JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — With a dramatic 79-77 win over Belmont on Thursday, Maryland basketball earned a chance to play at least one more game in the NCAA Tournament. The No. 6-seed Terps battle No. 3-seed LSU at 12:10 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Maryland’s win was its first in the postseason since 2016; no player who entered Thursday’s game had previously experienced a win in the Big Ten or NCAA tournaments. Head coach Mark Turgeon said Friday that he hopes experiencing such a win motivates his team going forward.
“We lost to Michigan late in the year. And late in the game, they were better than [we] were because they know what the reward is. Those players have been to a national championship game, they’ve had success. We don’t know what the reward is,” Turgeon said. “Now the guys are starting to … ‘Oh, wow, that was pretty cool.’ So that was a great reward.
“And so now, next year when those guys are back, and we’re fighting to get to the tournament or win a conference championship, they know what the reward is. We didn’t know it. We didn’t know it. So that’s what was big about yesterday.”
It’s been a whirlwind season for LSU. Junior Wayde Sims was shot and killed in September, but the Tigers rallied on the court, winning the SEC regular-season title. At the end of the regular season, though, LSU suspended head coach Will Wade after reports of him calling now-disgraced agent Christian Dawkins about an “offer” to a player. Under acting coach Tony Benford, the Tigers were bounced in the SEC quarterfinals but squeaked by No. 14-seed Yale in Thursday’s opening round.
The winner will play either No. 2-seed Michigan State or No. 10-seed Minnesota in Washington, D.C., next weekend. As always, this is your space for observations, commentary and more during the game. Be respectful, and go Terps.
No. 6-seed Maryland: 23-10, 13-7 Big Ten
No. 3-seed LSU: 27-6, 16-2 SEC
All-time series: Tied 2-2 (first meeting since 1989)
Odds: LSU is favored by 3.5 points
How to watch and listen
Saturday, March 23, 12:10 p.m. (ET), VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
TV: CBS — Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (analyst), Jamie Erdahl (sideline)
Streaming: March Madness Live