Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

AROUND THE LEAGUE; Krzyzewski States ACC's Postseason Case

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

AROUND THE LEAGUE; Krzyzewski States ACC's Postseason Case

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, The Times-Union

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski doesn't mind stepping on the soapbox when it comes to defending the reputation of the Atlantic Coast Conference. That's where Krzyzewski could be found Sunday after his Blue Devils buried beleaguered Maryland 86-63 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

"I think Maryland still has a great shot at the NCAAs," he said. "Like all of us, they have to win some games. When they figure out strength of schedule, I still don't see how some other teams could have a tougher strength of schedule [than Maryland]."

Maryland coach Gary Williams recognizes that his team has been tested by a tough slate, but he also knows that his young team must cash in on playing three of its final four games at home. The Terps took the first step Tuesday night, crushing Clemson 70-49 at the Comcast Center.

"We will have played 13 top-20 teams by the end of the year," Williams said. "Our whole focus is on the next week. . . . We have to take care of business. This is our chance with the way the schedule falls."

The Terps host Wake Forest on Saturday.

Krzyzewski contends the ACC should get seven NCAA Tournament berths, even if teams such as Maryland, North Carolina and Florida State finish with 6-10 league marks.

"I don't think you can win four or five games and go," Krzyzewski said. "But I think a team that wins six games in this league . . . especially look and see how they lost some of the games they lost. And if it's a one-possession thing, come on, you've got to give them credit for that kind of stuff."

The Terps, Tar Heels and Seminoles have combined to play 19 games decided by five points or less. Maryland is 3-2, FSU 4-4 and North Carolina 2-5. That's a bunch of close games, but come Selection Sunday on March 14, close won't count for anything but an NIT berth. …

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