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I have a theory about Maryland's season.

Most teams play better at home than elsewhere, but it seemed the home-road differential was particularly pronounced for the Terps.

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Assuming Maryland doesn't dance, road games will have been the culprit.

Maryland won but two ACC road games -- by a point against Georgia Tech, and by 11 at N.C. State. Neither of those opponents is headed to the NCAA tournament.

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The Terps dropped games on the road by 41 (Duke), 29 (Clemson) and 18 (North Carolina). Saturday's road loss to Virginia was the most damaging of all, coming at a critical juncture and against a team that had lost four games in a row.

Maryland, since it's not as big or high-scoring as many teams, wins on defense. Defense, which is about will, is fueled by passion and intensity -- commodities that can be obtained far more easily when there is a loud home crowd urging you on. Maryland feeds on its fans' enthusiasm.

Fans often focus on offense -- on triple-doubles and who was the high scorer. But you know what impressed me more than anything this season? It was Maryland holding Wake Forest to 63 points in a two-point loss at Comcast Center.

This was a Wake team that scored 96, 93, 92 and 91 points in other ACC games. Sixty-three was its lowest ACC total of the season.

If it beats N.C. State, Maryland will play Wake Forest again on Friday night. Too bad for the Terps that they can't move the tournament up to Comcast Center.

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