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Maryland Terrapins vs. Valparaiso Crusaders NCAA Tournament - 3/20/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Valparaiso Crusaders (27-5) at Maryland Terrapins (27-6)

College Basketball: Friday, March 20, 2015 at 4:40 pm (Nationwide Arena)

The Line: Maryland Terrapins -3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: TNT

The Horizon champion Valparaiso Crusaders take the floor with the Maryland Terrapins in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

 The Valparaiso Crusaders had a return to glory in the Horizon as the regular season champion before knocking off Green Bay in the conference playoffs. The Crusaders have spectacular numbers at 28-3 and 15-3 in the conference with 70 points scored on 46% marksmanship while giving up 59 points on just 38% although the naysayers will claim their #253 strength of schedule has something to do with the success. That is partially true with few opponents ranked in the top 100.  Alec Peter’s was the leader of a very strong offense at 17 points and nearly seven boards with Darien Walker and Tevonn Walker contributing 10+ points each with numerous secondary scorers.

Maryland Terrapins vs. Valparaiso Crusaders NCAA Tournament - 3/20/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

 The Maryland Terrapins first season in the Big Ten was  exceptional with the number eight ranking on a 27-6 record and a solid 15-5 mark in conference mark. The Terrapins could score and defend as they outscore the opposition 70-63 with just 39% shooting allowed on the number 58 strength of schedule. The Terps were red hot with eight consecutive victories before losing to Michigan State in the conference playoffs. Maryland did defeat Iowa State and Oklahoma State in non conference action so  they have punch especially given the success in the Big Ten. Melo Trimble is the top scorer at 16 points with Dez Wells right behind him with 15 points while Jake Layman adds 13 points and a team high six boards.

 The Crusaders are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Valpo are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win. The Terrapins are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win and  4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record. Maryland  are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games overall and  5-1 ATS in their last 6 Friday games.

I think Maryland is more battle tested in the Big Ten so I’ll lay the chalk…

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Maryland Terrapins -3.5

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