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Maryland Terrapins-Northwestern Wildcats: The GameThread

Bill Bride

Tip is at 9:15. (Which is about two hours too late. Darn time zones.) ESPN2 is the TV, with two people you've probably never heard of on the call. Pete's preview here. And we're referring to this baby as the B1G-ACC Challenge around these parts - B1G first, and all. Let this serve as a GameThread for the undercard games, too, the best of which is the 7:30 State/Michigan showdown, in which Mark Gottfried will probably get undressed.

Anyway, in case you didn't know, Northwestern's court is absolutely hideous. We might be getting rid of those horrible oversized logos, but darn it all if the giant purple watercolor isn't paying it all back.

Random, Baseless Prediction: Jake Layman knocks down a three-pointer that gives Maryland a lead. In honor of this RBP, I'll mention that it seems like the Layman hair meme has caught on with the team. But the fedora surely makes up for everything.

Prediction: I actually like this Northwestern team a fair amount, and I think they probably end up on the bubble yet again. Both teams need this one badly, but I'm afraid of Northwestern's experience. One thing Maryland hasn't done yet: put together a truly compelling 40 minutes of basketball. There's more talent and more athleticism on the visiting bench, but getting the right five on the floor at the right time has proven problematic this season, mostly due to the inexperience. This is going to be a big test, both for this team and for Mark Turgeon, in a way.

I'm cautiously optimistic, but definitely aware of the possibility that this doesn't end well. I'll say Terps 70, Northwestern 65, but that's assuming a big game from Alex Len.