Are the Terps Contenders in the ACC?

        At 11-6 and coming off of a nasty collapse against Villanova in Philadelphia, is it insane to take a look at Maryland and think that they can contend with the likes of Duke in a down-trodden ACC?

        Look at their schedule. I'm really going out on a limb here. They're best win of the year is a thrashing of Penn State. Yes, that's the same Penn State team that upset Michigan State and Illinois over the past 10 days and Maryland outdid them by 23. But they also don't really have any bad losses. They lost to Pittsburgh and Illinois early on in November in the pre-season NIT and have since fallen to Temple (neutral court), Boston College, Duke (away) and Villanova (away).

        Sooner or later, the Terps will have to show that they can beat a quality opponent, but they are just a 3-pointer shooter and some improved foul-shooting away from actually contending the ACC. In their 6 losses, Maryland is a combined 64-of-114 from the foul line- 56.1 percent.

        Two things that Maryland has going for them right now heading into the depths of conference play: the nation's top-ranked defense (pace-adjusted) and Jordan Williams, the big man averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds a game.

By President Corey Ruff - 1-17-11