Maryland Terrapins face tough road in ACC Tournament

If the Maryland Terrapins are going to make a stirring run toward an unlikely NCAA Tournament berth, they'll have to go through an arch-rival to get to the Big Dance.

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Maryland and Duke could be headed for a quarterinal matchup in this week's ACC Tournament. (Photo: Associated Press)

As it stands, the Terps are the 7-seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, which starts Mar. 10 in Greensboro, N.C. Maryland's 7-9 conference record has them on the outside looking-in for nearly every projected NCAA Tournament bracket, including ones by ESPN and CBS Sports.

The consensus, clearly, is that the Terps will have to make a run through the conference tournament and capture the ACC's automatic bid to earn a spot in the 68-team field.

Maryland opens the ACC Tournament on Thursday with a 1st round matchup with the N.C. State Wolfpack, whom they defeated 87-80 Feb. 20 in their only duel of the season. The Terps have stumbled since that win, capturing victories in only one of their last four games.

And, to make matters more difficult, if the Terrapins escape the Wolfpack with a win, they face a quarterfinal matchup with the Duke Blue Devils.

It's an uphill battle, but Terrapins freshman guard Pe'Shon Howard says people might be surprised by their performance this week:

“A lot of people are counting us out right now, but I really think we’re going to do well in the tournament," Howard said.

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