Conference basketball is starting and that means it’s a fun time to be a fan of a team in the Big Ten Conference. For those who support the Maryland Terrapins, a glimpse of the future will be seen on Tuesday against the Michigan State Spartans. The Terps made the transition from the ACC to the Big Ten over the offseason, and they will have their first conference matchup in this game on Tuesday.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in all of college basketball this season has been the play of the Terps. Currently at 11-1, the Terps are playing excellent basketball. Led by star point guard Dez Wells and the emergence of forward Jake Layman, Maryland is flourishing with head coach Mark Turgeon. The Terps are tough on defense and they are extremely efficient on offense.
On the other side of the court, the Spartans are struggling tremendously in 2014. Without the presence of Keith Appling, who is currently in the D-League, Michigan State is without a star player who commands extra attention. Denzel Valentine and Travis Trice are both having great years, but they aren’t stars just yet. Tom Izzo’s group has yet to beat a respectable team in 2014, and that will be a problem for their future tournament resume. However, they will have plenty of chances over the next two months to prove otherwise.
These two teams have been polar opposites in 2014. Maryland’s only loss this season has come at home against an excellent Virginia team. With how well the Terps are playing and their eagerness to make a statement in the Big Ten, it’s hard not to pick them in this game. The Spartans will play hard in their first Big Ten game, but the Terps will be too much.
The Pick: Maryland
*Section Photo credit to Maddie Meyer, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Greg M. Cooper, USA Today Sports.