College Park, Md. - Comcast Center
3:30 p.m., ABC
"I think the two Florida losses were important because we didn't quit. In other words, they were two really tough losses that early in the season. You had a chance to jump out 3-0 in the league and you're 1-2. That'd be very easy to just go away because of that, but we stayed tough...I learned we'd be alright in terms of continuing to work." – Maryland head coach Gary Williams on his team's perseverance
"It's the ACC; it's not easy. Regardless of what you think, North Carolina can't make somebody turn it over fifty times in the ACC. Regardless what you think, North Carolina can't shut out somebody in the ACC. Regardless of what you think, this is a tough league; it's not just about North Carolina. It's about the other teams." – UNC head coach Roy Williams
"I can't believe I said that. I only say that on the golf course." – Roy Williams, after dropping a four-letter expletive during Wednesday night's postgame press conference
Season to Date: Maryland enters the second meeting between these two programs with a 16-9 (5-6 ACC). The Terrapins face a quick turnaround after facing North Carolina less than three weeks ago, but have two of three since that loss in Chapel Hill. Head coach Gary Williams squad defeated Georgia Tech (57-56) and Virginia Tech (83-73) before losing a laugher to Clemson (93-64) on Tuesday.
Milbourne Improving: Landon Milbourne has continued to develop into a secondary option alongside point guard Greivis Vasquez (16.0 points, 5.3 rebounds) as the ACC season has progressed. The junior has boosted his scoring average to 13.3 points per game in conference play, while also increasing his rebound totals to 6.2 per outing. The undersized forward has led Maryland in scoring in six of its past nine games, including its past two contests, dropping 23 on Virginia Tech and 13 against Clemson.
Ball Security: Maryland has been competitive in the ACC this season thanks in large part to its ability to take care of the basketball. The Terrapins are tied for second in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio with a plus-1.1 mark. Six of Maryland's top-seven scorers are in the black in assist-to-turnover ratio, as Milbourne is the only one with a negative, committing 36 turnovers against just 18 assists. During its last three homes games, the Terps have committed an average of just 9.0 turnovers per game.
Percentages Not Getting Any Better: The Terrapins rank 11th in the conference in two key areas – field goal percentage (.405) and field goal percentage defense (.455). And while not as important, but equally is telling is that Maryland holds down the cellar spot in both 3-point field goal percentage (.291) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.407).
Random Fact: Maryland is 2-0 when wearing its gold uniforms, having defeated both Miami and Virginia Tech at the Comcast Center.
Last Meeting: North Carolina drained 16 3-pointers in outrunning Maryland, 108-91, on Feb. 3 at the Smith Center. Wayne Ellington scored 34 points and pulled down a then career-high nine rebounds, while Tyler Hansbrough (24 points, six rebounds) and Ty Lawson (21 points, six assists, four steals) added to the offensive assault for the Tar Heels.
Series History: The Tar Heels lead the all-time series with Maryland, 114-55, and have won six of the last eight meetings. North Carolina is 45-34 against the Terrapins in games played in College Park, including a 2-3 record at the Comcast Center.
Projected Starters: 21 Greivis Vasquez (6-6, 190, Jr.) – 16.0 ppg, 4.4 apg 22 Adrian Bowie (6-2, 190, So.) - 9.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg 14 Sean Mosley (6-4, 210, Fr.) – 5.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg 35 Dave Neal (6-7, 263, Sr.) - 7.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg 1 Landon Milbourne (6-7, 207, Jr.) – 13.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg Key Reserves: 5 Eric Hayes (6-4, 184, Jr.) - 9.4 ppg, 3.3 apg 24 Cliff Tucker (6-6, 190, So.) - 4.5 ppg 33 Dino Gregory (6-7, 227, So.) – 2.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Bowie ... Vasquez
Mosley ... Milbourne
Neal ... Hayes
(Photos courtesy AP)