College Hoops Picks NIT Semifinals: Iowa Hawkeyes vs Maryland Terrapins

2013 NIT Semifinals
#3 Iowa Hawkeyes vs #2 Maryland Terrapins
Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 9:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Madison Square Garden – New York City, New York
Opening Line: Iowa -2
Current Line: Iowa -3 1/2
Opening Total: 135
Current Total: 135 1/2
Opening Money Line: Iowa -155 / Maryland +135
Current Money Line: Iowa -165 / Maryland +145

Iowa is a 3.5 point favorite against Maryland in the NIT semifinals
Iowa is a 3.5 point favorite against Maryland in the NIT semifinals

The 24-12 Iowa Hawkeyes have advanced to the NIT semifinals for the first time in program history. The Hawkeyes will  take on the 25-12 Maryland Terrapins Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. Maryland is making their first appearance in the NIT semifinals since 2005. The Terrapins won the event in 1972.  The winner of Iowa and Maryland will face either BYU or Baylor in Thursday’s championship game. Maryland has won both meetings against Iowa in history but they haven’t played since 1999.

Iowa was alone in 6th in the Big Ten at 9-9. The Hawkeyes lost to Michigan St 59-56 in the Big Ten quarterfinals. Iowa was given a #3 seed in the NIT. The Hawkeyes beat Indiana St 68-52 in the first round and Stony Brook 75-63 in the second round, both in Iowa City. Stony Brook upset #2 seed UMass in the first round. Iowa won at Virginia 75-64 in last Wednesday’s quarterfinals. The loss snapped a 19 game home winning streak for the Cavaliers.

Maryland went 8-10 in the ACC, and were in 7th place by themselves. The Terrapins lost 79-76 to North Carolina in the ACC semifinals after Maryland had upset Duke in the quarterfinals. The Terps were also snubbed by the NCAA, and given a 2 seed in the NIT. Maryland beat Niagara 86-70 in the first round, and Denver 62-52 in the second round. Both games were in College Park. Maryland escaped with a 58-57 win at Alabama last Tuesday in the quarterfinals. Maryland center Alex Len had 5 blocked shots including one on a Rodney Cooper drive to the hoop with 3 seconds left. The ball went out of bounds and Alabama missed another shot at the buzzer.

Iowa is coached by Fran McCaffery. The Hawkeyes have losses to Wichita St in Cancun, Mexico, at Virginia Tech, Indiana twice, at Michigan, Michigan St twice, at Ohio St, at Purdue, at Minnesota, at Wisconsin, and at Nebraska. Iowa has wins over Central Michigan, Western Kentucky in Cancun, Iowa St, Northern Iowa, Northwestern 3 times, Wisconsin, Penn St twice, Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois, and Nebraska. The Hawkeyes are 23-9 ATS and the total is 13-18-1.

Iowa is outscoring teams 71-63 this season. The Hawkeyes are shooting 42.4% from the field and 30.9% from 3 point range. Iowa is #297 out of 347 teams in 3 point shooting. The Hawkeyes make 73% of their free throws. Iowa averages 39.1 rebounds per game, and give up 30.5 per game. The Hawkeyes are #13 nationally in rebounding. Iowa opponents are shooting 38.8% from the field and 29.1% from the field. The Hawkeyes are 18th or better in both categories. Iowa averages 15 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks, and 13 turnovers per game.

Guard / forward Roy Devyn Marble averages 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Forward Aaron White averages 12.9.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Mike Gesell averages 8.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Melsahn Basabe averages 7.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Zach McCabe averages 5.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. Eric May, Adam Woodbury, Josh Oglesby, Anthony Clemmons  and Gabriel Olaseni also get significant minutes.

Maryland is coached by Mark Turgeon. The Terrapins have losses to Kentucky in Brooklyn, Florida St twice, at Miami, North Carolina 3 times, Duke, Virginia twice, at Boston College, and at Georgia Tech. The Terrapins have key wins over LIU-Brooklyn, at Northwestern, George Mason in Washington, DC, Virginia Tech twice, NC State, Boston College, Wake Forest 3 times, Duke twice, and Clemson. Maryland is 17-12-1 ATS and the total is 14-14 this season.

Maryland is outscoring teams 71-64 this season. The Terrapins are shooting 46.6% from the field and 33.9% from 3 point range. Maryland is #35 in field goal percentage. The Terrapins make 68.2% of their free throws. Maryland averages 40.4 rebounds per game and give up 28.1 per game. The Terrapins are #4 nationally in rebounds. Terrapin opponents are  shooting 38.4% from the field and 30.2% from 3 point range. Maryland is #10 in field goal percentage allowed and #28 in three point defense. The Terps average 15 assists, 5 steals, 4 blocks, and 15 turnovers.

Guard-forward Dez Wells averages 13.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. Center Alex Len averages 11.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. Guard Nick Faust averages 9.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Seth Allen averages 7.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1 steal per game. Logan Aronhalt averages 5.9 points, and 1.6 rebounds. Charles Mitchell, James Padgett, and Jake Layman all average around 5 points per game. Shaquille Cleare and Pe’Shon Howard make up the rest of the rotation. Howard leads the Terrapins in assists with 3.6 per game.

Iowa is 8-0 ATS in non-conference games, 6-1 in Tuesday games, 17-4 after a win and a cover, 4-1 in neutral site games, 22-6 overall, 19-7 against teams with winning records, and 1-4 against ACC teams.

Maryland is 7-0 ATS overall, 6-0 after a cover, and against teams with winning records, 5-0 in neutral site games, 4-0 after a straight up win, 5-1 in non-conference games, and 8-3-1 against Big Ten teams.

These two teams are almost evenly statistically matched. Both teams are comfortable playing in the high 60’s or low 70’s. I like Iowa to win a close game.

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