The Maryland Terrapins come into Madison to face off against the Badgers in a key midseason Big Ten conference matchup.
The Maryland Terrapins come into Madison to face the Wisconsin Badgers with both teams somewhat of a mystery at this point in the season. The Terrapins had very high expectations to start the year and have certainly met them at times, with dominating performances over Marquette, Indiana, and Ohio State. They have often looked very lost on the court at times, missing many lightly contested layups and missing wide-open looks.
The Badgers on the other hand had far lower expectations to start the year, their third season in a row starting unranked after six straight seasons starting in the AP poll. Wisconsin has also had an interesting season with a mix of impressive wins (Marquette, Ohio State, and Tennessee) and puzzling losses (Richmond and NC State).
Neither team has found much consistency this year, which basically applies to the Big Ten conference as a whole. The one constant from the conference this year has been in-conference upsets, and high national praise. Both Maryland and Wisconsin need a win in this one to steady their ships and gain a footing in conference play.
Maryland comes into this one having just lost an ugly one to Iowa in Iowa City. The loss was made even worse after having played one of their best games of the season at home against Ohio State, a game which Maryland completely dominated despite not scoring a field goal for at least the first four minutes. The Iowa loss was quite ugly, with the Terps turning it over 18 times and only shooting 18.2% (4/22) from three .
Wisconsin is coming off of an impressive road upset over then 20th ranked Penn State, knocking them out of the top-25 in the most recent AP Poll. Prior to that though, the Badgers suffered a home loss to Illinois, one of the few home losses in the Big Ten conference this year (we’ll get to that). Against Penn State, Wisconsin was led by reserve big man Micah Potter who put up 24 points and 13 rebounds off the bench. Potter is currently averaging 9.5 ppg and the Badgers needed someone to step up big on the road.
Both teams need a win here in this matchup of teams who traditionally finish in the top half of the Big Ten. In such a talented conference, every game counts and is important for seeing in the conference and NCAA tournaments. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the key storylines in this big time Big Ten showdown.