Preview: Virginia Tech at Maryland
Maryland hoped to make a final impression in its last season in the ACC, but the Terrapins are heading toward the Big Ten with a whimper given their play down the stretch. The Terrapins host Virginia Tech on Tuesday having lost five of their seven games since posting an 80-60 victory at Virginia Tech on Feb. 1, including Sunday’s 77-73 double-overtime defeat at Clemson that dropped Maryland into a tie for eighth with North Carolina State in the ACC standings. Virginia Tech already has locked up last place in the conference, and has lost four in a row and 16 of its past 18 contests.
The Hokies have been competitive recently. Other than an 18-point loss at Duke, Virginia Tech has lost its past four games by a combined 20 points, a stretch that included games at ranked Pittsburgh, against No. 5 Virginia and a No. 14 North Carolina team that has won 11 in a row. The Terrapins, who joined the ACC in 1953, wrap up conference play with home games against the Hokies and regular-season champion Virginia.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ACC Network, ESPN3
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (9-19, 2-14 ACC): Sophomore Adam Smith, the Hokies’ second-leading scorer at 11 points, has missed the past 11 games with a left calf injury. Jarell Eddie has shouldered the scoring load, averaging 13.4 points while taking 22.9 percent of Virginia Tech’s field-goal attempts. Talented freshman Ben Emelogu (10.8 points) has been sidelined the past three games with a left ankle injury.
ABOUT MARYLAND (15-14, 7-9 ACC): Sophomore Seth Allen has been hot lately for the Terrapins, scoring 42 points on 8-for-17 shooting from 3-point range in his past two games and averaging 17.7 in his past six contests. But his success in finding the basket has not been contagious as Maryland is shooting 31.9 percent from the field as a team in its past two games. Sophomore Jake Layman, third on the team in scoring at 11.6 points, finished with just three against Clemson.
1. The Terrapins took control of the first meeting, using a 14-2 run early in the second half to turn a five-point advantage into a 17-point cushion.
2. The Hokies have committed 58 turnovers in their past five games.
3. Maryland is 7-2 in ACC play when scoring 70 or more points.
PREDICTION: Maryland 74, Virginia Tech 61