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I think the Terps had looked to the North Carolina game as a chance to make a late-season statement that they have improved. But they ran into size, size and more size. Length, too. "You know, there's some NBA teams who would like to have that size up front," Gary Williams said of the Tar Heels.

Not that the Terps were blameless in the defeat. Said Williams: "Early on, I felt it wasn't one of our better starts in terms of our effort."

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Maryland needs to play its A-game when it's on the road against a team with so much frontcourt size and depth, and that didn't happen. The Terps tried to plug in different guys to neutralize the damage -- namely 20 Tar Heels offensive rebounds. Maryland tried James Padgett for 11 minutes and Berend Weijs for two. The Terps just didn't have the frontcourt bodies to match up, and it didn't help that Jordan Williams was up most of the previous night with a stomach illness. He said he slept no more than two hours. He still had a career high 19 rebounds.

The thing about offensive rebounds is that they wear a defense down -- you have to guard multiple possessions -- and limit your ability to get out and run in transition.

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Carolina played well. Guards Kendall Marshall and Dexter Strickland had 18 assists before either made a basket.

"It was a hard-fought game against a club that I really like, and I think that Gary always does a good job -- we call him wacko for a reason -- but he really is a very good friend and a big-time coach," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said.

It all leaves Maryland hoping to win its final two regular-season games and then trying to make a deep run in the ACC tournament. Would that be enough for an NCAA tournament bid? Terps fans at least would like the opportunity to find out.

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