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Maryland Vs. Penn State: It's On

Well, in case you missed it, one of our posters kicked off "Maryland Hate Week" yesterday with this Fanpost. The Twitter hash tag #UMDhateweek has subsequently been established, too.

Well, the folks over at SB Nation's Maryland Blog, Testudo Times, have taken notice of the hate and have responded.

Too bad no one really cares.

See, Penn State went 3-15 in the Big Ten last year. They won 11 games. Maryland-Penn State would've been a good matchup in football this year. You want to get a rivalry going there, I'm all for it. But, uh, in basketball? Stay in your place. Maryland has as many national championships since 2000 as PSU does NCAA tournament appearances. We have real teams to play pretty soon.

Unfortunately for Maryland, Penn State football has as many BCS appearances wins this season as the Terps do all-time, which is to say absolutely none. Testudo Times also forgets that the Nittany Lions did in fact win a national basketball championship in 2008-2009 when they won the NIT. Hey. They never defined which national championship they were talking about.


Jokes aside, though, Ben over at TT did manage to put together a pretty nice preview of Penn State yesterday as well. It's a pretty fair breakdown of where the Nittany Lions stand right now, and if you've got a few minutes, it's a good read. I would take one exception with it, however.

Those problems are compounded by the fact that Penn State's a traditional Big Ten team in that they play very slowly. Of the major conferences, only Arizona St. and a handful of other Big Ten teams play at a slower pace than Penn St. does. So when Maryland starts playing in transition, Penn State's athleticism and stamina is going to be seriously tested with a lineup so shallow.

If the Nittany Lions are "slow," it's only because they get bogged down in their offensive end by their own ineptitude and not as a matter of strategy. Ed DeChellis teams are actually known for  pushing the pace (or at least trying to) in transition and making opponents run a little. Endurance shouldn't be a concern for Penn State Wednesday night.

Onto predictions.

The only person in Penn State's corner on this one is Ken Pomeroy, who gives the Lions a 56% chance of winning at home. The ESPN folks aren't showing much love, though.

Bilas: Maryland -- Although a road game, the Terps have more talent.
Brennan: Maryland -- Maryland forward Jordan Williams is a budding star, and unless Talor Battle can sprout about 10 inches by Wednesday night, the Nittany Lions won’t be able to stop him.
Fraschilla: Maryland -- The Terps should grind out a road win in State College.
Gottlieb: Maryland -- The Terps are better inside with Jordan Williams and though Talor Battle can win a game on his own, Maryland's size and pressure in the backcourt should hurt his percentages.
Katz: Maryland -- Penn State is having a hard time being relevant while the Terps continue to play tougher, no matter the venue.
Leung: Maryland -- The Terrapins' only losses are single-digit ones to Pitt and Illinois, so Penn State should be no problem.
Lunardi: Maryland -- Penn State isn't the most athletic bunch and was already exposed by Ole Miss.
O’Neil: Maryland -- The Nittany Lions would need to borrow one of JoePa's linebackers to have a player to contend with Jordan Williams.
Williams: Maryland -- The Nittany Lions will have no answer inside for the Terps’ Jordan Williams.

Make no mistake, the Terps' Jordan Williams is pretty good but it's kind of laughable the way these folks are already discounting Jeff Brooks and David Jackson. While the 6'10" forward Williams is averaging 17.4 points and 11.9 rebounds per game, Jackson and Brooks aren't far behind. Jackson is averaging 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds and Brooks is averaging 16 and 7.5. I'll stop short of saying the Lions have the advantage in the front court heading into this one, but if Brooks and Jackson play as they have early on this season, even in the loss to Ole Miss last Friday, it'll closer than the experts say.

That said, let the hype ensue, Gladiator style.