Only 2 games scheduled for the Big Ten in a slower night of action including 14th ranked Maryland hosting a Rutgers team that has all the confidence in the world after upsetting an injured Badger team. In the other conference matchup the Illini look to bounce back after their last game as they play against in state rival Northwestern.
Game of the Night
The Scarlet Knights are coming off their program's biggest win in school history, a 67-62 victory over the 5th ranked Wisconsin Badgers. The win was the first over a top 5 team in program history. Led by Myles Mack (13.8 ppg), who was able to rally the troops together in the second half and come back from a 12 point halftime deficit. Myles scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half, and add in Kadeem Jack scoring 20 points and you could have had a court full of students after the buzzer if it wasn't for the security restraints.
Maryland was able to get back in the win column, after being upset by Illinois, with a 69-60 victory in West Lafayette against Purdue. The Terrapins continued to show a great display of defense holding the Boilermakers' two 7 footers to a combined 12 points and only 13 rebounds.
As for this match up, Rutgers is going to have to continue to shoot at a high percentage to pull off another upset on a top 15 ranked team, such as the Terps, which is something not many teams have been able to do this season. Maryland's defense has forced teams to shoot a terrible 36.9 percent on the year from the field, ranking 17th in the nation. Rutgers however was able to knock down 16 of their 24 three pointers on Sunday during that upset.
Maryland's secret is no secret at all, they are going to play great solid team defense that will force you to take bad shots and they won't give you many second chance opportunities, as they rank 11th in rebounding.
How do they win?
Rutgers is going to have to use all the momentum and confidence from Sunday's win over the Badgers and bring it to Maryland. Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack are going to have to look to score and score often. If the Terps are able to bring that same energy and shoot in the 40+ percent range they will have a shot to continue the school's greatest basketball moment.
Maryland has to get back to the basics, they were able to win on Saturday despite having a lousy day shooting (37 Percent.) The Terrapins know that Rutgers is coming in off a huge win, to combat with that they are going to have to force them into tough shoots and not let them get wide open threes like they did on Sunday. Also look for freshman Melo Trimble to bounce back after a rough last game.
This will be the first game between Rutgers and Maryland as a part of the Big Ten.
In state rival matchup in Evanston Illinois, and two teams that have started off conference play struggling, but both have an opportunity to pick up a win. Illinois was led by backcourt star Rayvonte Rice (17.2 ppg), who suffered a broken hand earlier last week in the win over Maryland. The injury to Rice has given the opportunity to Malcolm Hill (13.9 ppg) to step up and that he has, scoring 28 in the game Rice was injured. Northwestern continues their struggles after beating Rutgers in their conference opener, they have lost back to back games against some of the Big Ten's finest in Wisconsin and Michigan State. Tre Demps (12.4 ppg) looks to have a big game to get the Wildcats back to .500 in conference.