After an 83-61 victory over Rutgers Thursday night, Northwestern now faces Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.
The last time the two teams played, February 15 in Evanston, Maryland beat Scottie Lindsey-less Northwestern 74-64. The Terrapins built a big lead early in the game, and a late run by the Wildcats made the scoreline closer than it had been for most of the night. Melo Trimble — who averages 16.9 points per game — shredded the Northwestern defense all game, posting 32 points on 12-of-17 shooting.
Along with Trimble, a trio of freshmen have carried Maryland throughout the season. Justin Jackson, Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter are the Terps’ second, third and fourth leading scorers, respectively.
Cowan gives Maryland a second ball handler when Trimble is also on the court, which makes it difficult to defend the Terps on the perimeter.
“We have to do a better job on the ball screens,” Vic Law Jr. said after the Rutgers game. “It’s gonna be a team defense stopping [Trimble] and their ball screens.”
The Terrapins will be the more rested team in the game, having last played March 4. The Wildcats have played twice since Maryland last played.
Game time: 7:55 p.m. CT
TV Channel: BTN
Mobile: BTN2GO app
KenPom prediction: Northwestern 68, Maryland 67 (52% chance NU wins)