Michigan (19-8, 9-5) at #6 Maryland (22-5, 10-4)
When: Sunday, February 21st 2016
Where: Xfinity Center, College Park, MD
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: CBS
The Michigan Wolverines and Maryland Terrapins will both look to rebound from bad losses as they face each other in a key Big Ten battle on Sunday. Michigan’s two-game winning streak was snapped on Tuesday in a loss at Ohio State 76-66. The Wolverines Tournament hopes still look pretty good however and a win today in Maryland might solidify it. Leading scorer Caris LeVert, who has missed 12 of the last 13 games with a lower leg injury, could be shut down for the rest of the season. That means the rest of the squad needs to step up. Mark Donnal led the Wolverines with 17 points and seven rebounds while Zak Irvin added 15 points in the loss to Ohio State to become the 50th player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points. Derrick Walton Jr. was just 1-of-7 from 3-point range but shot 4-of-7 from inside the arc en route to 13 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists against the Buckeyes. Duncan Robinson had another quiet outing as he was limited to just three points on 1-of-6 shooting and has been held to seven combined points in his last two games. Michigan is ranked 9th in the nation in three-point field goals made per game (10.1).
Maryland is coming of back-to-back losses including a horrible 68-63 defeat against lowly Minnesota which left them one-game behind Iowa and Indiana entering Saturday’s action. The Terrapins suffered their first home loss of the season in the previous game when Wisconsin got them 70-57. Maryland has four games to make up ground on the Hawkeyes and Hoosiers and will be at Indiana to close the season. Rasheed Sulaimon poured in a career-high 28 points, but Melo Trimble and Robert Carter Jr. shot a combined 6-of-23 from the floor in the loss at Minnesota. Trimble is just 6-of-37 from the floor in his last three Big Ten games. Freshman center Diamond Stone will return to the lineup after serving a team-imposed one-game suspension for his flagrant foul on Vitto Brown in the Wisconsin loss. Stone is averaging 12.8 points and 5.4 rebounds a game and leads the team with a 56.9% field goal percentage. The Terrapins are very comfortable in the Xfinity Center where they’ve won 27 of their last 28 games. Right now, ESPN has Maryland projected as a two-seed in the NCAA Tournament, but that could change if they don’t turn things around soon.
Having Stone back on the court is big for Maryland inside. Michigan knows a win today will probably get them into the Tournament. I expect them to make a lot of threes and keep this one close.
Pick: Michigan +9