Saturday, March 21, 2009

Memphis-Maryland Prediction: Terps Talkin Smack

2. Memphis Tigers vs 10. Maryland Terrapins
Saturday 3PM
Kansas City, MO

After receiving a scare on Thursday, Memphis comes back Saturday looking for another Sweet 16 berth. Standing in their way is the Maryland Terrapins who knocked off Cal behind the outspoken Greivis Vasquez. Heading into Saturday's game, some Maryland players have made comments regarding Memphis' schedule compared to the ACC slate the Terps. No doubt Memphis was listening.

Season Record
Memphis 32-3
Maryland 21-13

Conference Record
Memphis 16-0
Maryland 7-9

vs RPI Top 50
Memphis 4-2
Maryland 5-8

Keys to the Game:

1. Vasquez Stands For Victory
The Maryland point guard is the engine that makes Maryland run. If the native of Venezuela has a great game like he did on Thursday and in the upset of North Carolina a few weeks back, it gives Maryland a chance for the upset. If he plays poorly, then I give Maryland little chance to win.

2. Memphis Statement Early
The Tigers played very flat against Cal State-Northridge on Thursday only putting the Matadors away in the final minutes. They may not have that luxury again going against a big conference team. The longer Maryland stays in this game, the more their already bubbling confidence grows.

3. Who Wins the Turnover Battle?
Both teams are adept at forcing turnovers from their opponent with each getting 15 per game on average. The offenses turn it over about 12 times a game. Both point guards, Vasquez and Memphis' Tyreke Evans will be facing something they are not used to - a tall defender.


I think Memphis' performance on Thursday was largely due to their lack of excitement about receiving a number two seed and not taking their opponent seriously. I think Maryland has the Tigers full attention and I fully expect John Calipari's club to come and ready to play. That intensity has spelled doom for most teams this year and I think it will for Maryland.

Pick: Memphis Wins By 10-16 Points

Season: 40-29 SU through 3/20


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