Tied at halftime, the Terrapins (23-12) used a 21-2 run to take a 56-38 lead before coasting to the finish. Second-seed Maryland next hosts the winner of the Ohio-Denver game, held late Tuesday.
North Carolina and its four-guard lineup have a chance at another Atlantic Coast Conference championship — thanks in part to a Maryland guard whose last-gasp shot fell way short.
The Terrapins had won three of their last four games, including a victory over then-No. 2 Duke on Saturday. Logan Aronhalt scored 26 points, making seven 3-pointers — both season highs — but no other Maryland player scored more than nine.
Freshman guard Seth Allen overcame eight turnovers to finish with 16 points, including the winning free throws with two seconds remaining, and Maryland upset No. 2 Duke 83-81 on Saturday.
Maryland spread the wealth, with six players — Logan Aronhalt, Alex Len, Jake Layman, James Padgett, Seth Allen and Dez Wells — scoring in double figures. Aronhalt led the way with 13 points, while Padgett poured in 12 on 6-for-6 shooting in his second start of ACC play.
The stream of early season cupcakes didn't leave Maryland soft and weak Saturday when the Terrapins faced Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener. Although opponents hadn't offered much resistance as Mark Turgeon's squad reeled off 12 consecutive wins, regular practice sessions made his team hard, strong and hungry to devour a real foe.
Pe'Shon Howard might spend as much time in the Comcast Center media room as anyone on Maryland's roster. Even on days when the point guard doesn't duck in, though, he has a pretty good idea what sort of questions coach Mark Turgeon is fielding from scribes.
Mark Turgeon wanted the breakthrough to come this week. Actually, he probably wanted it a month earlier, but at this stage the sooner the better would suffice.
Mark Turgeon's thoughts drifted to Shaquille Cleare specifically and his team's depth in general as he navigated his way home from Verizon Center after Sunday's defeat of George Mason.