Monday, March 12, 2007

Wildcats to face Maryland in NCAAs

In last night's NCAA tournament selection show, Davidson was given a thirteen seed and a first-round date with Maryland in Buffalo, NY. Here are some notes on the upcoming game:

-All Maryland starters are 6-5 or taller with Ekene Ibekwe clocking in at 6-9. Davidson might have trouble with the tall athletic attack of a Maryland team that averages 79 points a game.

-In Davidson's last matchup against Maryland in the 2005 NIT, current PF James Gist scored a team-high fifteen points to lead the Maryland comeback. The Wildcats had jumped out to an early 16 point lead, but the Terrapins tied the game at halftime and went on to win by 15 points.

-The last time that Maryland was upset in the NCAA tournament first round was in 1997 when they lost to then-TAAC champion College of Charleston. The Cougars lost to eventual champion Arizona in the next round. They would join the SoCon two years later.

-Although Davidson won two games in the NIT in 2005, they have not won an NCAA tournament game since 1969. That year, Davidson won 27 games and advanced to the Regional final where they fell to UNC on a last-second shot by Charlie Scott. Less than a day after that defeat, Davidson coach Lefty Driesell left for Maryland where he would become one of the most prolific coaches in Terrapin history.

This season, the Wildcats broke that 1969 team's record for most wins in a season. It only seems fitting that they would break their NCAA tournament slide against Maryland.

-The scouting report on Maryland shows that they struggle against teams that slow the pace and play a lot of zone. Davidson has played an up-tempo game all season and has rarely used a zone as part of their defensive gameplan. If the Wildcats do change any of their gameplan, Coach Williams will have no tape to prepare for it.

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