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Rising Powers

In the midst of all the talk about the decline of the ACC, there is rebirth.
Maryland is moving up to another level,
and so
is UVa.
Both seem to have surpassed UNC, and both are quite young.
Both are really interesting teams because they are contrary to what each program
is sort of famous for. Maryland has traditionally been a spectacular team until
forced to play smart halfcourt ball, and that's almost always their
downfall. UVa has always been a slower, physical team, and has never been
quick like the team is this year. It's really a remarkable transformation.

It's almost shocking to say this, but Maryland is a legitimate threat in the
tournament. We usually start handicapping the tourney by ruling out teams with
certain weaknesses - poor coaching, poor talent, poor guard play, poor defense,
fragile psyche. Maryland has been good enough to get to the Sweet 16 for a
while, but not much more. This year, that might be different. This is a
fun team, and the big weakness, the half-court game, has really improved a great
deal.

Anyone looking forward to playing UVa in about 18 months? Wow. Those
kids are going to be really, really dangerous.