With Thursday's major matchup between the Maryland Terrapins and the Ohio State Buckeyes, it seemed like a good time to bring BTPowerhouse's writers together and get their thoughts heading into the game. It's certainly a huge game for both sides and could shape the Big Ten title and NCAA Tournament chances.
Check out the discussion below.
1. What Are Your General Thoughts On This Matchup and What Does It Mean Going Forward?
Bryan Steedman: For Maryland that depends on the Iowa game. The Terrapins had a soft schedule to start the season so losing to Michigan and Michigan State doesn't fare well if Maryland still wants a top seed, but they can start to right the ship with a win against Iowa. As for the Ohio State game, losing won't kill their season but it'd make a top seed and a Big Ten regular season title a difficult feat. That being said, it's a really big game for the Buckeyes though. Ohio State is still alive for a NCAA Tournament bid, but they have eight losses, including a few bad ones, so they really need to add a few high quality victories to their resume. Beating Maryland would be a great start, especially since the Buckeyes failed to add wins in games against Indiana, Maryland and Purdue this month.
Jerome Scherwin Jr.: 100-65. Man was that first matchup bad. Everything that could've gone wrong for Ohio State, did go wrong; as they were completely manhandled. I'm not sure this rematch will be much of a rematch at all. This is one of those games that Maryland should win, needs to win and probably will win (no matter what happens in the Iowa game). The Terps can't afford any "bad" losses at this point in the season and failing to clinch a victory at Ohio State would be just that.
The Buckeyes have been spunky, and Thad Matta's recent decision to have JaQuan Lyle come off the bench as a spark plug for the second unit has worked well, but they are just too much of a roller coaster. They have one win over a KenPom Top-75 team (Kentucky) and four double digit losses to the likes of Purdue, Maryland, Indiana and UConn. Of course, Ohio State could keep their residency on the NCAA bubble by adding one more marquee win to the Kentucky upset earlier in the year.
Marco Knudsen: If this doesn't scream revenge game, I don't know what does. Ohio State was absolutely embarrassed the first bout with Maryland this season, and will look to rectify an abysmal 100-65 affair. This game is really compelling for both programs. For Ohio State, the quest for high profile wins continues as they will finish the season with a brutal schedule. For Maryland, I feel that this could be a sneaky game after the Iowa game.
Andrew Holmes: Um...so how about that first game. Ohio State has the talent to compete with a lot of teams, but no one collapses like the Buckeyes. Their win over Kentucky isn't nearly as impressive as it once was, so a win against Maryland would be a huge boost to a tournament resume that is nowhere near NCAA quality at this point. Maryland could use a solid road win, but I'm not sure a win at Value City Arena really is all that impressive right now. The Terps can't lose this one if they want to be considered a Top-10 team in the country.
2. What's The Matchup To Watch When Maryland and Ohio State Tip-Off?
Bryan Steedman: The Ohio State defense and if they can slow down the Terrapins. Maryland was hot the last time these two teams met, shooting 62.7% from the field and better than 52% from deep. Rasheed Suliamon and Robert Carter combined to hit 19 of their 23 field goals and scored 47 points. If the Buckeyes can't find a way to slow down Maryland's offense there's zero chance they'll be able to land an upset this weekend.
Jerome Scherwin Jr.: I wish I could just copy and paste Bryan's words as my own. It's like Ohio State either blows a team out or gets blown out themselves. If they have any hope of getting into the tournament, they need a few more upset wins and there's no better time than now. The young Buckeyes are going to have to play way, way, wayyyyyy up on Sunday and it all starts with slowing down the Terps, refusing to let them stretch you out and making sure they continuously have hand in the faces of Suliamon, Layman, Trimble and Carter.
Marco Knudsen: I'm anxious to see how Ohio State plays defensively, as they were shredded by Robert Carter Jr. and Rasheed Sulaimon the first game. I'm specifically looking forward to seeing point guard JaQuan Lyle against Melo Trimble. He has the length and athleticism to bother Trimble if he locks in and could be the tone setter for the young Buckeyes defensively.
Andrew Holmes: Ohio State versus themselves. The Buckeyes can't do anything to beat themselves if they want to have a shot at this one. Maryland can flat out dominate teams if they don't come ready to compete, as everyone who watched the first game knows.
3. Who Wins On Sunday Afternoon?
Bryan Steedman: Maryland. Ohio State has the talent, the game is in Columbus and Maryland has shown that they are beatable, but the inconsistency for the Buckeyes makes it hard to see them knocking off Maryland. They could, sure, but the team's production is all over the place so it's hard to see Maryland losing here.
Jerome Scherwin Jr.: Maryland. Ohio State isn't there yet. I hope they can keep this thing a contest (something they were unable to do in the first game). But at the end of the day, I think there will be too much Robert Carter. Too much Melo Trimble. Too much Rasheed Suliamon. Too much Diamond Stone. Too much Jake Layman. Too much offense to stop.
Marco Knudsen: I'll say Maryland as well. The Buckeyes have a tremendous team of shot blockers, but going against a balanced offensive attack can certainly negate that. The experience and depth trumps the youth and inconsistency of Ohio State. Maryland 71, Ohio State 65.
Andrew Holmes: Maryland wins, but I think Ohio State keeps it close until the last five minutes or so before losing by single-digits.