Matchup: Iowa vs. Maryland
Date/Time: April 2nd, 9:00 ET
College Basketball Odds from Bookmaker
Point Spread: Iowa -3
A pair of teams that were disappointed not to get into the NCAA Tournament have managed to dance their way all the way to Madison Square Garden, where college basketball betting fanatics will love to dive right into the duel between the Maryland Terrapins and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes have most certainly proven here in the NIT that they had the talent to really do some damage this season. They did manage to go 10-10 including the Big Ten Tournament in the toughest conference in America, and it really has shown in the second season. Head Coach Fran McCaffery has himself a great team that is only getting better in the future. The big win came on the road against the Virginia Cavaliers back on March 27th, and that was a game that was truly a bit of a surprise. Virginia has been one of the best home teams in the land from an ATS standpoint all year long, while Iowa typically struggled on the road. This tournament continues to be a coming out party for G Roy-Devyn Marble. The junior guard was a great scorer this year, averaging right around 14 points per game in the regular season, but in the NIT, he has really shined. Marble has put up at least 24 points in all three games in this tournament, and he has averaged 25.3 points per game in that stretch.
The Terps are no joke either, though. There was never a point in this season that anyone really doubted whether this team had talent on it or not. The question is whether it was all going to come together quick enough to get this team into the dance. You don’t beat the Duke Blue Devils twice without having a real level of talent on your team. The answer to whether this team was ready to dance turned out to be no, but this tournament has been a perfect way to get this team ready for next year. We continue to see G Dez Wells and C Alex Len grow as collegiate players. Wells, in just his second season playing college hoops, has averaged 13.2 points per game this season, and since the first game of the ACC Tournament, he has averaged 18.3 points per game. Len, also just a sophomore, struggled a bit early in this tourney, but he also put up 15 points and 13 boards when it mattered most against the Alabama Crimson Tide on the road in the NIT Quarterfinals.
This is going to be a tough one to try to handicap, but they all are this time of year. We think that the Terrapins might have just the very slight edge in terms of talent, and that’s going to be what will carry them into the NIT Final. Even if they don’t, we know that we have a bit of a cushion there as well in the event of a close Iowa win. The points are the right play. Maryland 67 – Iowa 65
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.