Why Maryland will beat Duke

Feb. 16, 2002, midnight | By Calvin Anderson | 18 years, 11 months ago

The Maryland Terps are on a roll and the only thing that can stop the train are the evil Blue Devils, who seem to come out on top every single time. On Sunday the Terps will play Duke for the second time this year at the infamous Cole Field house for the last time ever. The Terps will move into the Comcast Center next season. On January 17 Duke won the first meeting of the season between the teams, 99-78, but the game failed to live up to the expected hype.

This time I guarantee it will go above and beyond the hype because the Terps are much better. Last time around the Terps were unable to capitalize on the one strength that they have over the Blue Devils, which is a mean and nasty frontcourt that few teams in the nation can contend with. Led by Lonny Baxter and the versatile Chris Wilcox, the Terps big men can outman almost anyone. Duke's only inside threat is Carlos Boozer, who can out-muscle most other teams by himself, but if Baxter, Wilcox, Ryan Randle, and Tahj Holden have good games, Boozer will be in for a long night.

As with every team who plays Duke, the key to winning is stopping Jason Williams. This future NBA lottery pick, is the captain of the Duke ship. Maryland point guard Steve Blake has had unusual success against Jason Williams. Blake, like everyone else, cannot completely shut down the great baller, but he does a decent job against Williams.

Blake's counterpart, Juan Dixon, is the superstar kleptomaniac, who is the third overall leader in steals in the ACC. He must have a big game and surpass his 19.4 points-per-game average. Backup guard Drew Nicholas must step and make big three pointers in key points in the game.

But the overlying factor is Lonny Baxter. He's only averaging 59 percent from the line and if he can get it up to about 80 percent, the Terps will fare better. He also needs to keep up his 15.2 points a game and improve on his offense rebounds. If he and Randle can contain Boozer, the Terps will eliminate a serious part of the Blue Devil attack.

Cal's Call: The Terps are going to win this game. It will be very close and possibly won by a Dixon buzzer beater. Go Terps!!!

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Calvin Anderson. Calvin Anderson was born in Washington D.C. on January 3rd 1986. He now lives with his mom in Takoma Park Maryland. Calvin is the man behind the infamous column Cal's Call. In addition to writing his column he enjoys playing sports including lacrosse and basketball … More »

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