Posted: 3:44 a.m. Friday, March 15, 2013
During the post-season, we don’t do game previews the same way because the matchups happen so quickly and in the conference, we already know a lot about the opponent anyway. And with Maryland, there are always secondary issues, which we’d like to focus on.
First: Duke, and in particular Mason Plumlee, likely were upset after the game in College Park. We don’t expect they’re going to be, shall we say, casual about this one. That’s not to say they’re sure to win; just that they’ll come in prepared to play hard.
Second: although Al Featherston, writing here, says that he saw no sign of anger towards the Terrapins from the ACC, the TV crew commented on it repeatedly and WRAL provided some anecdotal evidence, including one Maryland fan who said he might search for another ACC team to pull for (rub it in! Make it Duke!)
We’ll be curious to see how the crowd breaks down. Normally everyone just pulls against Duke and UNC no matter who they’re playing. In this case? We’re not so sure.
Third: an easy win would be a major plus as it’d give Seth Curry time to rest his leg. Three games in three days could be brutal this spring.
Fourth: although the Maryland score made it look like an easy win for the Terps, in fact it was not. Maryland pulled away in the last five minutes thanks largely to Wake Forest’s ineptitude.
They’re obviously capable of beating Duke since they did so a few weeks ago. Can they pull away? That could be trickier. Our guess is that this’ll be an unusually intense game, even by the brutal standards and extraordinary importance Maryland applies to a Duke game.