|NCAA Hoops: Maryland at Duke|
|Written by TheSpread|
|Wednesday, 28 February 2007 07:00|
College Basketball: Maryland at Duke - Duke Favored
55% of Bets Placed on Maryland +5.5 | Matchup | CBB Picks
Maryland (22-7, 8-6) has won five straight after starting 3-6 in conference play to move back into the AP poll this week for the first time since early December.
Oddsmakers have made Duke -5.5 point spread favorites (College Basketball Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at
139 total points (View College Basketball Sports Books).
The 24th-ranked Terrapins began their run with a 72-60 home win over the Blue Devils on Feb. 11. It was Duke's fourth straight defeat - its longest losing streak in 11 years - and dropped the team out of the Top 25 for the first time since 1996.
That's the last time the Blue Devils lost, having since won four straight to climb to No. 14 in the latest AP poll.
Duke (22-7, 8-6) won both meetings with the Terrapins last season, but enter this matchup looking to avoid being swept in the regular-season series for the second time in three years.
"It's really exciting," Maryland forward James Gist said. "Now we just have to prepare for that and if we can finish out the season with a sweep of them it will be really good."
Maryland gained more momentum for this contest by beating then-No. 5 North Carolina 89-87 on Sunday in its most recent game.
Guard D.J. Strawberry scored a career-high 27 points on 12-for-18 shooting for the Terrapins, who shot 64.3 percent in the second half and rallied from a 12-point deficit with just over seven minutes to play.
"We could have given up. We're not going to give up," Strawberry said. "We're going to keep fighting. I wanted to win so bad."
Strawberry, who averages a team-leading 15.1 points, was named ACC player of the week for the second week in a row as he averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in two games. He had just 10 points, though, in the first meeting with Duke.
Maryland, which has won three straight road games after losing its first four in ACC play, has shot 50 percent from the field during its five-game win streak while making 22-of-53 (41.5 percent) from 3-point range.
"We're doing great," said guard Greivis Vasquez, who had 18 points to lead Maryland in the earlier matchup with Duke. "A lot of people were criticizing at the start and we're 22-7. We just have to keep working hard."
Duke has worked hard to get on track since the loss to Maryland. The Blue Devils won three straight ACC games by a combined 22 points before stepping out of conference Sunday for a 67-50 victory at St. John's.
Greg Paulus scored 19 points as Duke played well despite shooting 43.5 percent - its lowest mark during the four-game win streak. The Blue Devils defense was strong, holding the Red Storm to 34.0 percent from the field.
"We are obviously pleased about the win," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We had played three really emotional games in our conference when we were 5-6 and won all three, two of them away. With the young team we have, I was worried about letting up. We didn't. We were very prepared to play."
Freshman Jon Scheyer, who scored 11 points Sunday, was named the ACC rookie of the week. He had 18 points and six rebounds in a win at Clemson on Thursday. He has averaged 12.4 points in 29 games this season.
Sophomore forward Josh McRoberts had 20 points and eight rebounds against Maryland earlier this month but has slumped recently, averaging 8.3 points and 5.3 boards over the last three games.
by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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