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Rebound games

This isn't such a hard question given today's story, but what do the following Maryland games have in common?

--Lost 108-91 to North Carolina on 2/3/09

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--Lost 81-72 to Wake Forest on 1/15/03

--Lost 75-63 to North Carolina on 1/27/00

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--Lost 80-70 to Duke on 1/9/00

--Lost 98-84 at Georgia Tech on 1/3/96 and won 88-74 on 2/3/03.

--Lost 94-80 to Massachusetts on 12/19/93

Answer: Each of these double-digit Terps losses was followed by a Maryland win against the same team in the same season. The Massachusetts revenge game came in the NCAA tournament.

I wrote about "rebound" games, of course, because the Terps are about to play the ultimate one against Duke.

I think Gary Williams' teams are good rebound teams. Beating a team after losing badly is all about changing the dynamic.

The biggest difference from the last game, of course, is that this game is at Comcast Center. But there are others. I think the Terps will be better prepared for Duke's overplaying defense. The players have talked since that game about how they were so flummoxed by the pressure defense -- and by the Cameron Indoor Stadium atmosphere -- that they barely executed their offense.

This time, it will be Duke, not Maryland, being pressured in front of a raucous crowd. Defense -- more than shooting -- can really feed off a crowd's energy.

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It sure will help Maryland if Cliff Tucker can get hot like he did against North Carolina. Tucker is a wild card. The ACC is obviously aware of him now, but he hasn't been a fixture in Maryland's offense long enough for opposing teams to get a reliable feel for him and scout what he might do.

More on the way ...


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