Michigan heads to College Park tonight (7:00 p.m., ESPN) to face Maryland. The Terps have lost six of eight games but are still projected to finish .500 in the league, according to KenPom.
Five of those six defeats were away from home, including an 81-46 loss in Ann Arbor, but most were uglier than expected. The Terps find themselves in a spot similar to where Michigan was in the first matchup. It feels like the foundation of their season is creaking, but they are favored at home with a chance to regain footing. Tonight’s game starts a stretch of four out of five at home, and a win tonight could right the ship toward a .500 record by the end of the month.
That’s life in the Big Ten, where you are only ever as good as what the schedule dictates that week.
For Michigan, Maryland presents an opportunity to get a coveted quality road win against a team that it beat by 35 points less than three weeks ago. One of those all-important quadrant-one victories that the Wolverines still don’t have this season. It is also a chance to remain a game behind Purdue in the loss column and to go home and play in front of family and friends for three DMV-area starters.