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Maryland falls to Wisconsin: 5 things you need to know

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Maryland falls to Wisconsin: 5 things you need to know

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland came into Saturday’s game against Wisconsin riding a 27-game home winning streak. It needed to continue for the Terrapins to put themselves in the best position to win the Big Ten regular-season title.

Saturday, it was snapped.

Wisconsin, making use of hot shooting from three and a double-digit rebounding margin, earned a victory on the road over the Terrapins, 70-57.

Four Terrapins scored in double figures, led by Rasheed Sulaimon’s 17 points, but the offense overall was unable to hit its stride. Wisconsin countered with four double-figure scorers of its own, led by 21 points from Vitto Brown.

Here are five things you need to know.

1) Defense setting the tone early

It was Maryland’s weakness early in the season and it has now transformed into the thing that sets the tone for these Terrapins. Through four minutes, Jake Layman had three blocks. Those blocks function line turnovers, spurring the transition game for Maryland.

And though Maryland’s pace numbers don’t show it -- per KenPom, they rank 229th in adjusted tempo -- I think this team is most dangerous when they get out and run. With so many shooters, it is difficult for teams to find guys in transition and match up.

After getting in a 7-2 hole, they responded with a 12-0 run to take the lead back.

2) Hitting an offensive rut

Few other teams in the country can go from looking like a Maserati on the offensive end of the floor to struggling to even get a look like Maryland can. After getting out to the 14-7 lead, the Terrapins went more than eight minutes without a point until a pair of Melo Trimble free throws stopped the skid.

In that time, though, Wisconsin grew its lead to 24-16. In all, it was a 17-0 Badger run. Turnovers were the persistent problem, with Maryland having committed nine by the under-4 timeout.

3) Scuffle under the rim

After a Melo Trimble miss with under five seconds to play in the first half and Maryland trailing, 35-19, Terrapin and Badger players went after the ball under Maryland’s rim. Freshman Diamond Stone and Wisconsin junior Vitto Brown went to the ground.

As Stone got up, replay appears to show that his left hand pushes Brown’s head into the ground. At the same time, it appears Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes is moving Stone to the side. Wisconsin players reacted and the two sides had to be separated under the basket.

Wisconsin’s Charlie Thomas was assessed a technical foul. Stone was assessed a contact technical foul.

4) Energy out of the half

After the scuffle to end the first half, Maryland trailed by 15 points. If they had any chance of fighting back, they needed energy out of the half -- and they got it.

Robert Carter, Jr’s dunk, plus the foul, ignited the crowd. It was an all-around effort. Trimble was involved. Jake Layman was involved. Even guard Jaylen Brantley came off the bench to chip in four points and some crucial minutes in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

It was a six-point game with 10:35 to play.

5) Big Badger shots down the stretch

Any time Maryland got close, Wisconsin answered back in a big way. With defense draped all over him, Bronson Koenig hit a jumper with 9:28 to go to push the lead to nine points. He followed that with a three that got it to 10, answering a Maryland basketball.

Zak Showalter made Maryland pay with a three after they failed to close out a possession. A Layman three with 4:18 to go cut it to eight and could have turned the tide, but a Brown three squashed the momentum immediately.

Wisconsin made just 23 shots from the floor on Saturday night, but 12 of them were threes. They shot 41 percent from the floor, but 46 percent from three. Add that to the fact that Maryland missed an uncharacteristically high number of free throws, and a team like the hot Badgers becomes tough to beat.

Wisconsin has now won seven in a row.

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Maryland's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Maryland's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Darnell Savage is the third NFL draft prospect profiled in our series ‘I Am the Prospect’. Download the MyTeams App for all three features.

Darnell Savage Jr. spent four seasons wowing fans in College Park as a defensive star for the Maryland Terrapins, and in April he found out he’ll be taking his talents to Wisconsin after being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Now, his future in Green Bay is officially official.

As Schefter mentions, Savage is the first first-rounder to sign a contract in 2019. It will be the standard length of first-round draft picks, going four years guaranteed with a fifth-year option. Reports are that the speedy, hard-hitting safety will earn $12.5 million over the first four seasons of the contract.

There were some questions about Savage’s fit in an NFL defensive backfield, given his size. But he is an athletic player with great instincts for the ball, and his statistics were thoroughly impressive the last two seasons in college. The Packers certainly believed he would be a terrific fit in their defense, considering they traded up to the 21st pick in order to make the selection.

Savage should have a great opportunity to start early in Green Bay, and now that he’s signed his contract so early, he’ll be able to get to work sooner rather than later. Knowing Savage, that’s just the way he wants it.

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

Thursday night will be a very important moment in the life of former Maryland linebacker Tre Watson.

At midnight, the highly-anticipated Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame will hit the big screen for general audiences to see, bringing the conclusion to a decade worth of popular films. Watson, like millions of others, has been counting down the days until he could see the Avengers and Thanos go at it one more time.

Oh, and Thursday also marks the beginning of the 2019 NFL Draft, where Watson will most likely hear his name called at some point over the three-day span.

While Watson will be tuning into the draft that night, he understands that his moment of recognition may come a little later on in the week. Therefore, Thursday is all about 'Avengers'.

"Fortunately, you know, I'm kind of realistic. I know I'm not going to be a first-round pick," Watson said in an interview on NFL Network. "So I'll just be watching that just kind of for the formality of it, I'm definitely excited for 'Avengers' and then I kind of will springboard into Day 2 and Day 3 where I'm hoping to hear my name called. It's really a perfect set up for me, honestly."

This isn't the first time that Watson has let it be known to the world that he is a dedicated Marvel fan. His Twitter feed is filled with thoughts on the movie, including a tweet from a few months back that took the internet by storm.

The first round of the draft still does have some intrigue for Watson, as his former teammate Darnell Savage Jr. has gained a lot of steam during the draft process and has a chance to be chosen on Thursday night. However, Watson will hope that Savage's name is called earlier in the night rather than later, as he will need time to get to the theatre to prepare to watch  Captain America and company save the day one last time. 

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