The Big Ten generally doesn’t get the college basketball world to itself very often midweek, but with two ranked teams in what should be a good one tonight in the Xfinity Center, we take a longer look at the #18 Iowa Hawkeyes and the #15 Maryland Terrapins.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
Iowa-Maryland will be live on the Big Ten Network at 8:30 p.m ET. It’s also available on their streaming app with a channel subscription.
Records & Stats
Iowa: 15-5, 6-3 B1G, 20 NET
Maryland: 16-4. 6-3 B1G, 14 NET
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Spread: Maryland -6 (opened -5)
Total: 145 (opened 146)
Money line: Maryland -265
Iowa’s junior center Luka Garza is one of the best big men in America, averaging a double-double at 23.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He’s not an explosive athlete, and he’s barely getting mentioned by any NBA Draft coverage, but he can dominate a post at this level as well as anyone in the game. And in his third season he’s added the ability to shoot it as well, knocking down a three-pointer per contest this season.
He’s a big reason the Hawkeyes are Top 20 in scoring at 79.6 points per game, and lead the B1G at 78.2 in league games. But he’ll need some help this evening, and that needs to come from guards Joe Weiskamp and CJ Fredrick. Fredrick can be ruthlessly efficient, knocking down 3-balls at 47.8% on the season, often getting less attention due to the post play from Garza (who isn’t a particularly strong passer).
For the Terps, a roster full of Top 100 players for the first time in years is paying dividends. Senior point guard and local product Anthony Cowan is the engine at 15.5 points and 4.3 assists per outing, and has been in College Park so long he took classes with Scott Van Pelt. He’s a volume guy (40.3% shooter), but doesn’t turn it over a lot and gets players like sophomores Jalen Smith and Aaron Wiggins in position to score.
The Terps are near the bottom of the conference in most offensive efficiency categories, and are 294th nationally in field goal percentage, but they do it with defense by holding opponents to just 38.8% from the field. Smith is nearly a 10-rebounds a game guy, and changes shots in the paint. He’ll have his hands full with Garza tonight, but for Maryland to be successful they’ll want to limit the post touches for the Hawkeyes leading scorer.
The Pick: Iowa +6, Under 145
As of 10 a.m., the handle on this game was pretty split at DraftKings Sportsbook. 52% of the money and 47% of the bets were on Iowa, meaning a slight lean towards the Hawkeyes by the bigger money. This one should be a slog, but that favors the team with the more dynamic post scorer. We’ll take Garza to maybe not hit his averages, but enough to keep a bucket-challenged Maryland from running away. Six points is a lot in what should be a close game.
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