Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Maryland Terrapins make their Big Ten Conference Tournament debut in Friday's quarterfinal round, as they take on the Indiana Hoosiers at the United Center.
The winner will move on to Saturday's semifinals to face the survivor of the Ohio State/Michigan State matchup.
Indiana, the seventh seed in the event, knocked off No. 10 seed Northwestern in Thursday's second round, 71-56, improving its record on the season to 20-12 and its record in the Big Ten Tournament to 11-17. The win was also big in that it put the brakes on the team's three-game slide to end the regular season. IU has never won this tournament, and made it to only one championship game, losing to Iowa in 2001, 63-61.
Maryland has enjoyed a tremendous first season in the Big Ten, finishing in second place by logging 14 wins in 18 league bouts. The Terps have won 26 games overall, and they come into this event riding a seven-game win streak. They won three ACC Tournament titles during their 70-plus years as member of that league.
These two teams split a pair of meetings during the regular season, with each winning on its home floor, and Indiana owns a 6-3 lead in the all-time series.
Ironically, Maryland won the 2002 National Championship by beating Indiana, 64-52.
Despite being outshot in every way, percentage-wise that is, Indiana still managed to beat Northwestern by double digits on Thursday. The Hoosiers drained 11 3-pointers in the game, albeit on 32 attempts, and James Blackmon, Jr. led the charge with five treys on his way to 25 points. He also dished out seven of the teams's 19 assists. Yogi Ferrell was credited with five helpers to go with 17 points. Troy Williams grabbed a 12 of the team's 42 rebounds, as IU easily won the battle on the boards, doing so by 17. Blackmon (16.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg), Ferrell (16.0 ppg, 5.0 apg) and Williams (13.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg) are all averaging double figures for the Hoosiers, who lead the Big Ten in scoring (77.8 ppg), but at the same time rank last in scoring defense (71.3 ppg).
The media named Mark Turgeon the Big Ten Coach of the Year, and it was a well deserved honor after he led the Terrapins to the lofty heights the team achieved in its first season in the conference. Maryland has been rock-solid at both ends of the court, as it puts up 69.7 ppg while permitting 63.1 ppg, and the team is +1.7 in rebounding margin while holding the opposition to just 39.6 percent field goal efficiency, which includes a 31.4 percent showing out on the perimeter. The team boasts three double-digit scorers in Melo Trimble (16.1 ppg, 3.1 apg), Dez Wells (15.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Jake Layman (13.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg).