ACC Tournament 2011: Maryland Needs Some Wins, but NC State Won't Quit Quite Yet
The ACC Tournament will begin their evening action with the No. 7 seed Maryland Terrapins (18-13, 7-9 ACC) taking on the No. 10 seed North Carolina State Wolfpack (15-15, 5-11 ACC). Both teams may be playing for pride, but there is still a lot on the line, even if neither looks likely to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Maryland had a chance a couple weeks back, coming off of a big victory against Florida State. They then went on to lose their final three regular season games, including at least two where they would have been the favorites. The Terps are led by Jordan Williams, who is a machine inside. He can score and rebound, and he may be the single reason why this team is even NIT eligible. He is that much of a difference maker.
In fact, in his ACC Tournament preview, Andy Katz of ESPN said that he wouldn't be surprised in Williams "has one, if not two, double-doubles."
North Carolina State is playing for a few things, but an NCAA Tournament berth is not likely to be one of them. The Wolfpack are still hoping to at least reach the NIT, but need one more win to be eligible. More importantly, perhaps, the team is playing for their coach, Sidney Lowe. I'm not sure if anything can save Lowe's job at this point, but his kids will not quit playing for him.
In the end, the Terrapins will come out on top, but it will be a closer game than some may think.
And speaking of job security, check out Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Ben Gibson as he takes a look at the ACC Baskatball Tournament 2011: How Secure is Maryland's Gary Williams?
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