Conference road games are very challenging for college basketball teams. One handicapping site estimates home court is worth 2.5-6 points. Good teams are able to grind out road wins despite the hostile atmosphere and small margin for error. Neither Maryland nor Ohio St. are strangers to close games; each team has played four games decided by six points or less this season. A Terrapin victory would go a long way toward separating Maryland from the mushy middle of the Big Ten.
Maryland could hardly be catching Ohio St. at a worse time. Freshman phenom D'Angelo Russell was the B1G player of the week last week by averaging 27.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 8.0 assists while shooting 66% from the floor. Maryland's own fantastic freshman Melo Trimble had 27 points against Northwestern. The Terps also have balanced scoring on their side, as they are the only team in the conference with three players averaging more than 13.5 points per game (Trimble, Jake Layman, and Dez Wells).
Can Maryland beat the dangerous Ohio St. zone? Can the Terps slow down D'Angelo Russell? Can the Terrapins gain separation from the crowded middle of the Big Ten? We will know in a few short hours.
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Let's have your final score prediction, and one off the wall prediction to start things off.