Sunday features a Big Ten matchup of top-25 teams when the No. 9 Michigan Wolverines (25-4, 14-4 in the Big Ten) travel to the Xfinity Center to take on the No. 17 Maryland Terrapins (21-8, 12-6 in the Big Ten). This is the second time these two have faced, with Michigan winning the first time around, 65-52, at Michigan. With the venue shifting to Maryland, the Terrapins are hoping to exact some revenge. In the first matchup, Charles Matthews led the way for the Wolverines with 14 points and 6 rebounds. In the loss, Maryland’s Aaron Wiggins had 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Tipoff for the game on Sunday is scheduled for 3:45 pm ET.
Coming into this one, Michigan has shown some vulnerability having lost 2 of their last 5 contests. The most notable was a 77-70 loss to No. 6 Michigan State last Sunday. Trying to cling to hope for a Big Ten regular season title, this is a must-win for the Wolverines, especially knowing that they have a rematch with the Spartans next weekend. For Maryland, they have also lost 2 of their last 5 contests. In addition to the loss to Michigan two weeks ago, they also lost to unranked Penn State in their last outing, 78-61. Bouncing back won’t be easy against the Wolverines, but they will look to do so on their home floor.
In this contest, the Michigan Wolverines come in as 1.5-point favorites despite playing on the road. The over/under for this game is set at 129.5 points.
By The Numbers
Defensively, Michigan remains one of the best teams in the country. They currently rank 3rd in scoring defense, allowing just 58.2 points per game to opponents. Maryland isn’t too bad either, though. They currently rank 34th, allowing 65 points per game. Both teams are especially tough on opposing shooters. Michigan ranks 20th in the nation in opponent’s field goal percentage with opponents shooting just 40% against them. Maryland ranks 13th, with opponents shooting 39.2%.
As good as they are on defense, neither of them is especially dominant on the offensive side. Maryland comes in at 198th in the country in scoring, averaging 72.1 points per game. For Michigan, they come in at 235th, averaging 70.7 points per game. Needless to say, this may be a pretty low scoring game, which reflects why the over/under for points is set at just 129.5.
Michigan Trying To Find Their Groove As Tourney Approaches
With Michigan and Michigan State tied at 14-4 in the conference and Purdue at 14-3, the last couple games could do a lot to determine who wins the regular season conference title. Especially with another matchup with Michigan State on the schedule, every conference game is paramount for the Wolverines.
Leading the way this year for Michigan has been Ignas Brazdeikis. On the season, he is averaging 14.6 points per game on 46% shooting and 39.8% shooting from behind the arc. He is also chipping in 5.3 rebounds per game.
Aside from Brazdeikis, Michigan has two other players averaging double-digits in Jordan Poole and Charles Matthews. Poole is averaging 12.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1 steals. For Matthews, he is averaging 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.1 steals. Rounding out the top five scorers is Jon Teske (9.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks) and Zavier Simpson (9.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.4 steals).
Terrapins Looking For The Upset
With tournament seeding approaching, the Maryland Terrapins know that a victory over Michigan can help boost their positioning. It also doesn’t hurt that they would like to get some redemption after being beaten by 13 in their first contest.
Leading the way for the Terrapins is guard Anthony Cowan Jr. He is averaging 15.9 points per game on 40.6% shooting. He is also averaging 3.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.
The two other major contributors are Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith. For Fernando, he is averaging 14.2 points on 64.7% shooting. In fact, he is averaging a double-double as he is also averaging 10.5 rebounds per game. In addition to that, he is dishing out 2 assists and blocking 1.8 shots per game. For Smith, he is averaging 11.2 points on 48.2% shooting in addition to 6.6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1.1 blocks per game.
Low Scoring Game Gets Wolverines The Season Sweep
Maryland is pretty solid at home as they are 14-2 on the season, but I still am not sure they have enough to fend off the Wolverines. I definitely think this will be a closer game than the 13 points drumming they took at Michigan, but I still think that the combination of Brazdeikis, Poole, Matthews, and Teske will be too much for Maryland to handle, on both sides of the floor. It will be a close one and probably a low scoring one, but I still like Michigan despite laying the 1.5 points.