Indiana fans after playing Maryland: “Archie’s not the guy.”
Ohio State fans after playing Maryland: “We’re not contending for a Big Ten title.”
Iowa fans after playing Maryland: TBD
Only Game of the Night
- Time/TV: 7:00 PM EST, FS1
- KenPom Spread: Maryland (-1)
These are two teams on opposite trajectories. Maryland has won two straight home games, crushing the hopes of two classic Big Ten fanbases. Iowa has lost two straight road games, giving hope to two programs that have zero Big Ten titles between them. Now Maryland, yet another program that’s never won this league, has to go on the road to Iowa City.
Like a lot of Big Ten teams this year, Maryland has been great at home (10-0) and terrible on the road (0-2). So the question tonight is which phenomenon plays out—momentum, or reversion to the mean?
This will be a stingy Maryland defense against a blistering Iowa offense, albeit one that slowed down a little bit in Lincoln. Bad three point shooting. But back among the familiar rims of Carver-Hawkeye, you have to think Iowa is going to hit more than the (checks notes... yikes!) 12% they did against Nebraska.
And I think I say this every game, but we should get to see a very entertaining battle down low. This might be the best collection of big men in a single conference since the old days of the Big East. (Indiana fans are having visions of Joey Brunk missing layups and tearing their hair out right about now—I see you, Hooiser fans!) Stix against... uh, Luka Garza. Yeah, we really need to work on getting a good nickname for the guy who is almost certainly a frontrunner for first team all-Big Ten.
Iowa needs this game a lot more than Maryland does. They lose and they’re 1-4 in the conference, with very little chance of finishing in the top half of the league. And that Iowa State road win is radiating away into the ether... for an Iowa team that was looking like the best of the Fran era (and KenPom still says they are), a loss tonight means two months of checking Eamon Brennan’s Bubble Watch on The Athletic.
But I don’t think Iowa is going to lose. If I’ve learned anything this season, never bet against the home team, especially when they have their back against the wall. That’s Iowa. And Maryland is due for a letdown. Hawkeyes by ten.
- Pick against the spread: Iowa