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Andy Wittry | | February 29, 2020

No. 24 Michigan State at No. 9 Maryland: Prediction, time, TV channel, preview

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Saturday's Maryland-Michigan State game will be as important as any remaining game in deciding who wins the Big 10 Conference and if the Terps could make a run at a No. 1 seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament.

Maryland (23-5, 13-4 Big Ten) holds a two-game lead over Michigan State (19-9, 11-6 Big Ten).

Just two weeks will have passed since Maryland went to East Lansing, where they won 67-60, and the Terrapins will have a chance to complete the sweep of the season series this weekend.

Here is how to watch the game, a preview and a prediction.

Michigan State at Maryland: Time, TV channel

Maryland will host Michigan State at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 29. The game will be on ESPN and WatchESPN.

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Michigan State at Maryland: Preview, prediction

Maryland's duo of Anthony Cowan (24 points) and Jalen Smith (17 points) combined to score roughly two-thirds of Maryland's 67 points when the Terrapins beat the Spartans earlier in February. Maryland made nine threes, including five from Cowan, while Michigan State was just 4-of-19. That was the biggest statistical difference as rebounding, free-throw shooting and turnovers were relatively even in the game.

The Terps showed incredible poise on the road, finishing the game on a 14-0 run, overcoming a 60-53 deficit with 3:25 left and winning by seven. Cowan and Smith scored all 14 of those points, with the final 11 coming from Cowan and a trio of 3-pointers.

Somewhat surprisingly, despite being in sole possession of first place, Maryland ranks just seventh in Big Ten games in conference efficiency and third defensively. Michigan State is sixth and first, respectively.

In their first meeting this season, Maryland held Michigan State's Cassius Winston to 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting, while Xavier Tillman took a leading role for the Spartans with a team-high 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Can Maryland, which is shooting just 31.9 percent from three this season, get a repeat performance from deep after making nine 3-pointers at a 36 percent clip in East Lansing? Can Anthony Cowan play at an All-American level once again?

Both teams ranked in the top 15 nationally in defensive 2-point percentage and play at a slower-than-average tempo when on defense, so this could be another high-level game played in the 60s.

Prediction: Maryland defeats Michigan State

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