Penn State Clashes With Maryland in Regular Season Finale
March is here and teams are fighting for every inch to make it into the NCAA Tournament, but first they need to secure the highest seed possible in their conference tournaments.
Teams all over the country are battling for position in their conference standings and the Big Ten might be the tightest race of all.
Penn State hosts Maryland in the regular season finale for both sides. The two teams matched up earlier this season in College Park that resulted in a 74-68 victory for Maryland.
Since that matchup, both teams have been playing well, but both also suffered crucial losses that have set them back in the conference standings.
Beginning with Maryland, the Terrapins are 20-10 overall this season and sit at 11-8 in conference play. Their kryptonite this season has been road games, as they are a disappointing 2-8 in those games.
The Terrapins were able to get big wins over Purdue and Northwestern after their contest with Penn State, but they lost their last game against a struggling Ohio State team.
Jahmir Young has been the go-to-guy for Maryland all season and has made a case for himself as one of the top guards in the Big Ten.
He caused trouble for the Nittany Lions previously as he scored 18 points and chipped in four rebounds and four assists as well.
This season, he is averaging 15.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 rebounds to lead the Terrapins to a 20-win season.
Penn State had no answer for Young in the first clash, but the Nittany Lions have been playing their best basketball as the regular season comes to a close.
The blue and white have won four of their last five games including key wins over Illinois, Ohio State and Northwestern. They now sit at 18-12 this season and are 9-10 in Big Ten action.
The Nittany Lions have managed to get three road wins in their past five games, but will be looking to avenge a bad loss to Rutgers at home. They led by as many as 19 in the game, but were unable to come out on top.
Jalen Pickett has been held in check offensively in the past couple games, but the hot play of Cam Wynter has helped Penn State capture key victories down the stretch.
In the last four games, Wynter is averaging 18.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 61.4% from the field and 76.5% from beyond the arc.
Both teams have a lot on the line in this final regular season matchup. Currently, Maryland sits second in a seven-way tie for the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament while Penn State finds itself in 10th going into the final game.
A win would go a long way for both teams. For the Terrapins, a win would give them a high chance of getting a double-bye in the conference tournament as a top-four team.
Penn State’s scenario is much more intense. The blue and white have sat on the bubble for virtually the entire season. A win would add another Quad-1 win to their resume and secure a first-round bye in the conference tournament as a top-10 team.
Maryland is firmly set into the March Madness field while the Nittany Lions are trying to claw their way in. Fans are set for a highly anticipated and intense matchup in the final game of the regular season.
Penn State will honor its seven seniors on Senior Day inside the Bryce Jordan Center as the Nittany Lions look to capture a huge win in their regular season finale.
Thomas English is a second-year broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.