Maryland at Connecticut: 3/20/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction
Photo by Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Connecticut Huskies (15-7) vs Maryland Terrapins (16-13)
Game Info: Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 7:10 pm (Mackey Arena)
Betting Odds: Connecticut Huskies -1.5 -- Over/Under: 131 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The Maryland Terrapins and UConn Huskies will square off at Mackey Arena this Saturday in the 1st round of NCAA Championship in the East Division.
The 10-seed Maryland Terrapins come into the NCAA Championship with an overall record of 16-3 while finishing conference play with an 9-11 record. Maryland earned the 8-seed in the Big Ten Championship and was able to defeat the 9-seed Michigan State Spartans in the 2nd round, however, the Terrapins could not advance any further after the 1-seed Michigan Wolverines defeated Maryland by a 79-66 margin in the quarterfinals. Maryland struggled slowing down the Michigan offense and could not fight back after the Wolverines took a 65-52 lead with 7:24 left in regulation. Maryland shot 48.1% from the field and 30.8% from beyond the arc while Michigan shot 51.7% from the field and 45.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Maryland was outrebounded by Michigan by a 32-26 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 11-8 margin. Leading the way for the Terrapins was Eric Ayala who had 19 points, 5 rebounds, & 1 assist.
On the season, Maryland is averaging 68.8 ppg on 45.6% shooting from the field. The Terrapins are averaging 8.1 three-pointers per game on 35.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Maryland has been led by Eric Ayala (14.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 spg), Aaron Wiggins (14.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.1 spg), Donta Scott (10.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.0 apg), & Darryl Morsell (9.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.8 apg).
Defensively, Maryland is holding their opponents to an average of 65.0 ppg on 40.9% shooting from the field. The Terrapins have a rebound margin of -0.2 and a turnover margin of -0.1.
The 7-seed UConn Huskies come into the NCAA Championship with an overall record of 15-7 while finishing conference play with a 11-6 record. UConn earned the 3-sedd in the Big East Championship and defeated the 11-seed DePaul Blue Demons, 94-60, in the quarterfinals, however, the Huskies could not make it to the Big East Championship after being defeated by the 2-seed Creighton Bluejays by a 59-56 margin. UConn had a chance to force OT despite a poor shooting game, however, the Huskies could not convert one three solid opportunities as time expired. UConn shot 32.8% from the field and 21.4% from beyond the arc while Creighton shot 37.1% from the field and 27.8% from beyond the arc. UConn won the turnover battle by a 13-8 margin, however, was outrebounded by Creighton by a 50-33 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Huskies was James Bouknight who had 14 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, & 1 steal.
On the season, UConn is averaging 72.5 ppg on 43.9% shooting from the field. The Huskies are averaging 6.7 three-pointers per game on 33.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UConn has been led by James Bouknight (19.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.9 ag, 1.2 spg), R.J. Cole (12.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.2 spg), Tyrese Martin (10.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.0 spg), & Isaiah Whaley (8.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.4 apg).
Defensively, UConn is holding their opponents to an average of 64.6 ppg on 41.0% shooting from the field. The Huskies have a rebound margin of 4.8 and a turnover margin of 1.4.
The Terrapins are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 neutral stie games as an underdog, however, are just 2-7 ATS in their last 9 NCAA Tournament games. The Huskies are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 Saturday games and 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games as a favorite.
Maryland was a solid team led by their defense which ranks 45th in scoring defense & 49th in defensive FG%, however, the Terrapins do come into this game, losing 3 of their last 4 games and has a scoring offense that is ranked just 238th in College Basketball. UConn lost a tough game to Creighton, however, this is a very dangerous team as they have superstar in James Bouknight and a defense that can really shut you down. I think UConn has a bit of a run in them in this tournament and as Maryland is going to struggle on the offensive end in this one, I think the play here is to take UConn to cover this small spread. Good Luck!