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UVa hosts Maryland: Preview and Game Thread

What: Virginia Cavaliers (11-8, 2-3 ACC) vs. Maryland Terrapins (12-7, 2-3 ACC)

Time: 7:00 p.m.
Date: Thursday, January 27, 2011
Place: John Paul Jones Arena
TV: Comcast Sportsnet
Radio: Virginia Sports Radio Network

Spread: Vegas: Virginia +4; Pomeroy: Virginia +6
Last Meeting: March 6, 2010: Virginia 68, No. 23 Maryland 74
Last Time Out: Maryland 79, Clemson 77
Series: Maryland 105-68

The Terps won both meetings last season between the two teams, but throw that out the window, because this is a big game for both teams. I believe whoever wins this game gets to stay on the bubble, while the loser will likely just be deemed on the outside looking in. For Maryland, already a bubble team, they need to continue convincing the country that they are a legit tournament contender, a status they lost after a 74-57 rout by Virginia Tech last week.

For Virginia, this team is right on the edge. The Cavaliers keep knocking, and eventually, the wins will start answering and doors will be opening. Virginia stopped a 3-game skid this past weekend with a 72-64 victory over Georgia Tech, shooting 10-15 from the three in the process. It was the third time this season that the Hoos shot over 60% from long distance.

Maryland's Probable Starters

Adrian Bowie Sr. 9.3 ppg 3.1 rpg 3.7 apg
Dino Gregory Sr. 7.8 ppg 5.5 rpg 1.6 bpg
Jordan Williams So.
17.6 ppg
12.1 rpg 1.2 bpg
Haukur Palsson Fr.
2.3 ppg 2.2 rpg 0.7 apg
Terrell Stoglin Fr. 9.5 ppg 1.1 rpg 2.6 apg

This starting lineup is based off the lineup last weekend against Clemson, in which Haukur Palsson got his first starting nod of his career. It was head coach Gary Williams' fifth different starting lineup of the season.

Sophomore forward Jordan Williams set a school record with his 13th consecutive double-double this past weekend, surpassing Len Elmore's mark of 12 sent in 1974.

This is a good matchup for both teams. I think the key to this game will be for 7-0 Assane Sene to keep playing the solid defense he has been over the past several games, and using his massive wingspan to prevent Williams from collecting another double-double.

Obviously, the standard Mustapha Farrakhan Key to the Game applies - please be ON tonight, Mu!

I am ready for Virginia's 10-game ACC winstreak to kick up right about now. Now, Hoos ready for some turtle soup?