Round II of the Big Ten Tournament has #12 Maryland against #5 Wisconsin

The Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team cruised to victory last night in the first round of the Big-Ten Tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With less than 20 hours to rest, the Terps are back at it this afternoon as they face the #5 seed Wisconsin Badgers. Ther Terps are looking to be the upset darling in this tournament and disrupt the brackets before the NCAA Tournament begins next week.

This season the Terps went up against Wisconsin in Madison and were three shots from victory as they dropped that one by a final score of 74-70. For five of the six teams on Maryland’s side of the bracket, the Terps lost by an average of four points to each with the exception of a 14-point loss to then No. 1 ranked Purdue in the only meeting of the season between the two teams. Again, Maryland has to look at last night at what they can be before they brought in the bench to finish that game as the Terps were up by over 20-points over Rutgers and won by 14-points.

Jahmir Young leads Maryland with 20.5 points per game, third best in the Big Ten and 22nd nationally, followed by Julian Reese (13.8 points, 9.6 rebounds). Donta Scott rounds out the top scorers with 11.4 points per game.

Maryland’s freshman class of Harris-Smith, Jamie Kaiser, Jr., and Jahnathan Lamothe ranked as the No. 15 best recruiting class in the country during the offseason. They were later joined in the spring by the addition of 7-foot center Braden Pierce who played at IMG Academy last year. Harris-Smith, widely regarded as one of the top-10 freshmen in the country this year, collected a number of individual honors after a standout year at Paul VI High School – Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year, Naismith High School All-American, WCAC Player of the Year, and All-MET Player of the Year.

Harris-Smith, Kaiser, and Lamothe make up one of the best DMV trios to sign with Maryland since 2002 when Travis Garrison, John Gilchrist, and Chris McCray joined the Terps. It’s the most DMV players to sign with Maryland in 15 years. As a group, they represent the highest ranked class for Maryland since 2018 when the Terps ranked 7th overall.

“Just staying focused right now on [the next opponent]. It’s a new team every year, and right now, just getting them focused … That’s the only thing you can really do right now.”

— head coach Kevin Willard said

Last year, the Terps won 22 games and reached the NCAA Tournament Second Round before falling to No. 1 Alabama. The Terps were ranked as high as No. 6 in the NET and as high as No. 13 in the AP Top 25 Poll last season. Maryland went 8-0 to open last season before winning 8-of-10 in the heart of the Big Ten schedule. Home court was huge for Maryland as the Terps posted a 16-1 record at XFINITY including 10-0 in Big Ten games last season.

The Big-Ten announced their western expansion and added USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington for the 2024 season, as well as a new multi-billion-dollar media rights deal with Fox, CBS, NBC, and Peacock that will guarantee each school at least $50 million annually. The expansion to 18-schools makes this the most powerful basketball conference in the NCAA. That will add a lot of nationwide exposure as the Big-Ten expands east coast to west coast.

This is the 105th season of Terps basketball and expectations have been high in year two of the Kevin Willard era. The Terps are looking for a big win in this game.

Maryland’s record: 15-13, 7-10 Big-Ten

Northwestern’s record: 19-8, 10-6 Big-Ten

DraftKings Sportsbook: Maryland +4, O/U 131.5

Tip-off: Thursday, March 14, 2024, 2:30 pm ET

Arena: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

TV: vis BTN Brandon Gaudin (pxp), Stephen Bardo (analyst), Rick Pizzo (sideline)

Streaming TV: BTN

Radio: Audacy Radio App / SiriusXM 136; 105.7 FM (Balt.) / 980 AM (D.C.) — Johnny Holliday (play-by-play), (pxp), Chris Knoche (analyst), Walt Williams (analyst), Tom Marchitto (engineer)

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