By Totals 4 U
Hello, Sports Fans! With the very busy football seasons behind us, it is time to jump back in here by looking at some match ups down the College Basketball homestretch. First up, we head to the Big 10 Conference for Ohio State @ Maryland, tipping off 4:00 EST Saturday on ESPN…
OHIO STATE (15-10, 5-7 Big 10): The Buckeyes held off Rutgers Wednesday night with a 4-point play by Kam Williams with a minute to play, taking a 70-64 win in Columbus. 7’0″ junior C Trevor Thompson added 15 points, 13 boards, and 3 blocks to earn the crew their 2nd straight victory and just barely keeping their Big Dance hopes alive.
Thad Matta’s group is pretty well-balanced with 4 players averaging double-digit scoring, led by forwards Jae’Sean Tate (14.1p, 6.1r) and Marc Loving (11.7p, 5.0r) plus a solid big man with Thompson adding 9.4 rebounds per game to his 10.8 points.
On the injury front, Ohio State may be getting their starting point guard back in position. 6’5″ sophomore PG JaQuan Jyle (11.4p, 5.0a) has been taking a secondary role while he works through an ankle injury and represents a big step up over 6’1″ CJ Jackson (5 turnovers last game), his temporary replacement.
The Buckeyes are capable of surprising a good team in the Big 10 Tourney – and they are going to have to earn the invite they missed last season.
MARYLAND (20-4, 8-3 Big 10): The Terrapin dropped their 2nd straight Tuesday night with a lackluster 64-70 loss at middling Penn State to follow a tough 72-73 home drop to Purdue. Flat all night, Maryland managed just 20 of 59 from the field and 7 of 26 behind the arc against the Lions.
Dynamic 6’3″ junior G Melo Trimble leads the way with 16.9 points per game and is deadly from the line at .831, paired with 6’0″ Anthony Cowan (10.2p, 4.0r, 3.6a) in the back court. 6’7″ forwards Jackson (11.4p and 6.3r) and Heuerter (8.9p, 5.0r) are versatile and add some 3-point firepower (81-196 combined).
Coach Mark Turgeon’s offense starts with strong defense, allowing just 66.5 points per game on .402 shooting from the field and .320 behind the arc. Truly a team-rebounding crew with 7 players averaging at least 3 boards a game while big men Dodd, Cekovsky, and Bender are all capable of delivering a pass over the top on the break.
Wins by Wisconsin and Purdue Thursday night, paired with recent Terp losses, have ended hopes for a regular season championship but this a team that could still take the Big 10 Tourney.
FREE SELECTION: College Park will be raising a banner at the XFinity Center for former Coach Lefty Driesell. Driesell was the originator of “Midnight Basketball” back in 1971, the only coach to record 100+ wins with 4 teams, and piled up 786 wins over 41 seasons (17 at Maryland).
The Terrapins topped the Buckeyes 77-71 on January 31st in Columbus and we expect them to right the ship with a home game against a team they so recently beat. Better shooting, better on the break, a better star, and know how to grind with 17 made free-throws per contest. No line on the game yet but our prediction is 76-67 Maryland.
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– TD at Totals 4 You