Maryland's men's basketball game tonight at North Carolina has been postponed until Thursday night at 7 because of the snowstorm that hit the East Coast yesterday. The game will still be televised by ESPN.
Though Coach Gary Williams said he would prefer to play tonight, the delay might benefit the 22nd-ranked Terrapins. Star forward Terence Morris is recovering from a sprained left ankle that caused him to miss Saturday's 74-62 victory over Clemson. Morris's ankle has improved this week, and one more day of rest could have him near full strength.
"I hope he is 100 percent and able to go," Williams said yesterday morning before practice. "If he can't, then we will have to adjust and go from there."
Tahj Holden, who earned ACC rookie of the week honors last week, will make his second career start if Morris can't play.
Meantime, George Mason tries to continue its hot streak tonight when it plays at Richmond for at least a share of first place in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Maryland, however, will have to wait one more night as it attempts to continue its climb in the ACC standings. The Terrapins (13-5, 2-3) have won their past two games, and Thursday will try again for their first road victory of the season, against the struggling Tar Heels.
The Terrapins had planned to fly into Raleigh-Durham (N.C.) International Airport yesterday evening after practice. But by yesterday afternoon, up to 20 inches of snow had fallen in that region and the airport was closed for the day. Maryland officials considered trying to fly into Raleigh-Durham this morning and play tonight or flying into another airport in North Carolina and busing to the Chapel Hill area, but decided otherwise.
"We can't get down there," Athletic Director Debbie Yow said. Basketball administrative assistant Troy Wainwright, who makes the team's travel plans, "has been trying to work something out all day. Basically, it would be a guess. We can't say we can definitely get a flight and definitely be there [today]. And [UNC officials] can't say they can have a bus there to get us from the airport to campus."
The Terrapins have rescheduled their flight to Raleigh-Durham for this evening after practice. After playing Thursday night, they will fly to Tallahassee, Fla., on Friday for Saturday's game at Florida State.
N.C. State's game at Clemson also was postponed from tonight until Thursday.
North Carolina's Dean E. Smith Center has been a friendly place for the Terrapins, who have won three of their past four games there. North Carolina (11-8, 2-3) has lost its past four games and a loss Thursday would give the Tar Heels their longest losing streak since 1952.
While Maryland scrambled yesterday to adjust its itinerary, George Mason (10-8, 5-2) does not expect any travel problems from the snowstorm. All along, the Patriots, who have won four of their past five games, had planned to bus to Richmond after today's morning classes.
George Mason and James Madison are tied for second place in the conference, one-half game behind Richmond (10-7, 5-1), which has won 18 consecutive conference home games.
George Mason forward George Evans sprained an ankle in practice Monday, but Coach Jim Larranaga said he expects Evans to play tonight.