The Maryland Terrapins have played the Fighting Illini of Illinois twice this year. Once at home a couple of weeks back, and again last night. In the first game, the Illini jumped out to a big first-half lead and went into halftime with a fourteen-point lead, looking poised to knock off the Terrapins on their home court.
In the end, Maryland put together a furious rally and won the game on a last-second Anthony Cowan Jr three-pointer. When I saw I could get Illinois in the rematch, this time in Champaign, I felt that the time was right for the Illini to seek their revenge at home and backed Illinois, laying two points.
UNO SWINGS PUNCHES ?
Averaged 20 points, 6.5 assists, 5.5 boards against Illinois this year pic.twitter.com/X0ibNDhYAb
— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) February 8, 2020
But unfortunately for us, the rematch played out nearly identically to the first game. The Illini once again jumped out to a big fourteen-point lead in the first half, only to see Maryland come back and take the lead in the second half. The Terrapins used a big run late in the second half to eventually pull away and secure the huge road upset.
With the win, Maryland now has taken over sole possession of first place in the Big 10 standings, a game up on both Illinois and Michigan State. The next three games are key for Maryland as they need to avoid having a letdown game against Nebraska and Northwestern at home, and they have a road game at Michigan State, that will likely decide the Big 10 regular-season championship sandwiched in between.
For Illinois, they drop to second place in the Big 10, as they picked up their first loss at home in league play. The Illini host Michigan State in their next game and must find a way to beat the Spartans if they want any chance at catching Maryland, who has now swept the Illini in the season series. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head out west where the Oregon Ducks play the Oregon State Beavers.
- Oregon Ducks (18-5) at Oregon State Beavers (13-9)
- Gill Coliseum, Corvallis
- 7:30 PM PST
- TV: PACN
The Oregon State Beavers host their in-state rivals, the Oregon Ducks tonight, in search of a badly needed signature win. The Beavers have really struggled here in conference play, as they are just 3-7 in the Pac-12. But they do have a handful of nice wins, including wins over Arizona, Stanford, Colorado, and Iowa State, and if they can find a way to pick up a couple more quality wins down the stretch, they have a shot at getting an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament, something that has mostly eluded this program in recent years.
— Oregon State Hoops (@BeaverMBB) February 8, 2020
For Oregon, the Ducks are tied with Colorado and Arizona in the loss column atop the Pac-12 standings and can’t afford to let a winnable road game like this one slip through their hands. All three of the Ducks losses in league play have come on the road, to the likes of Colorado, Washington State, and Stanford. They have, however, beaten Utah, Washington, and Cal on the road, so they are certainly capable of winning in tough environments.
This Oregon Ducks team saw their names called earlier today when the NCAA selection committee released their preview of the top four seeds in each region this morning. The committee currently has them as a four seed out west, and they are the only Pac-12 team in the top sixteen. It would appear that losing to Stanford last week on the road didn’t hurt their stock all that much, as they are still a high projected seed.
The Ducks resume is certainly impressive in terms of quality teams that they have defeated. The Ducks have signature wins over top-100 teams Boise State, Memphis, Houston, Seton Hall, Michigan, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, and USC. The Ducks have the seventh highest-rated offense in terms of efficiency per kenpom, and at nearly seventy-seven points a game, are one of the highest-scoring teams in the country.
Oregon State Beavers
This was supposed to be the year that the Beavers figured things out and competed at the top of the Pac-12. Tres Tinkle came back for his senior season, and Ethan Thompson, Zach Reichle, and Alfred Hollins all joined him as multi-year returning starters that made this team very experienced. But after starting out the season 10-2 in the non-conference, the Beavers have completely fallen apart here in league play.
While losses to Washington, USC, and Arizona State aren’t all that bad, losses to Utah, Washington State, UCLA, and Cal were games that the Beavers had to have, against teams outside of the top-100. But the Beavers still have plenty of meat left on their schedule to pad their resume and sneak into the madness. That starts tonight against Oregon, and they have games left against top teams like Colorado, Arizona, and Stanford still left to play. If they can catch fire, they could end their season dancing.
Who Do I Like?
This is one of those you can throw out the record type of rivalries. These teams play the annual “Civil War” twice every year, and this is the 353rd time these two teams have matched up, which is an NCAA record for the number of games between two teams. And historically, this has been a competitive series as the Ducks came into this season holding a 188-163 lead in the all-time series.
It is hard to argue that the Ducks aren’t the far superior team in this game. But I absolutely hate laying wood on the road in league play, particularly in a rivalry game. So, I just won’t do it. I will stay away from having an opinion on the side, and instead, focus on where I do see ample value, the game total.
This total opened up at 144.5-points. Kenpom has this one rated to finish at 145-points, so that number seemed like a sharp one. But since then, everyone, and I mean everyone, has jumped on the under. Both the sharps and public alike have hammered this number and drive it down seven and a half points! That is nearly unheard-of line movement in a college basketball game.
So, I will do what I almost always do, and that is look to fade the public, in this one. These teams are both high scoring and have gone over the eighty-point mark, collectively seventeen times this year. If all they do is both score their averages, this one hits 151-points. I love it when everyone seems to be on one side, so I can get on the other side and pick the low hanging fruit of a major over-exaggeration. Give me the over 137.5-points tonight in Corvallis!