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Big Ten Semifinal: Maryland vs Michigan State

March 12, 2016

Selection Sunday is just one day away, but there are semifinal tournament games and finals still to be played before teams sit and collectively hold their breathes as the field for the 2016 NCAA Tournament is announced late Sunday afternoon.

However, on Saturday, one of the favorites to be a No. 1 seed in the tournament the Michigan State Spartans face the Maryland Terrapins a tough opponent in the Big Ten semifinals. The other Big Ten semifinal features Michigan versus Purdue.

The Spartans are 27-5 on the season and second in the Big Ten. Michigan State defeated Ohio State Friday evening in the quarterfinals behind their top player and one of the best in the nation in Denzel Valentine.

Maryland enters this semifinal with an overall record on the season of 25-7 and sit in third place in the conference. The Terrapins defeated Nebraska in their quarterfinal to reach the semis.

Melo Trimble is the leader on offense for Maryland averaging 14.5 points and 5 assists per game. Diamond Stone is the team’s second leading rebounder and one of its forces down low in the paint.

Over its past four games played on neutral sites, Maryland is 4-0 against the number. The Terrapins however are a dismal 0-3-1 ATS over their past 4 games versus an opponent with a record above .500.

Michigan State has covered the spread in 8 of its past 11 games played on a neutral court.

With Denzel Valentine healthy, Michigan State is a threat to win the national title. As they have a mix of inside and outside shooting and a defense that can shut opponents down or keep the offense in games if the offense is not clicking on all cylinders.

The Spartans enter the game having won 7 straight, while Maryland lost its final regular season game, prior to its win over Nebraska in the quarterfinals.

Lean toward the Spartans in this as they will win and play the winner of the Purdue – Michigan game on Sunday in the Big Ten final.

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