NCAA Men’s Basketball returns to action with a huge fixture, as the Iowa Hawkeyes face the Maryland Terrapins. The Hawkeyes are hunting for their 10th win of the season, while the Terrapins are aiming to avoid their third defeat in a row.
The Hawkeyes were ranked #3 in the preseason AP Poll, and they did well to hold on to that spot. But losses against Gonzaga and Minnesota hurt their campaign and saw them fall. They have now climbed back into the top five and will aim to ascend further.
The Terrapins started their season with four wins on the trot. But they followed it with two wins in their next seven games and are now 1-4 in their conference. A lot of their games against unranked opponents got canceled, leaving them with a very tricky schedule for the rest of the season.
The Hawkeyes run their offense through senior Luka Garza. He withdrew from the NBA Draft and returned for his fourth year to lead his team to the NCAA title. The Hawkeyes also have Joe Wieskamp and Jordan Bohannon, who are at the heart of their offense.
So the Hawkeyes starting lineup will comprise CJ Fredrick, Joe Wieskamp, and Jordan Bohannon as the guards. Luka Garza and Connor McCaffery will complete the lineup.
After suffering an injury against Michigan, Darryl Morsell missed the Terrapins game against the Hoosiers. But now he has been cleared to play, although he is unlikely to start.
The Terrapins will have Aaron Wiggins, Hakim Hart, and Eric Ayala starting as their guards, while Donta Scott and Galin Smith will start as their forwards.
Unsurprisingly, the Hawkeyes will be the favorites in this clash. Their #1 ranked offense has the firepower to take down almost any defense in the country. Garza also provides a mismatch against the Terrapins’ defenders who are undersized compared to him. So the Terrapins are going to have a hard time stopping him.
The Hawkeyes are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country, and the Terrapins have struggled to defend threes. But in their last game they held the Hoosiers to just 4-22 from three. So unless the Terrapins stop them similarly, and Garza has an off game, the Hawkeyes will be expected to come away with an easy win.