The Maryland Terrapins and Michigan State Spartans face each other for the first time this season. Michigan State won last year’s only meeting between these two teams.
Who: 9. Maryland Terrapins 20-4 (10-3 Big Ten) vs. Michigan State Spartans 17-8 (9-5 Big Ten)
When: Saturday, February 15th at 6 pm ET
Where: Breslin Center in East Lansing, MI
TV Schedule: ESPN
The Maryland Terrapins let the Nebraska Cornhuskers hang around Tuesday night and it almost cost them. Their defense needs to be stout if they’re going to leave the Breslin Center with a win over Michigan State.
The last time these two teams played one another, the Spartans won by 14 points, 69-55, behind Cassius Winston’s 14 points and seven assists. Kenny Goins put up a 14-point and 12-rebound double-double as well. The Spartans outplayed the Terps in the following categories: points in the paint (36-20), fast-break points (29-9) and points off turnovers (14-3).
The way I see it, Winston and Xavier Tillman are going to do what they do and get buckets. The Maryland Terrapins have to watch out for Rocket Watts. He scored 21 points against Illinois in their close win. His speed and quickness allow him to run the floor in the fast break and he also can create his own shot.
Look for rebounding, points in the paint and fast-break efficiency to be central themes in this game. The Terps have earned their good fortune in part due to their ability to push the ball down the floor after bringing down defensive rebounds. Whether Anthony Cowan Jr. gets the ball and takes it himself or it’s a trailing pass leading to a score, the Terps have been outstanding at that aspect of the game.
Both teams move the ball well in the half-court so I would pay attention to which team does a better job of that in addition to taking care of the basketball. The Spartans are looking to start a winning streak with a B1G win at home. A win at the Breslin Center would give the Maryland Terrapins a .500 record on the road and their eighth win in a row.