Big Ten basketball continues over the holiday season with the Maryland Terrapins (5-3, 0-2 Big Ten) taking on the No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (8-1, 2-0 Big Ten) on Monday evening. The two teams meet up for the first of two battles in this season’s conference schedule.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. EST inside the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisc. Wisconsin is a 9.5-point favorite in the conference matchup.
What to Know – Maryland Terrapins
The Terrapins won their first four games of the season but have won just one of four since, including a pair of conference losses to begin the Big Ten slate. Monday night’s game marks the second-straight conference road game for Maryland.
Including the previous game against the Boilermakers, Maryland enters a nightmare stretch of basketball that includes 10 of its next 11 games against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 or receiving votes.
Maryland averages 75.1 points per game and is led by junior guard Eric Ayala pouring in 14.4 points per game. Ayala has scored in double figures in all but one game this season and tallied a season-high 23 points in a non-conference matchup against La Salle before Christmas.
Forward Donte Scott has also reached double figures in all but one game to begin his sophomore campaign. Over the last six games, Scott is shooting over 65 percent from the field and better than 50 percent from the arc.
Defensively, the Terrapins are surrendering 65.3 points per game while holding teams to 42 percent shooting from the field and 36 percent from the three-point line.
What to Know – Wisconsin Badgers
The Badgers are rolling after a road victory over Michigan State on Christmas. Wisconsin’s win marks 10 straight conference victories dating back to the 2019-20 season.
Wisconsin will play two conference games in a row at home, with the Minnesota Golden Gophers heading to Madison on Thursday for a New Year’s Eve tilt.
Forward Micah Potter (13.1 ppg) and guard D’Mitrik Trice (13.0 ppg) pace the Badgers offense that scores 78.1 points per game. Trice scored a season-high 29 points against the Spartans behind 50 percent shooting from the floor and a 57 percent mark from beyond the arc.
Guard Brad Davison (11.2 ppg) and forward Nate Reuvers (10.6 ppg) also enter the week averaging in double figures in scoring. Reuvers was the Badgers’ leading scorer last season, while Davison is the Badgers’ active leading scorer with 1,153 career points.
Wisconsin possesses the Big Ten’s best defense, allowing teams to score an average of 59.6 points per game. The Badgers defense is holding opponents to just 37.5 percent shooting from the field.
The Pick Is In
The Big Ten is always tough to predict, given the quality of teams in the conference and the rollercoaster-like fluctuation with the play of teams in the league. Wisconsin has been on fire early this season and notched a statement victory on Christmas with a huge road win in East Lansing.
The Badgers continue to roll against the Terrapins and notch their 11th conference victory in as many contests.
The Pick: Wisconsin -9.5