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NCAA Tournament Monday Previews, Open Thread: And then there were three...

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Iowa, Michigan, and Maryland carry the tattered B1G banner into a do-or-die situation for the conference’s reputation.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Grand Canyon at Iowa
leave the impressions to elvis, fran
IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

So...yesterday was a day for the remaining Big Ten teams, huh?

There are three left. Here are their chances today, along with your open thread for Monday’s NCAA Tournament action:

[2] Iowa Hawkeyes vs. [7] Oregon Ducks

11:10am | CBS | Iowa -5.5 | O/U 147.5
West Region | Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Stew: I was told the Pac12 was bad. But since they play at midnight on channels that don’t actually exist, I’m not sure anyone really knows. And since Oregon was the benefactor of a no contest in round one, we haven’t seen much evidence besides what conference mates have achieved, and hoo-boy, that should send a shiver down a Hawkeye’s spine.

Instead of focusing on the matchup, though, I’m going to stay that Iowa just needs to play their own game, and that should lead to a win. If Iowa can feed Garza, create spacing for triples, and stay out of foul trouble, I don’t think Oregon can keep up with the Garzas.

Poll

pick your bird

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    toothy
    (20 votes)
  • 33%
    named puddles
    (10 votes)
30 votes total Vote Now

[1] Michigan Wolverines vs. [8] LSU Tigers

6:10pm | CBS | Mich -5 | O/U 149
East Region | Lucas Oil Stadium

Brian Gillis: LSU presents a significant challenge for Michigan. The Tigers, who have won five of six and last week fell to Alabama by a single point in the SEC title game, do not lack for talent. Their big four of Cam Thomas, Javonte Smart, Trendon Watford and Darius Days combine to average more than 66 points a game. Thomas leads the way with nearly 23 points a game, but all four players present match-up problems.

But while the Tigers are known for having NBA-level talent and getting up and down the floor, they’re not known for playing defense – or being especially well coached. If you’ve watched the Tigers play this year, you’ve probably noticed that their offense often breaks down to a lot of one-on-one play. LSU has the playmakers to make that work against most teams, but you never get the sense that the sum is greater than the whole of its parts with this team.

You do get that sense with Michigan. And if you’ve watched Michigan play this year, you’ve probably noticed that The Wolverines have more than bought into playing defense, they seem to relish it. They also seem to relish sharing the ball on offense. If Michigan plays its game and shoots reasonably well, the Wolverines should fare well. But if Michigan lets the Tigers get out and run and control the pace, it could be a long day for the Maize and Blue.

Poll

How would you like to be blinded?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Scalding hot pot of gumbo
    (30 votes)
  • 57%
    Maize
    (41 votes)
71 votes total Vote Now

[10] Maryland Terrapins vs. [2] Alabama Crimson Tide

7:45pm | TNT | Bama -5.5 | O/U 138.5
East Region | Bankers Life Fieldhouse

larry31: Let’s see. Not surprised MD beat UConn. I truly thought the game was a toss up, but was sort of expecting a MD win, because that generally play well when they are rested and have time to prepare. See the first MSU game in late February. MD plays very active defense and switches on everything and does a lot of nice double teams.

However, because they play so hard on defense, they tend to play horribly if not rested, especially on offense going from normally mediocre to putrid. Most teams will gain an advantage over MD if both teams, like in tournament play only have one day of rest. I think the more talented AL team wins. But if AL plays really stupid and bad basketball like OSU at the end of their game, with a lot of dribbling and lame 1-on-1 isolations, MD has a chance to pull the upset.

One more thing to add: If MD beats AL, it will be a testament to the importance of mature senior leadership. Daryll Morsell, the B1G DPOY, is the heart and soul of MD. Ayala and Wiggins are juniors. Despite the lack of size and scoring options, MD has a relatively experienced and mature team.

In lacrosse news, MD cruised past OSU 16-8. Currently, the top 3 teams are UNC, Duke and MD, and then the rest. UM surprised a lot of folks to get their first win of the season, beating a solid PSU team. Hopkins, a B1G member in lacrosse only (thanks to very hard lobbying by MD when MD joined the B1G) hung with a very good Rutgers team for 3 quarters before falling 15-9. Let’s go, OTE posters.

Embrace lacrosse, where the dual dynasty of UM-OSU routinely get their asses kicked.

DJ: Man, Larry covered most of that. I definitely agree on the rest bit given how short the MD bench is (we frequently play a walk on because Turgeon recruited really bad for two years) combined with the defensive intensity. It’ll really come down to keeping starters out of foul trouble and hoping that Wiggins/Ayala can keep up the scoring or Donta Scott/Jairus Hamilton are firing (and hitting) from 3. Can we add a stipulation to this game that if MD beats Alabama we get Nate Oats? I like that idea.

Poll

Lotta shit-talking for a 10-seed...

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    ...and it ends today.
    (49 votes)
  • 33%
    ...and the Terps live to talk shit another day.
    (25 votes)
74 votes total Vote Now

Other Games

[8] Oklahoma Sooners vs. [1] Gonzaga Bulldogs

1:40pm | CBS | Zaga -14.5 | O/U 154.5
West Region | Hinkle Fieldhouse

[14] Abilene Christian Wildcats vs. [11] UCLA Bruins

4:15pm | TBS | UCLA -4.5 | O/U 133
East Region | Bankers Life Fieldhouse

[13] Ohio Bobcats vs. [5] Creighton Bluejays

5:10pm | TNT | Creighton -5.5 | O/U 149
West Region | Hinkle Fieldhouse

[5] Colorado Buffaloes vs. [4] Florida State Seminoles

6:45pm | TBS | FSU -1.5 | O/U 140.5
East Region | Indiana Farmers Coliseum

[6] USC Trojans vs. [3] Kansas Jayhawks

8:40pm | CBS | USC -1 | O/U 134.5
West Region | Hinkle Fieldhouse

Brian: Fight on! If for no other reason, you owe it to yourself to tune into this one to watch USC’s silky-smooth, seven-footer Evan Mobley in what could be his last collegiate game. Mobley has a balanced game and plays with a smoothness more often found in small forwards than in centers. Can he and his brother Isaiah lead the Trojans to a victory over Bill Self’s Jayhawks? Kansas is the higher seed, but being the underdog hasn’t exactly slowed down the Pac-12 so far in this year’s tournament.


Here’s your thread for the day’s games. You can also check out the women’s basketball previews here. Go nuts!