Maryland forward Donta Scott shoots against Purdue during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in College Park, Md. Maryland won 61-60. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
- The Maryland Terrapins (10-10, 4-9 Big Ten) host the Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-7, 6-7 Big Ten) Sunday, Feb. 14
- Both teams are in the Big Ten’s second division, but own some big wins this season
- Read below for odds, analysis, and our best bet for this matchup
The Maryland Terrapins (10-10, 4-9 Big Ten), who have beaten four ranked opponents this season, host the Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-7, 6-7 Big Ten) Sunday, Feb. 14. Tip is set for 7pm ET at the Xfinity Center.
The Gophers have had their share of big wins, too. Richard Pitino’s club handed Michigan, currently ranked third in the AP poll, its only loss of the season and also feature a victory over current No. 4 Ohio State on its resume. Minnesota, like Maryland, has also had its share of disappointing losses — one of which was a 63-49 home defeat to the Terrapins Jan. 23. But the Gophers kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive Thursday at Williams Arena with a 71-68 victory against Purdue. Meantime, the Terps are coming off a 73-65 loss to the Buckeyes Monday.
Now, Mark Turgeon’s group is a slight favorite over a confident Gopher team in College Park.
Minnesota vs Maryland Odds
|Minnesota||+2 (-110)||N/A||Ov 138 (-110)|
|Maryland||-2 (-110)||N/A||Un 138 (-110)|
Odds taken Feb. 13 at FanDuel
Drive My Carr
Minnesota’s leading scorer Marcus Carr scored eight of his team-high 19 points in the final minute and change of a three-point victory over the Boilermakers Thursday — helping Minnesota avenge a 19-point loss to Purdue in West Lafayette last month.
Marcus Carr is CLUTCH 💰
— Bleacher Report CBB (@br_CBB) February 12, 2021
Part of Carr’s timely effort were a pair of three-pointers that helped the Gophers avenge a 19-point loss Jan. 30 to Purdue on the road.
The victory pushed the Gophers’ home record to 13-1, including a 5-0 mark against ranked teams (Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and, now, Purdue). The one loss? A mystifying 14-point defeat to the Terps in which Pitino’s club scored its lowest point total of the season. The coach has reason to be optimistic heading into Sunday.
Richard Pitino on the #Gophers wining for the fifth time against a ranked opponent and getting another quality win for their NCAA tournament resume Thursday vs. No. 25 Purdue @StribSports @GopherMBB pic.twitter.com/LrcQ2NAuAp
— Marcus R. Fuller (@Marcus_R_Fuller) February 12, 2021
With revenge on its mind again — and with the clutch Carr on its roster — Minnesota figures to be a formidable opponent for the Turtle.
Still to be Feared
Maryland has yet to eclipse the 70-point plateau in a conference game this season. The offensively-challenged Terps are dead-last in conference scoring, averaging 69.5 points per game. So why should bettors give Maryland a chance against Minnesota? One word: defense.
The Terrapins hung tough against Ohio State in their last outing Monday despite a roughly 13-minute stretch where they converted only one field goal. But they only lost by eight points thanks to giving the Bucks fits on the defensive end.
Turgeon’s club gives up 66.4 points per game — good for third-best in the mighty Big Ten. Remember, this is a team that owns victories over Wisconsin, Illinois and the Gophers on the road (along with another over Purdue at Xfinity). This team is very capable of putting the clamps down on anyone.
As Bill Parcells once famously said, you are what your record says you are. But at 10-10 overall and 4-9 in league play, Maryland feels better. Monday against the Ohio State, the Terps outrebounded the Buckeyes 34-32 and scored eight more points in the paint. Another positive was improved free-throw shooting, as Maryland went 16-for-18 from the charity stripe. Maryland has been one of the Big Ten’s worst free thrown shooting outfits this season.
So, can Turgeon’s team put a run together — starting Sunday — over the next month to impress the selection committee? Certainly. The especially challenging section of its schedule is in the rear view mirror, as three of Maryland’s final six games come against teams below the Terps in the standings. Wining out is a very real possibility heading into the conference tourney.
But it all starts Sunday against Minnesota, a team that is still searching for its first road victory.
Eric Ayala (averaging a team-high 14.3 points per game to lead the Terps) had 21 and three steals in that game three weeks ago. Maryland featured strong perimeter pressure, used its length to deny passing lanes and posted traps all game to keep the Gophers out of sync. Don’t be surprised if it happens again. This is a hungry team at home against a winless team on the road. I love the Turtle in this spot.
The pick: Maryland
Blair Johnson is a veteran journalist and seasoned sports content creator. He has been writing and producing content as long as he can remember, with such familiar names as CNN, NFL Media and Yahoo. Blair currently lives and works in the greater Los Angeles area.