After starting the Big Ten season 1-6, Maryland has found some footing since that start and has been 5-6 in their last 11 games. That 11-game stretch saw a 1-point loss at Purdue, a 2-point loss to Michigan State and a win over Ohio State. So Maryland in March is not the same Maryland from January. Perhaps it took a bit to get adjusted after Mark Turgeon left the program and Danny Manning took over.
KenPom Rank: 82
The question now becomes, can the Gophers head to College Park and come away with a win over this middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Do not foul - Quietly the Gophers have done a pretty good job of not sending teams to the free throw line. They are currently 20th in the country in this defensive category. Maryland, on the other hand, has been pretty good at getting to the line. They are 2nd in the Big Ten in free throw rate. So the idea here is to not foul and give them too many opportunities at free points from the line.
Make threes - A very common key throughout the season. Maryland, like us, is not particularly strong at defending the three and we are still pretty good at making them. This would seem like a good opportunity from a statistical profile viewpoint.
Let’s win the paint for once - Maryland really doesn’t have a dominant interior. Qudus Wahab is a big body, but he doesn’t put up numbers to really concern you. Donta Scott can score, but he isn’t quite the interior beast that we’ve seen in other Big Ten games. Can the Gophers actually have a game where we win the points in the paint? Where Eric Curry has another big game and the offense flows from inside to out?
The numbers don’t really like the Gophers tomorrow night and I haven’t really seen enough lately to warrant thinking that they’ll pull off this upset win on the road.
I do feel like the Gophers have been playing more like they were in December with balanced scoring and good ball movement. This game is certainly there to snag a win. They cannot afford lengthy stretches of not scoring.
I’m going with a good game, not a ton of defense and a Terps win.
Minnesota - 71
Maryland - 75