No. 10 Maryland pulled an upset in the first round by knocking off No. 7 UConn on Saturday. The Terps have taken a major step but will face a bigger challenge in the round of 32 against SEC champion and No. 2 seed Alabama. The Crimson Tide dusted of No. 15 Iona in the opener. Here’s what you need to know about each team.
Once the March Madness odds are made available for this game, we’ll add that information below. We’ll also add the game time and TV channel once it’s settled.
Game date: Monday, March 22
Game time: 8:45 p.m.
TV channel: TNT
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
March Madness Odds from Draftkings Sportsbook
Point spread: Alabama -5
Moneyline: Maryland +180, Alabama -220
No. 10 Maryland 16-11 (9-11 Big Ten): At-large
First round: Defeated No. 7 UConn 63-54
KenPom rating: 32 Overall, 43 Offense, 29 Defense
NET ranking: 34 (5-10 vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Eric Ayala (14.9 ppg)
UConn entered this year’s tournament as a dark horse capable of making a legitimate title run but was stopped cold by Maryland in the round of 64. The Terrapins pulled ahead early and held an 11-point lead at the break, and Eric Ayala’s electric’s scoring had a lot to do with their success. Ayala exploded for a game-high 23 points. Ayala tied his season-high in points and was trailed by his teammate Aaron Wiggins (14) and Donta Scott (12). The Huskies could hardly get anything to go. James Bouknight led them with 15 points, but Jalen Gaffney was the only other UConn player who reached double-digits. Maryland was underwhelming in the Big Ten but seems to have found its footing in March Madness.
No. 2 Alabama: 24-6 (16-2 SEC): At-large
First round: Defeated No. 15 Iona 68-55
KenPom rating: 7 Overall, 34 Offense, 2 Defense
NET ranking: 7 (8-4 vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Jaden Shackleford (14.2 ppg)
Alabama kicked off its 2021 NCAA Tournament against No. 15 Iona, and the Gaels put up a great fight for the first half. The Crimson Tide held a 33-32 lead at the midpoint of the contest but pulled ahead in the second half. Herb Jones led the way for Alabama with game-high 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting. He hardly stepped off the court and logged a game-high 39 minutes. Jaden Shackelford and John Petty Jr. were underwhelming and combined for 20 points on 7-of-20 shooting, but Jahvon Quinerly was an efficient 5-of-7 with 11 points off the pine in Alabama’s 68-55 win. Iona’s duo of Isaiah Ross and Asante Gist scored 35 of the Gaels’ 55 points, but the rest of the team couldn't get much going.