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Analyzing Maryland's 79-72 win over Duke

Here are some notes and opinions on Maryland's 79-72 win over Duke on Wednesday night:

The difference in the second half was Maryland's versatility in being able to score inside (Jordan Williams had nine of his 15 points in the second half) and outside (Adrian Bowie had all nine of his points in the second half), while Duke kept trying to win on 3-point shooting. It helped the Blue Devils climb back from an early 14-point deficit to take the lead, but once they stopped hitting those shots, that helped Maryland take control. Duke's three top scorers combined to shoot 19-for-52, while Maryland's top three went 18-for-29. Add Bowie's 4-for-4 and you get the picture.

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At one point in the second half, Gary Williams had Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes on the bench and a lineup that included Bowie, Sean Mosley, Cliff Tucker, Jordan Williams and Landon Milbourne. Except for Milbourne, a senior, that's four-fifths of what could be Maryland's starting lineup next season given Gary Williams' long-standing loyalty to seniors. While the Terps will obviously miss Vasquez and Hayes, Bowie and Tucker give Maryland a much more athletic backcourt that will be able to press more to Gary Williams' liking. Look for that lineup -- and the four-guard set including Vasquez, Hayes, Bowie, and Mosley along with Jordan Williams, going into the ACC and NCAA tournaments.

I think this win will boost the Terps to a No. 4 seed if they don't fall flat Saturday against Virginia, and possibly higher if they wind up beating Duke again to win the ACC tournament. Before beating Duke, Maryland was at best a No. 6 seed, or maybe even a 7. The higher they get, the better their chances of reaching the Sweet 16 or even the Elite 8 since it means they won't have to play a No. 1 until the second weekend. Right now, the only No. 1 seed that looks almost unbeatable against Maryland is Syracuse, though I'm not sure who the Terps have to match up with John Wall if they face Kentucky.

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Some interesting comments from the Duke locker room after the game.

Jon Scheyer was asked about how much the crowd was a factor. "At this point I didn't hear anything, to be honest. They've done the same thing for four years and we've gotten wins." But Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said that Maryland "fed off" the crowd and almost "knocked out" his team in the early stages. Krzyzewski gave Maryland credit and said his team played well, too. I certainly don't think the Blue Devils looked like the No. 4 team in the country -- or have for awhile -- but they didn't play badly.

Here's a question to think about heading into the ACC tournament. Do you think the Maryland-Duke rivalry is back because of this one win?

I think it's going to take another win -- say for the ACC tournament championship in Greensboro a week from Sunday -- to put it back into the conversation among college basketball fans.

I'll be looking at what this win means going into Saturday's game in Charlottesville in Friday's newspaper.--Don Markus

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