North Carolina (23-9, 12-6) vs. Maryland (22-11, 8-10)
Greensboro, N.C. -- Greensboro Coliseum
Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
“We kept telling our guys we were built for March and a tournament run.” – Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon
“It’s hard, but you know what, they’re figuring it out. The thing is, take me out of it, they’re gaining confidence in each other and how they need to play to win. I’m just over there putting guys in but they’re figuring it out as a group. They have respect for each other as people and now they’re getting respect for each other as players and they’re playing that way as a team.” – Turgeon on his team’s improved play
Season to Date: Maryland enters Saturday’s contest with a 22-11 (8-10 ACC) record. The Terps lost three of their final four regular season games to fall off the NCAA Tournament bubble but are desperately trying to climb back on with Friday’s upset over No. 2 Duke. Maryland’s RPI jumped from No. 85 to No. 65 following the win over the Blue Devils.
ACC Tournament Results: The seventh-seeded Terrapins dispatched No. 10 seed Wake Forest, 75-62, on Thursday before knocking off No. 2 seed Duke, 83-74, on Friday. Maryland built a 12-point first-half lead, only to see the Blue Devils reduce that deficit to one point with 13:41 to play. Dez Wells (30 points) and a strong rebounding effort (38-28) proved too tough for Duke, however, as the Terps retook control with a 20-8 run.
Man on Fire: Wells, the sophomore wing out of Raleigh, N.C., is averaging 19.8 points on 58.7 percent shooting (5-of-12 from 3) over his last six games. His 30 points against Duke marked a career high and increased his ACC Tournament scoring average to 25.5 points on 69.6 percent shooting (16-of-23).
Balanced Scoring Emerging: While Wells earned the headlines in the first two rounds of the ACC Tournament, his supporting cast has provided plenty of help. Five Terps have scored in double figures in both postseason games.
Turnovers Remain an Issue: Maryland ranks 12th in ACC play in turnover margin by a wide margin. The Terps boast a minus-4.78 margin while 11th-place Virginia Tech carries a minus-2.11 differential. Maryland actually forced more turnovers than it committed (14-13) against Wake Forest on Thursday, but posted a minus-8 turnover margin in its victory over Duke. Turgeon’s squad committed 35 turnovers in two regular season games against UNC.
Pounding the Boards: The Terrapins lead the ACC and rank fifth nationally with a plus-9.1 rebound margin.
Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated Maryland, 79-68, on Mar. 6 at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md. P.J. Hairston led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting (2-of-7 from 3), while Reggie Bullock added a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Dez Wells paced the Terrapins with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Both teams shot better than 46 percent from the floor.
Series History: UNC leads the all-time series with Maryland, 120-57. The Tar Heels have won 12 of the last 16 meetings.
21 Pe'Shon Howard (6-3, 190, Jr.) - 3.4 ppg, 3.6 apg
5 Nick Faust (6-6, 205, So.) - 9.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg
32 Dez Wells (6-5, 215, So.) - 13.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg
10 Jake Layman (6-8, 205, Fr.) - 5.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg
25 Alex Len (7-1, 255, So.) - 11.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg
4 Seth Allen (6-1, 190, Fr.) - 7.5 ppg, 2.4 apg
2 Logan Aronhalt (6-3, 205, Sr.) - 5.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg
35 James Padgett (6-8, 235, Sr.) - 5.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg
0 Charles Mitchell (6-8, 260, Fr.) - 5.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg
44 Shaquille Cleare (6-9, 265, Fr.) - 4.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Roster & Bios
(Photos by USA Today Sports Images)