Maryland and Wisconsin are set to square off in a matchup between the only ranked teams in the Big Ten at the moment. Wisconsin, as expected, has coasted to a nearly flawless conference record, save for a short-handed loss to the league's worst Rutgers team. Maryland has raised a few eyebrows along its way to a share for second place in the Big Ten, performing much better than what experts had anticipated in the beginning of the year. Now, the stage is set for the biggest game of the season for the conference to date as the Badgers travel to College Park in the sixth-annual Gold Rush game.
Last outing, the Terps nudged past Nebraska, 69-65, in another thrilling home win. Melo Trimble continued his impressive freshman campaign against the Cornhuskers, dropping 26 points on 10-11 from the free throw line. Dez Wells has improved mightily in the last five games after struggling to find his identity following a wrist injury that sidelined the senior for a handful of games.
The Terps will look to defend the Xfinity Center's undefeated conference record with a win against powerhouse Wisconsin. The Badgers come off a double-digit victory against Minnesota and carry a 10-game win streak into the game against the Terps. Led by a pair of future NBA players in Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker, the Badgers have a loaded lineup coached by one of the best Big Ten coaches in Bo Ryan. Kaminsky, one of the best big men in all of college basketball, is averaging 17.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game and will look to make the best of his matchup with Damonte Dodd.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Game time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Terrapin Sports Radio Network and live audio available here.
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Rankings and records: Maryland is 22-5 and ranked No. 14 both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. Wisconsin is 25-2 and ranked No. 5 in the AP Poll and No. 4 in the Coaches Poll.
KenPom's prediction: Wisconsin, 67-62. 71 percent chance the Badgers win.
Two things at stake
Diamond Stone will undeniably be watching this game and whether his mind is made up or not, an upset for Maryland and the energy and passion from the crowd could very well swing his opinion.
Wisconsin is gunning for a one seed and a loss to Maryland wouldn't help its case, seeing that the Badgers would be the strongest 2 seed if the season ended today.
One big matchup
Jake Layman vs. Sam Dekker. Layman has completely changed his MO from last season to now, but he'll face his most stifling opponent yet in forward foe Sam Dekker. Dekker, much like Layman, can stretch his game out and beat you face up, but can also penetrate and finish in the painted area. Frank Kaminsky is likely going to do what he typically does but if Layman can shut down Dekker, the Badgers could be in trouble.
Check out our preview and a word from our friends over in Bucky's 5th Quarter.