Maryland (25-12) will face Iowa (24-12) Tuesday night in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament. Maryland is playing in the National Invitation Tournament semifinals for the third time in history and the first time since 2005 after beating No. 1 seed Alabama, 58-57, last Tuesday. Iowa also defeated No.1 seed Virginia, 75-64, to advance to the semifinal game against the Terps.
WHO THEY ARE:
The Hawkeyes went 9-9 in the Big Ten, this year's strongest basketball conference. However, none of the Hawkeyes' nine losses were remotely bad. Iowa was always on the verge of breaking through in the Big Ten and if the game was 38 minutes, they might have. The Hawkeyes opened conference play with Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State. Yeah, not a lot of fun. Despite the tough schedule, Iowa only lost to Indiana by four and Michigan State by three. Iowa lost two Big Ten games in double overtime and in between those heartbreakers, they lost to Minnesota by just three. I think you get the point. This is a quality basketball team.
WHO THEY HAVE:
Roy Devyn Marble is Iowa's go-to-guy and has led the team in scoring, averaging 25.3 points with 5.3 assists and three steals in the Tournament. It will be interesting to see whether Wells or Howard gets the task of marking up on Marble.
Another key player for Iowa is sophomore forward Aaron White. White was one of four Big Ten players to average 12.9 points and six or more rebounds.
Keep an eye out for Mike Gesell, the Iowa freshman has been dealing with a stress reaction in his right foot that causes him major pain. He scored seven points with one assist and two steals in just nine minutes in Iowa's 75-64 win over Virginia. How Gesell is feeling and how long he spends on the court could have a big impact on the game.
While Maryland's last several opponents played smaller lineups, Iowa's lineup against the Terps will be more traditional. A striking similarity between the two squads is youth, Iowa has just one senior and Maryland follows close behind with only two seniors on its roster.
WHAT IS AT STAKE :
Maryland will get a taste of the future, against a Big Ten foe and the obvious motivation is advancing to THE SHIP on Thursday against the winner of Baylor vs. BYU.
Tip-off is at 9:oo p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2.
Behind Enemy Lines: Iowa Hawkeyes
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