Where: Spokane, WA
When: 2:30 (PSA: this is ten minutes earlier than the originally schedule time)
Where to Watch: CBS for the locals (if you're in doubt, the station list is here); otherwise, MMOD
Line: Vegas: Maryland -1 KenPom: Maryland by 4
Previous Previews: [Behind Enemy Lines] [First Look] [Profiling]
Keys in Cliches:
- Limit second chances. Michigan State will get plenty of second chances off the boards. They're a better rebounding team than Maryland, and Maryland is pretty poor at it anyway. The key won't be to win the rebounding battle, because that's an absurd expectation, but rather to stay close enough to allow Maryland's other advantages (like shooting) to take over.
- Let Jordan Williams work. Michigan State has struggled against dominant post men, and Jordan Williams has that exact ability. He will have a size advantage over MSU's front line, and will need to take advantage. Raymar Morgan and Draymond Green have experience, but Jordan is developed beyond his years. He'll need another big game for Maryland to win. Guards get you wins in the ACC, but you need both for wins in March.
- Push the pace. Unlike Houston, Michigan State is a slow-pace team. They'll also be either hobbled or a man down, thanks to Chris Allen's injury. Maryland should look to get out and run, which is a possibility due to Michigan State's tendency to turn the ball over.
Maryland has a slight advantage in eFG%, a big one in TO%, and trail by a decent amount in the last two. Gonna be a close one.
Prediction: It really depends on what Maryland does on the boards. If they can have a decent performance on the glass, I like the Terps' chances. If MSU gets an absurd number of second chances, odds point to Michigan State. Personally, I see a big day for Jordan Williams - Terps by 7 in a game closer than the score.