Wake Forest (13-17) vs. Maryland (20-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Greensboro Coliseum (23,500) -- Greensboro, North Carolina. Television: ESPN U, ACC Network. Home Record: WF 11-5, Maryland 16-3. Away Record: WF 1-10, Maryland 3-7. Neutral Record: WF 1-2, Maryland 1-1. Conference Record: WF 6-12, Maryland 8-10. Series Record: Maryland leads, 68-56.
GAME NOTES: The 10th-seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the seventh-seeded Maryland Terrapins meet up in the first round of the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on Thursday night, with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals to play second-seeded Duke.
Wake Forest has done little to impress this season, finishing the ACC campaign at just 6-12 and sitting with a 13-17 overall mark. The Demon Deacons claimed a 90-79 home triumph in their regular-season finale on Sunday, but they have not fared well away from Winston-Salem this season, combining to go just 2-12 in away and neutral-court games.
Maryland is coming into this event trending in the wrong direction. After its 61-58 overtime loss at Virginia on Sunday, it has lost two straight games and four of its last six. The Terps are still in the midst of a strong season at 20-11 overall, but they'll more than likely need a very strong showing in this tournament to work their way into NCAA Tournament consideration.
Maryland has won six straight games over Wake Forest and 11 of the last 13 matchups overall to take a 68-56 lead in the all-time series.
The Demon Deacons managed to outlast Virginia Tech in Sunday's shootout by connecting on nearly 60 percent of their field goal attempts while outscoring the Hokies at the foul line, 23-17. C.J. Harris tied a career-high with 29 points, doing so on a flawless night from 3-point range (6-of-6). Devin Thomas tallied 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists, Arnaud Adala Moto netted 16 points, while Codi Miller-McIntyre chipped in 10 points from off the bench. It was the best offensive performance of the season for Wake Forest, which scores a modest 67.7 ppg on 43.4 percent from the field on the season while allowing 70.1 ppg to opponents. Harris is one of the ACC's best guards with 15.3 ppg, while Travis McKie (13.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Thomas (8.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.6 bpg) have both been stellar in the frontcourt.
The Terps led their latest game from virtually the opening tip, building their advantage to as many 17 points along the way, but they slowly saw that lead dissipate down the stretch until Virginia tied the game with a jumper with five seconds left in regulation before claiming the triumph in the extra session. Nick Faust put up 15 points in the losing effort, Dez Wells notched a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Alex Len had 10 points and a pair of blocks. Typically, Maryland has a pretty strong disparity between its offensive and defensive numbers, outshooting its opponents from the field, 46.4 percent to 37.9 percent, while sporting a +7.1 scoring margin. Wells averages 12.2 ppg on 52.1 percent from the floor, while Len (11.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.0 bpg) is one of the best true centers in the nation. The balanced squad has seven others who tally at least 4.3 ppg.
Maryland has been a better than Wake Forest all season, proving so with its two wins over the Deacs by a combined 36 points. With the Terps' needing every win they can get at this point, they should play with purpose in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Maryland 74, Wake Forest 62
03/14 10:51:45 ET