Michigan State vs. Maryland Prediction, Game Preview

    Michigan State vs. Maryland prediction and game preview. The Spartans try to boost their NCAA Tournament resume when they visit the Terrapins on Saturday.

    March 3, 2017

    Michigan State vs. Maryland prediction and game preview. The Spartans try to boost their NCAA Tournament resume when they visit the Terrapins on Saturday.

    Michigan State vs. Maryland Game Preview

    When: Saturday, March 4 – 2 p.m. ET
    Where: Xfinity Center, College Park, Maryland.
    TV Broadcast: Big Ten Network

    Maryland’s hopes of a Big Ten regular-season title took a dive while losing three in a row during a 2-5 stretch in February. The Terrapins did end the month with a 20-point win over Rutgers on Tuesday, but many have lost confidence in their NCAA Tournament chances due to their overall lackluster play toward the end of the season.

    Melo Trimble’s inconsistency has a role in that. After scoring a career-high 32 points against Northwestern and 27 against Wisconsin, Trimble has combined for 32 points while shooting 35.1 percent from the field over his last three games. He’s averaging two more assists per game than his season average in that stretch, but the Terps are going to need him to be better shooting the ball.

    The Spartans need to prevent Maryland from getting extra possessions to rectify that problem. Michigan State ranks 13th in the Big Ten in turnovers per game with 14.5 and finished with 15 in Wednesday’s 73-70 loss at Illinois. That’s been the biggest issue for the young Spartans, who had won four of their previous five games.

    Freshman Miles Bridges continues to shine after finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds against the Illini, but coach Tom Izzo benched Nick Ward late because of his defense, which also has been an Achilles heel of the Spartans.

    Michigan State Wins If …

    … it gets solid backcourt play. Alvin Ellis has stepped into the starting lineup for the injured Eron Harris and played well, scoring 15 points against Illinois. Bridges will get his points, but freshman Joshua Langford has looked lost defensively and Tum Tum Narin is an offensive liability because of his shooting range. Freshman Cassius Winston and sophomore Matt McQuaid will need to be confident coming off the bench and provide the Spartans with a spark at the offensive end.

    Maryland Wins If …

    … Justin Jackson snaps out of his slump. This is the perfect time for the freshman to get back into a groove with the Spartans struggling defensively. Jackson is shooting 31.8 percent from the field over his last six games and has scored fewer than 10 points in five of them.

    Matchup To Watch

    Ward vs. Damonte Dodd

    The big men are going to play a huge role in this game, especially on the boards if both teams are struggling from the field. Ward will have to brush up on his defense in order to avoid the wrath from Izzo.

    Michigan State vs. Maryland Betting Odds

    Spread: Maryland -5
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Michigan State vs. Maryland Prediction

    Michigan State starts off hot with Bridges and Ellis connecting from deep, but it won’t last down the stretch. Trimble gets to the line to ice the game late.

    Kansas vs. Oklahoma State final score prediction: Maryland 74, Michigan State 68

    MORE: Most Important Conference Tournaments For Dangerous Mid-Majors


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