Maryland vs. North Carolina preview: Terps fight for NCAA life in ACC tournament semifinal

Streeter Lecka

As the bubble shrinks, so does Maryland's margin of error. It's somewhere around zero for Saturday's game.

The Maryland Terrapins, the No. 7 seed in the ACC tournament, worked their way closer to the NCAA tournament Friday with an 83-74 win over the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils, and they can get one step closer to an NCAA tournament berth with a win Saturday over the No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels.

SB Nation bracketologist Chris Dobbertean described Maryland's situation as such:

Even though the Terrapins have two wins over Duke, there are still holes to be filled on their profile. A win over the Tar Heels is vital, but the automatic bid may still be a necessity.

The Tar Heels won both meetings between the two this season. The first was a 62-52 win at North Carolina on Jan. 19, then North Carolina went on the road to beat the Terrapins, 79-68, on March 6.

P.J. Hairston's status for North Carolina is uncertain after suffering a cut that required eight stitches to the webbing of his hand in the Tar Heels' win over Florida State in the quarterfinals, according to Luke DeCock of the Charlotte Observer. He had 21 points in the game for North Carolina.

Maryland and North Carolina tip off Saturday at approximately 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and the ACC Network.

More in College Basketball:

Your Bracketology update

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Full coverage of the Big Ten tournament

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