The Alabama basketball team will collide with the No. 8 seed Maryland Terrapins on Saturday night. The winner will advance to the Sweet 16 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Alabama’s road to becoming a No. 1 seed has been fairly easy. As for Maryland, it has been anything but easy.
The Terrapins finished conference play with an 11-9 record with unexpected losses coming to Nebraska, Michigan, and Rutgers.
To the Terrapins credit, they did take down Purdue, Illinois, and Indiana. That played a large role in the Terrapins reaching the NCAA Tournament.
Roll Tide Wire provides five things that Alabama fans should know about the Terrapins ahead of Saturday’s matchup.
The Terrapins have a group of veterans led by senior guards Jahmir Young and Hakim Hart. The two have started in all 34 games this season for the Terrapins. Not to mention, the team also has a veteran frontcourt with senior forwards Donta Scott, Julian Reese, and Patrick Emilien. This group is tightly-knit and plays with a lot of togetherness.
Maryland has gone 5-4 in games against top-25 teams. One of those five wins came in late February when the Terrapins knocked off the No. 3-ranked Purdue Boilermakers. Kevin Willard’s squad also knocked off No. 21 Northwestern, No. 21 Indiana, No. 16 Illinois, and No. 23 Ohio State. Three of those four top-25 losses came within 10 or less. This is a competitive squad that battled through a tough, Big Ten conference.
One thing that is apparent is that Maryland has performed well against non-conference foes. The Terrapins finished 9-2 in non-conference play. Kevin Willard’s squad defeated Miami early on in the season by 18 points. Although the other opponents are not as formidable as the Hurricanes, the Terrapins still managed to win by double-digits. The only non-conference losses came to No. 7 Tennessee and No. 16 UCLA.
Maryland has a stingy defense to say the least. The Terrapins allow just 65 points per game. In retrospect, Alabama allows 75 points per game. Another key statistic is the opponents’ turnovers per game against the Terrapins — 11.9. The Tide averaged 14.1 turnovers. That will need to be a point of emphasis for the Alabama coaching staff.
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