ACC Saturday -- who gets the edge for 4th place?
Maryland (15-8, 6-6) goes into Charlottesville to face the Cavaliers (13-10, 4-8), while Miami (15-8, 6-6) is in Blacksburg getting ready to play VPI (13-10, 6-6).
Maryland, Miami and Virginia Tech are tied for fourth place in the conference and today is hugely important for all three. Maryland and Miami are in the RPI top-50, but their places in the NCAAs are far from secure. VPI probably needs to win out in order to earn NCAA consideration (they're 111th in the RPI even after upsetting Duke).
This may finally be the Terps' breakthrough game on the road--Virginia has the worst defense in the ACC (Defensive Efficiency through 2/16). Maryland will certainly be desperate for the win, and after Gary Williams's harsh criticism of his team's play against NC State, I expect them to play well.
The Miami/VPI game is anyone's guess. The Hokies have already beaten th Hurricanes in Coral Gables. One thing to watch, though:
Miami O-Reb Rate: .404 (1st ACC)
VPI O-Reb Rate: .327 (10th ACC)
I should note that my numbers haven't been updated in about two weeks, but it's unlikely these ratios have changed significantly. Neither club shoots the ball particularly well and the Canes should be able to generate more second chance opportunities. We'll see if it makes a difference.