Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ACC Big Ten (no) Challenge

Maryland's game against Illinois tonight is maybe as important as a game can be in November. Sure Gary Williams has a young team and I believe as he does that they will be better in January than they are now, but the Terps don't have many more opportunities for notable out of conference victories after tonight. Maryland lost to both UCLA and Missouri already and after Illinois the schedule is devoid of possible wins that will be useful if the Terps are on the bubble in March. There seem to be solid mid-major games against Hampton, Morgan State, Holy Cross and Lehigh but the remaining marquee games against Charlotte and VCU are looking less and less valuable as both those teams have stumbled in the early going. The game against Charlotte is a road contest so it will have some meaning in regards to RPI but if Maryland blows this chance against Illinois it may require 9 wins or more in the ACC for them to get a bid in the NCAA tournament.

Illinois forward Brian Randle is still feeling the effects of a leg bruise that involved some minor nerve injury he suffered in Maui but it seems he will be ready to play tonight. Maryland will need to cut down on its turnovers and hit some jump shots to grind out a win tonight. Expect a low scoring and ugly game in the 60's.

No comments: