So here we are. One of only two 4/5 matchups. Maryland against Michigan State. In honor of the Spartans’ No. 5 seed, and as a service to the Michigan State fans who will be ultimately disappointed today, here are five things they should know about the Maryland Terrapins.
1. The are good players besides Greivis Vasquez on the team. Yes, Vasquez is undoubtedly Maryland’s best player. And in general the Terps live and die by the flamboyant guard’s play but this is a deep, although not super experienced team. Junior swingman Cliff Ticker, who has had an up and down year, was the man, not Vasquez, who hit the game-winning buzzer-beat against Georgia Tech at home on Feb. 20. Most any player on the team is capable of coming through in the clutch.
2. The Terps come out strong to start the second half. Maryland is prone to starting out games a bit sluggish and not up to its potential but head coach Gary Williams is a master at the halftime adjustment. So, by chance, if Michigan State is up after the first half, it hardly means the team will coast to victory.
3. Jordan Williams is the real deal. Maryland’s freshman forward from Torrington, Conn., has blossomed throughout the year and is emerging at the best time. Granted, Houston is no longer home to Phi Slamma Jamma but nevertheless Williams dropped a 21 and 17 game against the Cougars in the opening round. Expect him to show up big again.
4. The overshadowed seniors can hold their own. Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes certainly have been a little under the radar because of Vasquez’s success but these two veterans can play. If he wants to be, Milbourne can be a force inside, and Hayes is a sharpshooter from three-point land. If/when Maryland wins today, it could be largely based on the play of these two.
5. The all-time series record between these two schools is 2-2. Expect it to be 3-2 in Maryland’s favor by the end of the day.
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