Maryland basketball vs. North Carolina: Previewing the game

THE INFO

Who: Maryland (14-3, 2-2 ACC) vs. North Carolina (11-5, 1-2).

.When: Saturday, noon.

Where: Smith Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.

TV: ESPN.

DMV radio: 105.7 FM, 980 AM, 1300 AM.

Coaches: Terps — Mark Turgeon (Second season, 30-18). Tar Heels – Roy Williams (10th season, 266-71)


(Associated Press)

THE SCRIPT

Riding high after a buzzer-beating, court-storming win over No. 14 North Carolina State, the Terrapins will look to keep building the momentum against a North Carolina team suffering through a down year, at least by the program’s high standards. The Tar Heels most recently beat Florida State, 77-72, on the road, but also have conference losses at Virginia and at home against Miami. Maryland, meanwhile, needed a little luck and grit to take down the Wolfpack and avoid sinking to 1-3 in the ACC, getting a tip-in from Alex Len with 0.9 of a second left off a Pe’Shon Howard airball (or pass, depending on if you ask the junior point guard). This is a big opportunity for the Terrapins to secure a solid road win, building a little winning streak entering next weekend’s big matchup against Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

THE QUESTIONS     

1. No hangover? Beating North Carolina State was a massive emotional boost for a previously reeling team struggling to maintain its identity within the rigors of ACC play. Now the Terps take their show on the road, trying to avoid a letdown against a very beatable Tar Heels team.

2. Travel well? Turgeon wants Maryland to become a great road team, but the Terps weren’t exactly hot from the field in Miami. They’ll need a stronger all-around performance to have a shot in Chapel Hill.

3. Shoot better? Maryland’s field goal percentage has been dreadful in recent games, but the Terps have been carried by defense and rebounding. Still, players like Nick Faust, Pe’Shon Howard, Seth Allen, Logan Aronhalt and Dez Wells have all shot poorly from the field throughout ACC play, and will need to discover some consistency, especially if North Carolina goes zone like the Wolfpack did during its defining second-half run Wednesday.  

THE STATS

2008: The last time Maryland won in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels have won six of seven home games and 10 of 14 overall vs. the Terps.

2: Maryland’s rank nationally in rebounds per game, with 43.2.

1,000: Williams’s winning percentage against Turgeon, his former assistant coach at Kansas, in three games. 

THE TERPS TUNE OF TODAY

Helicopter” by Bloc Party.

THE POLL

Head over to our Maryland basketball forum to vote in the poll.

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.

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Alex Prewitt · January 17, 2013