No. 9 Maryland Men's Basketball vs No. 20 Illinois Prediction, Preview

Andy Kwong

Date & Time: Friday, February 6, 2020 8PM EST

Location: State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois

TV Channel: FS1

Both Maryland (18-4) and Illinois (16-6) have significantly improved since their last matchup in early December.

The Fighting Illini will be seeing some new faces in the upcoming game. The Terrapins lost a couple big men to the transfer portal in Makhi and Makhel Mitchell. Their departures provided more opportunities for players like Chol Marial and Joshua Tomaic to contribute. Neither have been scoring threats but have impressed defensively.

Maryland defeated Rutgers 56-51 on Tuesday, extending their win streak to five.

As for Illinois, they are coming off a difficult loss against No. 17 Iowa 72-65. Prior to that game, they were on a roll with a seven game win streak.

Their previous meeting

The Terrapins trailed for most of the game in their last matchup with the Fighting Illini. In the final minute of the game, Cowan not only managed to tie the game, he made the game-winning free throw shot that helped complete Maryland's comeback. 

Maryland trailed by 12 points at the half but came back to win 59-58 at the Xfinity Center. Cowan finished the game with 20 points as Jalen Smith led the team with 13 rebounds.

Prediction

Illinois had to be very upset that they lost in the final seconds of the game against Maryland, after having the lead for most of the night. Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn have been the driving force for the Fighting Illini that have made their team tough to beat. Cockburn was all over the court scoring points and being a handful defensively in the last meeting. The Terrapins have won two-straight games on the road but almost lost in both of them. Illinois should be heavily favored in this one but do not be surprised if the game is decided in the final minutes.

Comments

Basketball

FEATURED
COMMUNITY