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Maryland vs. Indiana preview: Terps visit Hoosiers in finale before Big Ten Tournament

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The Terps haven't beaten a ranked team on the road in eight years. They'll try to do it on Sunday.

Sung Min Kim/Testudo Times

It's been more than eight calendar years – and 19 games – since the Maryland men's basketball team beat top-ranked North Carolina on the road in January 2008. The Terps haven't won on the road against another ranked team of any kind since then, and a loss at Indiana on Sunday would run their dry spell to a desertlike 20.

After Saturday night's results, the game is oddly useless for the Big Ten's standings. Maryland will drop from the league's No. 3 seed to No. 4 if Wisconsin beats Purdue, whether the Terps can win against the Hoosiers or not.

It won't be easy, though. The Hoosiers are the outright Big Ten regular season champions for a reason. They'll tip against the Terps from Assembly Hall at 4:30 p.m. EST on CBS.

Indiana Hoosiers (24-6, 14-3 Big Ten)

The coach

crean face

Tom Crean is 145-117 in eight seasons in Bloomington. He was previously the coach at Marquette, where he spent nine years, made five NCAA Tournaments and coached Dwyane Wade.

Players to know

Yogi Ferrell, senior, guard, 6'1, No. 11. Ferrell is a great and beloved college basketball player, and he's been busy this season putting an exclamation point on a terrific career. He averages 17 points and 5.5. assists, he's lightning quick and he shoots better than 40 percent on three-pointers. With fellow guard James Blackmon Jr. injured for most of the season, Ferrell has had an especially critical role. He hasn't messed it up.

Troy Williams, junior, forward, 6'7, No. 5. Williams is hyper-athletic and can cause a lot of problems, although he hasn't been as efficient as he was as a sophomore. He averages 12.6 points and six rebounds. Last season, Williams often played as a de-facto center for the Hoosiers, but he hasn't had to do that much this year with the presence of ...

Thomas Bryant, freshman, center, 6'10, No. 31. The best freshman in the Big Ten not named Diamond Stone has averaged nearly a 12-and-6 line in his rookie season. (There's even a case that Bryant's been better, if we're being honest.) He's shooting an outrageous 72 percent on two-pointers, which are almost all of his shots, and he makes a respectable 68 percent of his attempts from the foul line. He's a strong offensive and defensive rebounder.

Nick Zeisloft, senior, guard, 6'4, No. 2. Be prepared to be very, very annoyed by Zeisloft. He's adept at finding open patches of court and making three-pointers (43 percent of those he shoots, in fact) and can really light teams up if they don't pay enough mind to him. He's 7-of-11 from deep in the Hoosiers' last two games.

Strengths

They fill the hoop. The Hoosiers are second in the country in effective field goal percentage and ninth in adjusted offensive efficiency. They make their twos (56 percent), their threes (42 percent) and their free throws (72 percent). There are few weak spots here.

Offensive rebounding. This is likely to be a big problem for Maryland. The Hoosiers get back 37.5 percent of their missed shots, and Maryland is terrible at defending its own glass. Look for Indiana to approach 20 offensive rebounds in this game and score a truckload of second-chance points.

Weaknesses

Turnovers. The Hoosiers play aggressively, and that sometimes leads to giveaways. They turn the ball over on just about 20 percent of their possessions, ranking 278th in the country.

Getting to the foul line. The Hoosiers are more of a "get open and shoot" than a "drive to the basket" team, and that results in them not getting a ton of chances at the stripe. They're 271st in free throw frequency.

Somewhere in between

Defense. The Hoosiers' defense was a liability last season. It's still not good, but it's a lot more formidable than it used to be. They're up from No. 2014 to No. 70 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, which is a massive jump even if it doesn't make them the stingiest team in the country. They gave up 72 points per game last season and have trimmed that to 69 this season, which is a more serious cut than it sounds like.

Predictions

KenPom: Indiana, 77-71. Hoosiers have a 69 percent chance to win.

Alex: Maryland hasn't shown an ability yet this year to do the job on the road, and especially not against good teams. Until that happens, it's hard to pick the Terps to break through against such a hard team to beat.

Indiana, 81-73.