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Indiana runs away with it vs. Maryland: 5 things you need to know

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Indiana runs away with it vs. Maryland: 5 things you need to know

This one didn't determine whether Maryland did or did not get a double bye in the Big Ten tournament. It was simply to improve an NCAA tournament resume that has not had many crowning achievements on it over the past few weeks.

But the Terrapins could not get a victory on the road in Bloomington, pulling within single digits late in the second half before ultimately falling to Indiana, 80-62. Troy Williams led the way for the Hoosiers with 23 points. Senior guard Yogi Ferrell had 17.

Three Maryland players scored in double figures, led by 17 from Melo Trimble. Diamond Stone had 12 points and seven rebounds.

Maryland finishes the regular season 24-7 and 12-6 in the Big Ten. Here are 5 things you need to know.

1) Hot start for first time in a long time

It’s atypical for Maryland get out to a strong start against a quality opponent. They much more often will have to work from behind, as they did the last time they went on the road and played Purdue.

Sunday was a different story. Maryland got out to a 12-4 lead and looked like it had good control of the pace by working the ball inside to Diamond Stone to start and drawing an early foul on fellow freshman Thomas Bryant.

They peppered in some small ball at the 12:41.

2) The three will always keep Indiana alive

Even when Maryland had that 12-4 lead, Indiana simply turned up the heat from the outside and ripped off an 8-0 run to tie it. Maryland counter with a 6-0 run. Indiana swung back with a 12-3 run after taking their first lead with 9:25 to go in the first.

It all started with the ability of Indiana point guard Yogi Ferrell to create off the dribble. When he got into the lane, Maryland’s defense was forced to react and collapse. Because he is surrounded by so many shooters, he can kick it out to any one of a handful of players with confidence.

Six Hoosiers hit at least one three in the first half.

MORE TERPS: THE KEY TO MARYLAND'S SMALL BALL HOPES

3) Offensive drought strikes at bad time

Maryland began the game 9-of-15 from the floor. They were then 2-of-13 for the rest of the half, which paired with Indiana’s hot shooting from deep resulted in a 23-6 Hoosier run to head into the break.

In the final 11:18 of the first half, the only player outside of Melo Trimble to score points for the Terrapins was Robert Carter, who hit two free throws.

4) Even when there’s a Maryland punch, there’s an Indiana counterpunch

Troy Williams scored 10 of first 12 Indiana points of the second half. The Terrapins struggled to get back defensively on a number of possessions, especially after scoring a basket themselves. What that created was a cycle of good offensive possessions and bad defensive possessions that ultimately created little for the Terrapins.

Indiana was careful with the basketball. After turning it over at the 7:52 mark of the first half, they did not turn it over again until the middle of the second half. That was a buffer against any sort of Maryland advance.

The Terrapins cut it to nine points with 6:55 to play on a three by Jaylen Brantley. It could never really break through from there.

5) Even in a lot of categories, but two stick out

Maryland was actually on the plus side of the rebounding battle. They finished -5 in turnovers, but that margin was closer than that before there was some unraveling at the end. The two teams made the same number of three-pointers.

The two differences? Shooting percentage is the obvious one. Maryland shot 10 percentage points lower than Indiana on Sunday, coming in at just 41 percent. The root of that is likely from some broken offensive possessions that resulted in late-clock heaves.

The other? The free-throw disparity. Indiana made 20-of-25 from the stripe. Maryland made 6-of-8. Part of that is the way Maryland played. They settled for jumpers when they should have gotten to the basket. Indiana got to the rim to take advantage of a scrambling Maryland defense and drew contact.

But surely there were also calls that Mark Turgeon would have liked to have. It’s part of life on the road in college basketball. Purdue’s free throw disparity was massive vs. Maryland when they came to College Park and Matt Painter made sure to point it out postgame. It happens.

Indiana is the type of team that has given Maryland issues the entire season. The Hoosiers can play small and shoot the basketball. That reveals the truth about Maryland’s fate in March -- and, really, the fate of many other teams.

The NCAA tournament is about matchups. It always has been, but that will be accentuated this year. If Maryland meets a scrappy, small, shooting team in the Round of 32, they could risk getting eliminated. They could also face three teams that they match up well against and end up in the Elite 8.

In a year like this, you just don’t know.

