With under 24 hours until College Gameday officially airs live from College Park, the hype surrounding the Terps is only rising.
No. 9 Maryland, which is coming into the game atop the Big Ten and coming off of a thrilling last-second win over Minnesota, is looking to remain unbeaten at home. The visiting No. 24 Michigan State Spartans, who currently sit in second place in the conference, are looking to avenge a home loss they suffered against the Terps a few weeks ago.
“To me, College Gameday is a great day for our program,” said Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon. “We’ve earned it, so that’s what is pretty cool about it. It wasn’t given to us, we earned it by our play.”
With just three games to go in the regular season, Maryland has a chance to secure their first-ever Big Ten Conference Championship and has also positioned themselves for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Gameday crew had high praise for the Terps ahead of their game against the Spartans.
“If you look historically at the teams that have won championships, Maryland checks every box,” said ESPN analyst Jay Bilas. “They are very, very well-coached. They have an outstanding point guard in Anthony Cowan, an outstanding big guy in Jalen Smith, [and] they’ve got quality players around those two.”
Bilas was not the only analyst to heap praise on the Terps. Seth Greenberg also had good things to say about Maryland.
“I think the biggest thing is that they seem like they really like each other,” Greenberg said, speaking to the Terps chemistry. “If your locker room is on the same page, and there is great trust and belief in each other, and there’s no static, then you can continue to improve. I think that [is] what this team has done, [which] is continue to improve.”
While it is easy to get caught up in all of the antics surrounding the big game, Terps players are not letting it distract them.
“It’s really exciting, I mean you can see the excitement in the students and the people around campus,” said Maryland guard Aaron Wiggins. “For our team, we [have] to approach it like it’s another game. It’s a really tough team that we’re going up against, they aren’t going to back down, they aren’t going to lay down. We [have] to come out to play.”