Round 2: Still not a rivalry between Maryland and Duke?

Nik Caner-Medley poured in 25 points in the Terrapin men's basketball team's 75-66 win over then unbeaten Duke Jan. 26. The Terps look for their first season sweep of Duke since 1994-95 tomorrow night.

Nik Caner-Medley poured in 25 points in the Terrapin men's basketball team's 75-66 win over then unbeaten Duke Jan. 26. The Terps look for their first season sweep of Duke since 1994-95 tomorrow night.

By Ryan Young The Diamondback

College Park, MD (U-WIRE) -- Whenever the Terrapin men's basketball team visits the cramped confines of Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium, the crowd comes together in chant to assert they do not consider the Terps to be their rivals.

Regardless, no team - including natural rival North Carolina - has given the vaunted Blue Devils more trouble the past five and a half seasons than the Terps, who served then-No. 2 Duke its first loss two and half weeks ago at Cameron. The teams meet again tomorrow night at Comcast Center.

"They can do whatever they want down there. I don't care," Terp coach Gary Williams said of the "not our rivals" chant delivered each year by the Cameron Crazies. "I just look at [North] Carolina, and I think they're 1-9 the last 10 games now against Duke. For a rivalry to exist, both teams have to be competitive with each other. For the last, say, five years, [we've] been competitive. The Carolina-Duke rivalry is forever. That goes back before the ACC was founded, so you can't compare the Maryland rivalry with the Carolina rivalry in terms of longevity. But there's been a good rivalry the last five years."

Since 2000 Williams has led the Terps to six wins over the Blue Devils - no other team has more than three against them in that span - including in the past two meetings. Last March, the team edged Duke for the ACC tournament championship.

"We've been involved in a lot of great games with them over the years. Hopefully there'll be another one on Saturday," Williams said.

The Terps (14-7, 5-5 ACC) rediscovered their swagger Tuesday in downing Virginia Tech, ending a two-game losing skid with a convincing conference win.

The difference against the Hokies was how the Terps opened the game - leading 42-30 at halftime. In each of their previous two losses, the team failed to score 30 points in the first half. Consistent effort continues to be determinant of the squad's success.

"All we got to do is play hard. I don't know why we fight that sometimes," junior guard Chris McCray said. "We just got to keep playing hard. If this is the team we want to be, that's what we got to continue to do."

Since suffering its only home defeat of the season Jan. 26 against the Terps, Duke (18-2, 8-2) has slid to No. 8 in the national rankings. The Blue Devils are tied for first in the conference with North Carolina after defeating the Tar Heels on Wednesday night. The Terps have a chance to emerge from a four-way tie for fourth place in the conference standings with another upset.

"If we beat them twice this year, then so be it," junior point guard John Gilchrist said. "We're just going to prepare for them and do what we did last time. They're going to make a few adjustments, but there's really no adjusting in their game plan. They have a style of play that works."

One difference between this meeting and the last is the Terps will likely be without sophomore Ekene Ibekwe, who has a cracked rib. Williams listed the center as day-to-day, but Ibekwe, who missed the past two games due to the injury, indicated Tuesday he didn't expect to play against the Blue Devils.

Ibekwe played a significant role in the victory last month, scoring six of the team's final 11 points. The Terps overcame an eight-point deficit early in the second half. Nik Caner-Medley scored a game-high 25 points.

"I'm going to try to remember everything we did that game. That worked pretty well," Williams said with a laugh Tuesday. "We played with a great deal of emotion down there, and we have to have the same thing here."

As for his program's unique success against Duke in recent years, Williams said he is always motivated by coaching against the Blue Devils' Mike Krzyzewski - the only ACC coach with a longer tenure.

"I don't think there's much argument; he's probably been the best college coach. So I've always felt anytime you go against the best, it brings out the best in your game," Williams said. "I certainly respect him. And I think he respects what we do."

(C) 2004 The Diamondback via U-WIRE

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