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UNC at Maryland

Where: Comcast Center, College Park, MD
When: Sunday, February 7th, 2:00 PM
TV: Fox Sports Net
Livestats: SCACC Hoops
Records: UNC 13-9, 2-4 ACC; Maryland 15-6, 5-2 ACC

Your pre-Super Bowl basketball appetizer is set, as the Heels visit the Comcast Center to take on the surprising Maryland Terrapins. The Metro D.C. area will attempt to dig out of over two feet of snow, while UNC will try to dig out of a two-game slide.

College Park is a tough place to bust a slump, as Carolina has lost three straight to the Terps on the road, and three of its last four to Maryland overall. Maryland's star guard, Greivis Vasquez, is finally in his senior year after seemingly being recruited by Bob Wade. Vasquez is one of the ACC's most enigmatic players, looking like a world-beater at times (often against UNC) and like a lemon at other times.

People have been shoveling dirt on Gary Williams and his Maryland program for a few years now, but the Great Perspirer has his team a half-game out of first place in the ACC at the half-way point of the season. As the other guy in this league with a NCAA title (as he likes to remind folks), he has worked magic this season and you can bet he will have the Terrapins ready to play the Heels.

UNC, meanwhile, showed signs of life in a road loss at Virginia Tech in which the Heels actually out-shot and out-rebounded the Hokies, but missed key shots, committed back-breaking turnovers, and left too many points at the foul line. Still, the engine did seem like it was turning over and maybe it can actually catch and run Sunday afternoon. That may be harder to do with Will Graves at less than 100%, since his status for the game is questionable after an ankle sprain on Thursday night.

Thankfully the team did get the chance to practice on Saturday but with all the snow, I hope they have not been simply lying around the hotel tweeting for two days. We can also hope the blizzard-like conditions will subdue the home crowd, although a couple of the guys tweeted that Maryland fans were crank-calling the hotel in the wee hours of Saturday night and Sunday morning.

We all saw what happened the last time after progress was made, followed by a Sunday snow-bound game. I'm still not sold on Maryland as a title contender, but they seem to have UNC's number of late and the Heels don't have a lot of success at the Comcast Center. Nevertheless, I will try the THF reverse psychology tack that worked so well for the NC State game and pick against the Heels. Can't hurt, right?

Maryland 81, UNC 72