Analysts Elmore, Baker: Terps can bedevil Duke

Strengths are familiarity with Devils, deep bench

Ncaa Tournament

The Final Four

March 31, 2001

How two basketball analysts see Maryland vs. Duke:

Len Elmore, ESPN analyst and All-America center at Maryland in 1974:

Duke generates respect and fear. But in this one, the Blue Devils won't be able to gain currency from their reputation in the form of the opposition's curiosity and intimidation. Maryland knows this team inside out and vice versa. Duke must find a way to slow the Terps' Lonny Baxter, who has been a man among boys in the paint. Always susceptible to an inside presence, the Blue Devils will add to the perimeter pressure to prevent post-entry passes rather than double-up inside. Of course, if Duke shoots its customary (of late) 35 to 40 deep three-point field-goal attempts and makes just 40 percent, Maryland will have a tough ride home.

The Terps must find a way to get the ball out of Jason Williams' hands. Williams is a one-man wrecker on both ends of the floor. Maryland has to pressure selectively and make Williams work. The Terps need that inside game badly as well. Finally, Maryland has a deep bench. The Terps must use it and force Duke players with less experience into veteran situations.

The pick: Maryland

Paul Baker, WBAL Radio basketball analyst:

Maryland has Duke's number, and both teams know it. Shane Battier and Jason Williams play a "do whatever you want" style, yet the Final Four is all about accountability. Their three-game stats vs. the Terps are less than brilliant (Battier is 12-for-38 from the three-point arc; Williams has 15 assists to 14 turnovers). Mike Krzyzewski is worried about shots not falling. Duke has solved its depth problem but not its style dilemma.

Standing in Duke's path are the Terrapins foot soldiers, back from the dead, 10 deep and seeking redemption. Maryland will take away the three-pointers by pushing out on the perimeter with man and zone pressure. The Terps will then meet the driving Devils hard in the paint, where Maryland rules. Duke needs great games from both its superstars. Maryland only needs to play well collectively.

The pick: The Terps are on an emotional high and should roll over the Dukies, 92-79.

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