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

The world of college basketball has been on high alert since last fall when reports first surfaced of a longterm FBI investigation into the worst-kept secret in sports: college athletes being paid to play.

News surrounding the scandal died down after the inital wave of arrests, but Yahoo! Sports released a warning of sorts recently and followed it up on Friday by naming players (both past and present) for the first time. There were dozens of programs and players implicated, including Maryland's Diamond Stone.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon released the following statement Friday afternoon.

"Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community."

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season, after which he left for the NBA. That Terps team was highly-ranked entering the season but ended up losing in the Sweet 16 to top-seeded Kansas.

RELATED: DIAMOND STONE ADMITS TO 'MISTAKES' DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AT MARYLAND

Andy Miller is the agent whose financial records were used to implicate so many players in the Yahoo! Sports report. It's no surprise that Turgeon would deny having a relationship with Miller regarding any of his players, but the question remains: What does this mean for Maryland basketball?

You can be sure that Turgeon will be meeting with both past and current assistant coaches Friday to confirm they have not had any involvement with Andy Miller. He'll also certainly be meeting with higher-ups at Maryland, as they try to cover their bases. 

That said, it seems unlikely Maryland would take an action as drastic as firing Turgeon over these allegations. There has been no evidence released so far that implies Turgeon had any knowledge of Stone's actions. Barring further information coming to light, it seems as though this is a case of Stone developing a relationship with Miller's agency separately from Maryland.

Some of the more vocal members of Maryland's fan base would like to think Turgeon is on the hot seat. The truth is, given his long-term contract and the current state of Maryland's finances, it's not currently feasible to fire him and expect to afford a more accomplished coach. Though if further reports indicate Turgeon was complicit, then all bets are off.

It remains possible the NCAA will impose punishments on the schools involved with this scandal, in the form of reduced scholarships, postseason bans, or worse. But that's likely off the table until further evidence comes out regarding how much schools and coaches actually knew. It is a near-certainty that some schools were in cahoots with Miller and other agents; the problem is identifying which schools were intentionally breaking the rules, and which were simply unaware. Ultimately, however, some degree of responsibility falls on the head coach.

For now, the biggest worry on the minds of Maryland fans should be vacated wins. If Diamond Stone was ineligible, then it's possible the victories Maryland recorded during the 2015-16 season will be erased from the record books. Unfortunately, this could include their run to the Sweet 16, which was the program's first in more than a decade.

Given the expectations surrounding the team during Stone's year in College Park, his tenure could already be considered a disappointment. Losing those wins would further dampen the memories fans have from that season.

On the bright side, at least the Terps didn't have a Final Four run to lose.

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

LINCOLN, Neb. -- James Palmer Jr. scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, Isaiah Roby had all 11 of his after half, and Nebraska held off Maryland 70-66 on Tuesday night.

Palmer and Roby combined for 35 of the Cornhuskers' 40 second-half points, and they secured their first 20-win season since 2008. They won a sixth straight conference game for the first time in 20 years.

Palmer scored 15 straight points for the Huskers (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) over a 10-minute span that ended when Roby hit one of two free throws with 2:57 left for a 64-59 lead. Roby had a double-double, with 10 rebounds, and he also blocked three shots.

The Terps (17-11, 6-9) had a chance to take the lead with a minute to play, but Glynn Watson Jr. blocked Anthony Cowan Jr.'s 3-point try, Evan Taylor came up with the loose ball and got it to Watson.

Watson missed a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout, and Roby got the rebound and was immediately fouled. He made both free throws for a 66-63 lead. Kevin Huerter's layin cut it to one point before Watson made two free throws.

Huerter went to the line with 2.8 seconds left, and after making the first free throw he intentionally missed the second. Palmer got the rebound, was fouled and put the game away with two free throws.

Bruno Fernando led the Terps with 21 points and nine rebounds. Huerter added 12 points and Darryl Morsell had 11.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terps' fading NCAA Tournament hopes might have been dashed with their seventh straight road loss.

Nebraska: The Huskers are resting firmly on the NCAA bubble and absolutely needed this win. They got it, thanks to Palmer and Roby's efforts in the second half.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts Rutgers on Saturday. It's the teams' only meeting this season.

Nebraska visits Illinois. The Huskers beat the Illini 64-63 in Lincoln on Jan. 15.

RELATED: DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: Missed opportunities