Alabama vs. Maryland Projected Odds: Our Spread, Total for NCAA Tournament Second Round
William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jaden Shackelford.
#2 Alabama vs. #10 Maryland Odds
How Maryland & Alabama Match Up
|All stats via KenPom.|
What To Know About Alabama
The Crimson Tide finished as the top team in 3-point shooting in the SEC and 11th nationally in perimeter defense. The “3-and-D” is used heavily in the NBA but has worked well for head coach Nate Oats in his second season.
Alabama’s shot charts are a dream for the analytics crowd. The Tide want to play fast and score in transition. And in the half-court, they want to utilize dribble penetration to either get to the rim or kick it out for a 3. They did deal with some inevitable shooting regression down the stretch after an unsustainable early pace, but it’s still an excellent shooting team.
What has been even more consistent all season has been Alabama’s defense, which ranks second in the nation in adjusted efficiency, per KenPom. This is an elite defense by any metric that is capable of carrying the Tide on their off-shooting nights. Alabama is a legitimate final four contender because of that defense.
The offense remains a very high-variance unit since it does shoot three-pointers at a top-20 rate nationally. If the shots are falling for six straight games, Alabama can win it all. If not, they could get upset especially by a team that can slow the game down and contain Alabama’s dribble penetration in the half court.
Keep your eyes on the status of starting freshman guard Josh Primo, who left the Miss State game with an injury, in addition to the progression of big man Jordan Bruner, who returned from injury late in the regular season. — Stuckey
What To Know About Maryland
The Terrapins are an all-around solid team, ranking 43rd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 26th defensively. Playing at a pace that ranks 313th, though, they’re not going to blow anyone out of the water.
Maryland has played college basketball’s 11th-toughest schedule, which comes with the territory of playing in the Big Ten. That has given them a ton of experience that could help in the Big Dance, however.
The Terps lost three of their last four, including a pair in the regular season to lowly Penn State and Northwestern, so they’re unlikely to be a sexy pick to make a deep run in March. But this team has plenty of perimeter talent and flashed its potential in a number of impressive road wins during Big 10 play.
Maryland isn’t deep and don’t run much of anything through the post, but when it is making its outside shots — the Terps own a top-50 3-point rate — they can hang with anybody. The problem is they are subpar on the offensive glass, so when the shots aren’t falling, it’s lots of one-and-done possessions.
This is definitely a high-variance team if you’re looking for a potential squad to pull off an upset or two that not many other bracket builders will pick. They ideally want to avoid teams with excellent post play and would be better off in a game that is played at a faster pace. The defense is very versatile but hardly ever forces turnovers. — Matt Trebby