Who: #6 Maryland Terrapins (22-5, 10-4 Big Ten)
When: Sunday, February 21st, at 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS)
Where: Xfinity Center -- College Park, Mary.
Spread: Vegas: TBA | KenPom: L, 66-74 (22% WP)
This game is important, but it's not a must-win for Michigan:
Michigan still is on the bubble. If the season ended today, CBS Sports and Crashing the Dance would hand an at-large bid to Michigan, but neither would give U-M a bye. Both have U-M in the First Four as the fourth-to-last team in. ESPN believes Michigan has some more cushion, slotting U-M as the eighth-to-last team in. The Wolverines still need two more regular-season wins to feel safe entering the Big Ten Tournament. Their best chance to get a win will be when they host Northwestern next Wednesday, but, other than that, it's slim pickings with road games at Maryland and Wisconsin and a home finale against Iowa. Michigan may end up kicking itself for its putrid performance in Columbus earlier this week, though not as much as the ESPN executives that thought that showing fans the officials' behinds for two hours straight was an innovative idea.
Sunday's game at Maryland is not a must-win. KenPom projects that this will be Michigan's worst chance to pick up a win in its remaining four regular-season games, and Michigan will have two have other opportunities to pull off upsets to acquire that much-needed second win. However, there can be much to gain from a win this weekend. Michigan could sweep Maryland, become just the second team to hand the Terrapins a home Big Ten loss, earn its fourth RPI top-25 win, and get that win in conjunction with a win over Northwestern that would punch its ticket to the NCAA Tournament in March.
And I think Michigan will run into a pissed off buzzsaw this afternoon:
Michigan just had four full days of rest, which could give the team a big boost and fresh legs and lead to a better shooting effort from behind the three-point line. However, that won't be enough as Maryland makes a concerted effort to score inside and takes out its rage on Michigan in a venue where almost every Big Ten team has been vanquished.Michigan just had four full days of rest, which could give the team a big boost and fresh legs and lead to a better shooting effort from behind the three-point line. However, that won't be enough as Maryland makes a concerted effort to score inside and takes out its rage on Michigan in a venue where almost every Big Ten team has been vanquished.
Maryland 82, Michigan 69
But the Wolverines upset Maryland once before. No reason they can't do it twice.
Join us below in the comments as Michigan tries to earn a key signature win.