Wisconsin (14-17) has made the NCAA tournament every year since 1998 but that streak is in jeopardy if the Badgers don’t go on a run and win the Big Ten Tournament. That’s not out of the realm of possibility as the Badgers usually get hot this time of year – making it to at least the Sweet 16 in six of the last seven seasons. Standing in Wisconsin’s way in the 3/1 Big Ten tournament free pick is Maryland (19-12) who is looking for a big win to at least boost their NIT resume.
Tomorrow’s first game is really I trying for the future of the conference. Maryland and Wisconsin could both go either way.
— Michigan won the 2013 NCAA tournament (@TheRealPConnors) March 1, 2018
Wisconsin Playing Well Down the Stretch?
After a loss to these Terrapins on February 4th, Wisconsin has rattled off wins in four of their last six games. The Badgers have a victory over #8 Purdue over that span but are coming off a five point loss to Michigan State on Sunday. The loss to the Spartans may have still had some positive return as freshman Brad Davidson was spectacular with 30 points against one of the top defenses in the country. If Davidson proves a viable offensive threat, it can open things up even more for 1st Team All Big Ten selection Ethan Happ.
The Badgers can have success in the 3/1 Big Ten tournament free pick if they can get to 70 points. UW is 12-3 when scoring over 70 on the season which is a positive as Maryland gave up 72.9 points per game in conference play. There might be some offensive worries about adjusting to the rims at Madison Square Garden, but Iowa and Illinois dispelled that in combining for 183 points last night.
Do the Terps Go Inside or Outside?
Maryland matches up well with the 6’10” Happ as they put their own 6’10” Bruno Fernando on the floor. Wisconsin used a double team to limit Fernando to one of his worst games of the year with just six points but Happ shined with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Maryland used a combined 42 points from Anthony and Kevin Huerter to get that 68-63 win at home on February 4th. Can the Terrapins survive in the 3/1 Big Ten tournament free pick from the outside though?
The Terrapins are just 3-3 since beating the Badgers a month ago. The last loss was a 24 point home defeat against Michigan on Saturday which was especially damning since it was the Terrapins’ senior day. The Terps hope today goes a bit better than their last appearance in the Big Ten tournament in which they were bounced in the first round by Northwestern last year.
3/1 Big Ten Tournament Free Pick Betting
There’s a lot of talent on the court today and the line has stood firm at MD -2.5. Oddsmakers are expecting a grind-it-out game in setting the O/U at 130.5 for this contest. 58% of the public are liking Maryland on the neutral court and they do have the travel advantage (199 miles compared to 809). That being said, the Badgers are 4-0 ATS and have gone 5-2 ATS their last 7 meetings with Maryland. With the veteran presence of Ethan Happ it’s hard to envision the Badgers being one-and-done.
Free Pick: Wisconsin Badgers +2.5