Preview: Maryland basketball set to defend home court vs #21 Northwestern

No. 21 Northwestern (20-8, 11-6) vs. Maryland (19-9, 10-7)

When: Sunday, February 26

Where: Xfinity Center

TV: BTN – Brandon Gaudin (pxp), Stephen Bardo (analyst)

Radio: WJZ-FM 105.7 (Baltimore), The TEAM 980 AM (D.C.)

Spread: Maryland 6.5 (DraftKings)

Senior day is upon us in College Park as Maryland basketball takes on the No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats Sunday afternoon.

Seniors Don Carey, Patrick Emilien, Donta Scott, Hakim Hart, and Jahmir Young will be honored before the game.

Kevin Willard pairing talented transfers with the Terp’s core nucleus of players led to what we have seen today, surpassing preseason expectations with momentum heading into March.

Maryland basketball has been a dominant force at home against Big Ten opponents this season. They have protected their house.

Earning key wins at home late in the season against the No. 24 Ohio State Buckeyes, Michigan Wolverines, Wisconsin Badgers, Nebraska Cornhuskers, No. 21 Indiana Hoosiers, Penn State Nittany Lions, and No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers has helped their late-season push for a second round bye in the Big Ten Tournament. In fact, winning out the rest of the way against the No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats, Ohio State, and Penn State will give them the No. 2 seed.

The Terps (19-9, 10-7 Big Ten) took down the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sunday behind solid production from the starting lineup. All five guys scored in double figures. The standouts were Julian Reese (21 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks), Hart (20 points, six assists, four steals), and Scott (18 points, five rebounds).

Maryland basketball had no problems showing them who the better team is. They did it by owning the paint, shooting the ball at a high percentage from the field and perimeter, and playing solid defense for 94 feet.

The No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats are a very good team and could be dangerous to play against depending on where they land in the Big Ten Tournament.

Before their tough loss to the Illinois Fighting Illini on the road Thursday night, they won five straight games, including back-to-back against No. 1 Purdue and No. 14 Indiana. What makes them so good?

Well, their leading scorer, Boo Buie, is a good place to start. He’s averaging 17.6 points, 4.4. assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. He has scored 20+ points in the last five games. The Wildcats can depend on him to get a bucket from anywhere on the floor and he has good vision when setting up teammates to score. Don’t forget about Chase Audige. He’ll be a player to watch in this game because he scores at a high volume also. He averages 14.5 points and 2.5 steals per game. The Terps’ ball handlers will need to be extra careful around him.

Northwestern also does an excellent job of driving to the basket and kicking the ball out to the perimeter for threes. That was clear in the 80-60 win over Iowa. The Terps’ perimeter defense will have to be sharp once the Wildcats cross half-court. In recent games, their defensive intensity has stifled opposing offenses.

Maryland basketball fans should expect another exciting contest as we get closer and closer to the postseason.

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Maryland basketball still maintaining dominance at home