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The Terps were supposed to leave Friday afternoon by airplane for Roanoke, then bus down to Blacksburg.

Maryland sports information director Doug Dull said that heavy winds at BWI had delayed the women's team from getting back from Boston College Friday until mid-afternoon, so he wasn't sure if the men's team would have to alter its plans later in the day.

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I flew into Roanoke on a windy fall day years ago and I have driven there ever since. I will again Saturday morning.

Here's what I expect to see at Cassell Coliseum:

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A very hungry, bordering on desperate, Virginia Tech team. Coming off two straight road defeats, most recently a 20-point loss at Boston College on Wednesday night, the Hokies need to pile up wins to counter a weak non-conference schedule. While Cassell Coliseum doesn't have the same feel as Cameron Indoor Stadium, it's still an old-style gym that can get pretty loud.

Greivis Vasquez wanting to make up for what happened there two years ago. At the end of a tight game in which Maryland seemed to get control, Vasquez and the Terps imploded in the last couple of minutes. The Hokies closed the game on a 6-0 run to win 67-66 and Vasquez took a horrendous 3 -- even by his standards -- at the end of the game when he should have looked to drive the ball inside.

The bench could be the difference. Right now, Maryland might have the deepest bench in the ACC. Gary Williams said it's probably his most experienced bench ever -- led by a trio of juniors. Cliff Tucker is still riding the high from last week's game-winner against Georgia Tech, Dino Gregory is one of the most improved players in the league and Adrian Bowie, depending on the game, can be explosive. Bowie had a pretty good game down there as a freshman playing for an injured Eric Hayes.

Speaking of Hayes, the senior guard has taken over the lead as the ACC's top 3-point shooter. Hayes has hit six of his last nine 3s, and except for an 0-for-5 game when he was sick against N.C. State, he has made 11 of his last 18. Hayes has been overshadowed by Vasquez, and even by freshman Jordan Williams, but he's been one of the team's unsung heroes throughout the year.

I will continue as your Terps tour guide in Jeff's absence once I get to Blacksburg -- can't wait for that 5-hour trek down I-81 -- but in the meantime, you can check out a couple of stories previewing the game that will appear Saturday on baltimoresun.com. One of them is on Baltimore product Malcolm Delaney, now the star of the Hokies.

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