The Terps appear to be catching Duke at a good time considering Ryan Kelly remains sidelined with an injury and Josh Hairston had been out with an infection in his arm. Maryland was able to hang tough at Cameron Indoor Stadium until midway through the second half in a meeting between the two teams earlier this season.
Maryland didn't play this week while Duke is coming off an emotional win over rival North Carolina, which might give the Terps some type of edge. Comcast Center should be as rowdy as it usually is when the Blue Devils come to College Park.
With all that said, it's still going to come down to whether or not the Terps can execute at both ends of the court. Maryland is known for being a good defensive team but struggles on the offensive end. It seems that whenever the Terps have a good day offensively, the team breaks down defensively.
Maryland's best chance at pulling off the upset is to shut down the perimeter and force Mason Plumlee to beat Alex Len consistently on the interior. The Terps should never help on Plumlee, as Len should be able to hold his own defensively. That would allow the Terps to lock down on perimeter sharp-shooters like Seth Curry and Rasheed Sulaimon.
Sulaimon killed the Terps last time with his three-point shooting and they cannot allow him to light it up again. Curry didn't have a great game but is always a dangerous shooting threat.
Maryland is more athletic than Duke. Despite the lack of a true point guard, the Terps should push the ball up the court whenever possible to try to get some easy baskets in transition. It would also help if Mark Turgeon wasn't so quick to substitute, especially when it comes to taking his hottest players off the floor.
It's going to be a challenge, but at least Maryland knows it hung with Duke for 30 minutes earlier in the season. Expect an even closer game this time around, but like so many times this year, the Terps will probably come up a few baskets short.