The No.4-seeded Maryland Terrapins (26-6) and No.5-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers (23-9) meet in the third round of the NCAA tournament at Nationwide Arena. Action begins at 8:40 pm ET on Sunday, Mar. 22.
The Terrapins played well in their last game, barely hanging on to beat Valparaiso 65-62 in the second round. Jake Layman had a solid performance, putting up six points, 10 rebounds, and three assists for Maryland. The Mountaineers, meanwhile, are coming off a 68-62 win against Buffalo in the second round. Devin Williams claimed his eighth double-double of the season with 22 points and nine rebounds.
Baskets could be hard to come by as Maryland ranks 14th in the nation, allowing just 148.7 points per 100 possessions, while West Virginia is 10th (145.4).
West Virginia is a slim one-point favorite over Maryland. The Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at 137 points for this matchup. The Terrapins come into this game 28-6 Straight Up (SU) and 13-16-2 Against The Spread (ATS). The Terrapins are one of the best in Division I in terms of free throws made, making an impressive 17.0 per game. Maryland’s defense can be considered one of the best in the country. The Terrapins allow a .397 opponent field-goal percentage, one of the lowest shooting rates in the country. Teams usually don’t get many offensive rebounds against the Terrapins, who are one of the top defensive rebounding teams in the country with an average of 25.9 defensive rebounds per game. Maryland will look to take advantage of the Mountaineers and their propensity to foul. West Virginia has committed the most fouls in the nation, averaging 23.3 per game.
In the other locker room, the Mountaineers have a record of 18-13 ATS and 24-9 SU. The Mountaineers have controlled the offensive glass with a Division I-best 16.8 per game. Moving on to the West Virginia defense, teams with weak ball handling have not fared well against the Mountaineers, who lead the nation with 10.9 steals per game.
These two meet for what will be their first head-to-head battle of the season. West Virginia won the last game in the matchup, bumping its SU record over their most recent meetings to 1-0. With a 1-0 record, the Mountaineers also have the advantage ATS. During their latest five matchups, neither team ever held the advantage in field goals, rebounds, and three-pointers.
Predictions: SU Winner – WVU, ATS Winner – WVU, O/U – Over
Ranked 10th, the West Virginia Mountaineers have one of the top defenses in the country, giving up just 145.4 points per 100 possessions. The Maryland Terrapins rank 95th in offense, scoring 106.2 points in the same number of possessions.
The West Virginia Mountaineers average 69.7 possessions per game and 1.061 points per possession. The Maryland Terrapins earn fewer possessions with 65.3, but they score more points with 1.062.
The Maryland Terrapins average an effective field goal percentage of 50.9% this season. The West Virginia Mountaineers have a solid 13-6 record in games where opponents have an eFG% of 50.9% or greater.
On average, Maryland attempts 19.8 three pointers and West Virginia attempts 20.9. Both teams have winning records when they have 20 or more three point attempts. The Maryland Terrapins sit at 14-5 and the West Virginia Mountaineers are 11-7.
Maryland, the 82nd-ranked team in blocked shots, records an average of 4.2 per game. West Virginia does worse, ranked 245th with 2.8.
The West Virginia Mountaineers are the first-ranked offensive rebounding team in the country. The Maryland Terrapins are the top-ranked defensive rebounding team.
Maryland averages a forced turnover percentage of 26.8% this season. When the West Virginia Mountaineers suffer a turnover rate equal to or exceeding this, the team is winless with a 0-1 record.
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.