Friday, January 21, 2011

Virginia shoots for 1st ACC win vs. Maryland

Friday's game

#15 Maryland (14-3, 1-2 ACC) at Virginia (11-8, 0-3 ACC), 8:30 p.m.
The Cavaliers' 0-3 conference start isn't terribly surprising; their three opponents, Miami, Georgia Tech and Florida State, are a combined 49-9 this season and 11-1 in the ACC. And remember, Virginia was picked to finish 10th in the league. Size-rich Maryland poses yet another daunting challenge. The Terrapins began the week tops in the ACC and No. 3 in all of Division I in rebounding margin, which figures since their starting lineup typically features 6-2 freshman sensation Alyssa Thomas, 6-3 Tianna Hawkins, 6-3 Diandra Tchatchouang and 6-4 Lynetta Kizer. Maryland has outrebounded its opponents in 15 of its 17 games; Virginia is 1-6 when it gets outrebounded. It would help if the Cavs could find some rhythm with their halfcourt offense. It didn't look good in Sunday's 54-45 victory over Penn, so let's hope they used the practice days since well. There will be a premium each possession on creating a high-percentage shot because the way Maryland rebounds, often that one shot will be all they get. The numbers certainly favor Maryland. But we're playing a hunch that homecourt advantage, time to prepare and a sense that the Terrapins might be a bit overrated will tip things towards the Cavaliers. The game will be televised on Comcast Sportsnet (check your local listings). Virginia 67, Maryland 63

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