ACC rivals, as he's had some of his best games of the season against Duke and the Tar Heels.

In his first meeting with UNC, the sophomore dropped 21 points and added five rebounds. In the second meeting, he netted 18 points and grabbed six boards.

With losses of 10 and 11 points against North Carolina this season, look for Maryland to come out and get physical with UNC.

James Michael McAdoo isn't playing at 100 percent, as ESPN reports the sophomore forward is playing with a bulging disk in his back.

Meanwhile, P.J. Hairston's status for Saturday's matchup with the Terps is questionable after he received eight stitches in his left hand in a win against Florida State on Friday, according to Luke DeCock of the Charlotte Observer.

While UNC is undoubtedly the favorite to advance in the ACC tournament, the Tar Heels could be on upset alert.

Dez Wells has Maryland playing outstanding basketball in the conference tournament and North Carolina could possibly see two of its three top scorers playing at less than 100 percent.

I like UNC to take this game at home, but don't be surprised to see Maryland advance to the ACC tournament finals on Saturday.

 

Be sure to download a printable NCAA bracket and watch Selection Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.


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