College Basketball Analysis
Is a letdown in the cards for the Blue Devils? They haven’t been overly dominant on the road this year and coming off a close win over rivals North Carolina, this Game looks a little harder than it normally would. Duke has had trouble on the road against some iffy teams this year, including a one-point win at Boston College and a five-point win over Wake Forest.
Maryland has been struggling lately, but they are a better team than the ones mentioned above. The Terrapins lost a troubling Game the last time they were at College Park, never even having a lead in their loss to Virginia. Duke is usually the team you most want to beat at home though and Maryland will be ready for them.
The last time these teams played, it was a 20-point beat down for the Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke pretty much had their way with things, hitting 11-of-22 shots from the behind the arc. Surprisingly, Rasheed Sulaimon led the Game with 25 points which was a season-high for him. He’s averaging 10 points in the last Four Games since that explosion. Also in that Game, Duke went a miserable 7-for-17 from the free throw line. No one on Maryland did much in that Game except for Dez Wells who had 13 points and eight rebounds. Alex Len had a solid Game with eight points and 10 boards, but more will be needed from him if the Terps want to win this time around. The absence of Ryan Kelly will need to be exploited by Len’s 7’1″ size.
Maryland has a balanced squad that goes 10 deep. Pe’Shon Howard averages only 3.3 PPG, but he’s as quick as they come and leads the team with 4.2 assists per Game. Others of note include Charles Mitchell who had 13 and seven in the last meeting. As a substitute, he capitalized on Duke’s lake of size. The Terps can come at Duke with a deep roster, but that didn’t really play into the first match as the Blue Devils starters dominated.
Mason Plumlee continues his dominance in college basketball averaging a double-double per Game. His rebounding has always been automatic, but his offensive skillset has vastly improved this season. Seth Curry and Quinn Cook didn’t have exceptionally good Games in the last matchup which is a bit worrisome for the Terps. Cook had nine assists, but neither of them could get their shot going. If their shots start to fall, watch out.
Maryland already has a win over NC State at home this year, but if they were to beat Duke here, it would be very difficult for the NCAA to leave them out of the Tourney. That’s as long as they don’t screw up the rest of the season. The Blue Devils will be favorites, but as we’ve seen all season long in college basketball, anything can happen on the road.
Prediction – Duke 74 Maryland 60