Terrapins Look to Play Spoiler Against Tar Heels in Chapel Hill

Maryland Terrapins at North Carolina Tarheels, Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
Sunday, February 27, 2011, 7:45 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports Net
Opening Line: North Carolina -6
Current Line: North Carolina -6 1/2
Opening Total: 147
Current Total: 148 1/2
Money Line: UNC -270 / Maryland +230

John Henson and the North Carolina Tarheels are 6 1/2 point favorites at home over ACC rival Maryland

With Duke losing at Virginia Tech last night, it opened the door for North Carolina to win the ACC regular season title. If the Tarheels win out they will be the number #1 seed in the ACC tournament in 2 weeks. However, first things first, t5e Tarheels must take care of business against a dangerous Maryland team who would love nothing better than to play spoiler. Maryland is 18-10 overall and 7-6 in the ACC , 4.5 games behind Duke for first place. The Terrapins are currently in 6th place in the conference, but a win here and they will be tied with Clemson for 5th a game behind Virginia Tech for 4th. The top 4 seeds get first round byes in the ACC tournament. North Carolina is  21-6 overall and 11-2 in the ACC, a half game behind Duke for first place. The Tarheels are ranked #19 in both polls. Maryland has wins over Charleston, Penn St, Wake Forest twice, Clemson, Virginia, Georgia Tech, NC State, and Florida St. The Terps have won 2 straight including a 78-62 upset over a short-handed Florida St team at home Wednesday night. Maryland has losses to Pitt, Illinois, Temple, Boston College twice, Duke twice, Villanova, andVirginia Tech twice. North Carolina has losses to Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Illinois, Texas, Georgia Tech and Duke . The Tarheels are 4-0 since the loss to Duke including a 75-63 win over instate rival NC State Wednesday night. The Tarheels have wins over Charleston, Kentucky, Rutgers, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson twice, Miami, NC State twice, BC twice, Florida St, and Wake Forest.

North Carolina leads the overall series against Maryland 114-75 but Maryland has won 4 of the last 5, including a 92-71 win last season at College Park. Maryland is 3-0 ATS in the last 3, and all three have gone over the total. Maryland is 13-5 ATS in road games the last 2 seasons. The Terps are 18-8 ATS in conference road games the last 3 seasons. North Carolina is 15-27 ATS in home games the last 3 seasons.

Maryland is healthy and has no significant injuries. Maryland is outscoring opponents 78-66 on the season. The Terrapins shoot 48% from the field and 34.6% from 3-point range. Maryland is holding opponents to 39.8% shooting from the field. Maryland converts 67.3% of their free throws. The Terps pull down 39.2 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +5.1. They average 17.4 assists and 13.8 turnovers a game. Maryland forces 15.8 turnovers a game on defense. The Terps average  6.9 steals and 4.5 blocks a game. Sophomore forward Jordan Williams leads the team in scoring with 17.2 points, rebounds with 11.5 a game and averages 1.1 blocks a game as well. Freshman guard Terrell Stoglin averages 10.9 points, 1.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists a game. Guard/forward Cliff Tucker averages 10 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists a game.  Adrian Bowie leads the team in assists with 3.7 a game and scores 9.1 points a game. Sean Mosley leads the team in steals with 1.2 a game. Dino Gregory leads the team in blocks with 1.5 a game, and averages 9.1 points and 6 rebounds a game.

North Carolina point guard Larry Drew II left the team a few weeks ago after losing his starting  job. Drew averaged 3.9  assists a game and 4.4 points a game.   Forward Tyler Zeller is the leading scorer for the Tarheels with 14.4 points a game. He also averages 7.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks a game. Forward Harrison Barnes averages 13.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists a game. Forward John Henson leads the team in rebounds with 9.3 a game and blocks with 3.1 a game. He also averages 11.1 points a game. Dexter Strickland leads the team in steals with 1.3 a game. Point Guard Kendall Marshall  leads the team in assists with 5.1 a game. UNC is outscoring opponents 77-67. The Tarheels are shooting 45.1% from the field and 31.7% from 3-point range. Tarheel opponents are shooting 39.7% from the field. The Tarheels struggle from the free throw line converting only 65.7% from the line. North Carolina averages 42.6 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +6.3. They lead the nation in rebounding.  They average 15.2 assists and 13.3 turnovers a game. They force  14.7 turnovers a game on defense. Carolina averages 6.5 steals and 5.4 blocks a game.

Maryland’s resume probably isn’t strong enough to earn an at large bid to the tournament. A victory over North Carolina on the road would help a lot, but it still might not be enough. North Carolina has huge games left against Florida St and Duke and must avoid looking past this Maryland team. These two have quite a rivalry so I don’t see the Tarheels coming out flat. It should be a great game.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot in 2011. Don’t miss out on any more winners as we approach March  and tournament time.

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