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Matchup: Maryland/Duke

There's nothing on the ACC schedule today (I guess we'll have to reluctantly settle for watching Illinois/Wisconsin), but there is one game of interest on Wednesday.

Maryland @ Duke

The Terps are coming fresh off an unimpressive showing at home against NC State, while the Blue Devils recently dispatched Florida State by like a million. Some season stats comparisons:

UMD AdjFG%: 50.3% (7th ACC)
Duke AdjFG%: 55.9% (2nd ACC)

UMD Offensive Efficiency: 105.1 (6th ACC)
Duke Offensive Efficiency: 114.2 (3rd ACC)

UMD Defensive Efficiency: 89.6 (5th ACC)
Duke Defensive Efficiency: 86.4 (2nd ACC)

UMD 3PA/FGA: .262 (11th ACC)
Duke 3PA/FGA: .372 (2nd ACC)

[Efficiency numbers from Ken Pomeroy's site]

The Terps--thanks mostly to the second half--salvaged a nightmare performance against NC State and made it at least respectable. Their offensive efficiency in Sunday's game was a bit below their average (it was around 102), but not significantly so. In general, Maryland simply isn't all that efficient on the offensive end, partly because they like to play up-tempo (although this wasn't a factor against NC State) and partly because they don't shoot the ball very well.

They'll need to shoot the ball better (obviously), but they'll also need to hang onto the ball. The Terps had 19 turnovers in 68 possessions against NC State, and for a team that's pretty good at avoiding turnovers (particularly for their tempo), that was unacceptable. Because they derive a small percentage of their offense from three-pointers and make shots at a mediocre rate, they need extra attempts. They didn't get them against NC State--not even close.

Duke will beat Maryland, but I think the margin is more likely to be around 6-8 points as opposed to, say, 15+.

Duke 83, Maryland 76