Terrapins Hang Close On Road At Wisconsin

Willie Bee

Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:29 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017 2:29 PM UTC

A 3-team race has evolved in the Big Ten, and two of the contenders meet this afternoon in Madison where Wisconsin is favored on the NCAA basketball odds vs. Maryland.

Season: 36-33-2 (-0.30)

Just one short week ago, all signs pointed to a 2-team race to the end between Wisconsin and Purdue for Big Ten regular season honors. That was before the Badgers hit a speed bump on their schedule, opening the door for the Maryland Terrapins to move into the picture with just two weeks remaining before the conference tournament.

Kohl Center in Madison is the site for the 1 PM (ET) tip-off between Wisconsin and Maryland, the winner deadlocking the Boilermakers at the top of the league ranks. Bookmaker has the bar set on the Badgers -7, the total climbing a half-point since the opener to 130½.


Koenig Questionable For Badgers

Maryland (22-4 straight up, 16-7-1 against the spread) also went through a recent 2-game skid, dropping consecutive games at home to Purdue and on the road at Penn State. Mark Turgeon's troops bounced back with a couple of big wins, however, first taking down Ohio State as home favorites before pulling off a mild upset of Northwestern on the road where the Wildcats were 2 point chalk on the NCAA basketball odds.

Wisconsin (21-5 SU, 11-12 ATS) was upset at home last Sunday vs. Northwestern, then fell at Michigan this week, 64-58. The Badgers were giving up 11½ to the Wildcats a week ago and getting 2 at the Wolverines, extending their ATS streak to 4-straight losses and leaving Greg Gard's group 2-7 vs. the odds since mid-January.

Both sides have an injured player worth mentioning for Sunday's skirmish. Dion Wiley, who hasn't seen much action for Maryland since the conference fixture began, is expected to miss today's tilt due to back trouble. Wisconsin is listing Bronson Koenig as questionable with a calf injury that caused him to sit out Thursday's matchup with Michigan; the senior is second on the team with a 13.4 PPG average.


All 3 Big Ten Battles Stay 'Under'

These schools are getting to know each other as conference rivals after having met just seven times prior to the Terrapins joining the Big Ten a few seasons back. Wisconsin owns a 6-4 edge over the history of the series, Maryland up 2-1 as conference foes. It's their only scheduled clash of this campaign following a pair of get-togethers last season when they exchanged road wins. The January 2016 meeting in Madison saw the Terps take a 63-60 decision to just cover as 2½ point road favorites. Each of their three Big Ten matchups failed to reach the totals, last year's scoreboard tallies both closing on 132½.

The loss to Northwestern was the first setback in Madison this year for Wisconsin, and I do not expect a second defeat at Kohl Center today. Still, I'm also not digging the recent struggles for the Badgers, and feel much better taking the visiting Terps plus the points for my free college basketball pick.

Free NCAAB Pick: Maryland +7 Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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