No. 10 Maryland pulled an upset in the first round by knocking off No. 7 UConn on Saturday and will have to do so again to make the Sweet 16. No 2 Alabama is next up for the Terrapins and is fresh off a convincing win against No. 15. Here’s what you need to know about each team ahead of the matchup.
Tip-off is set for 8:45 p.m. on Monday, and the game will be broadcast on TNT.
No. 10 Maryland 16-11 (9-11 Big Ten)
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)
Key stat: Maryland only turns the ball over 11.2 times per game.
Maryland completely shut UConn down in the round of 64. The Huskies struggled to score from the jump, and things did not get better all night. UConn shot 32.3% from the field, 30.4% from three, and 41.7% from the free-throw line. But the Terrapins were extremely efficient and shot over 50% from the field and from beyond the arc. Eric Ayala matched a season-high with a game-high 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Aaron Wiggins (14) and Donte Scott (12) also shot better than 50% from the field.
Maryland was outrebounded by 11 in the first round, and Alabama is one of the best team’s in the country on the glass. UConn amassed 22 offensive rebounds. If the Crimson Tide come close to that number, the Terrapins might not have a chance.
No. 2 Alabama: 24-6 (16-2 SEC)
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 Shackelford (14.2 ppg)
Key stat: Alabama averages 40.5 rebounds per game.
The Crimson Tide held just a one-point lead at the half of their first-round game against Iona but poured it on down the stretch. Herb Jones manned the offense with a team-high 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting in 39 minutes. His performance offset lackluster showings from Jaden Shackelford and John Petty Jr., who combined for 20 points on 7-of-20 shooting. Alabama’s most important players will have to show up against a school with much more talent.
The Crimson Tide outrebounded Iona by 16 and grabbed 13 offensive boards. This game could come down to which team crashes the glass better.
March Madness Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Alabama -5
Point total: 138
Moneyline: Alabama -220, Maryland +180
Against The Spread Pick: Alabama -4.5
Point total pick: U138
Pick to Win: Alabama -220
The potential rebounding disparity between these two teams is too significant to ignore. It’s unlikely that Alabama’s top players will shoot as poorly as they did in the round of 64. If they Improve, they can capitalize on their abundance of second-chance points even more. Maryland needs to drastically improve how it competes on the glass while scoring on an elite defense. The odds are stacked against the Terps in this one.
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