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Why one week in March could decide the three-team Big Ten race

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Why one week in March could decide the three-team Big Ten race

With Indiana's home win over Iowa on Thursday night, Maryland now sits in a three-way tie with the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes atop the Big Ten. That sets up for a photo finish in the stretch run between these three teams and it could all come down to one week in early March.

Perhaps it is a tip of the cap to the folks who make the schedule, but two games stand out during that week -- March 1 (Indiana at Iowa) and March 5 (Maryland at Indiana). Let's break it down by team as to what the final weeks of the season look like.

Indiana (20-5, 10-2 Big Ten)

It took a while for the Hoosiers to make believers out of many, but they likely swayed a few after Thursday's victory. The reason? The fact that they could not defend to save their Big Ten lives to start the year, then key guard James Blackmon went down with an injury.

Combine that with the fact that Indiana's schedule was soft to begin the Big Ten season (a lot of Rutgers, Minnesota twice, Illinois, Penn State) and minds weren't changing. 

Now, Indiana has to deal with a brutal end of the season. They cleared the Iowa hurdle and No. 8 Michigan State awaits. Then No. 18 Purdue on Feb. 20. Then that Iowa/Maryland combo to end the season. Tough.

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Iowa (19-5, 10-2 Big Ten)

Iowa, without a doubt, has the most favorable path to a Big Ten title of these three teams and they've earned it. After emerging 4-1 from a stretch that included Michigan State twice, Purdue, and Maryland on the road, the Hawkeyes will face just one identifiable threat late -- Indiana.

But they get the Hoosiers at home this time. 

If anyone has the best shot of winning out in conference play, it is the Hawkeyes. That would force someone else to be flawless. Could Maryland do it?

Maryland (22-3, 10-2 Big Ten)

Six games remain for Maryland. Four they will be favored in (vs. Wisconsin, at Minnesota, vs. Michigan, vs. Illinois). It is the two road games that raise some concern. 

On Feb. 27, Maryland goes to Purdue to face a Boilermaker team that they took care of in College Park -- but a team that shot poorly from three and attempted only five free throws in that game. Then March 5 is Indiana on the road and, if Thursday showed us anything, no one is going to waltz into Bloomington and come out with a win without a fight.

Seeding is also in play for Maryland in the final six games. They likely need at least a 5-1 record, plus a run in the Big Ten tournament, to be in the conversation for a No. 1 seed or solidify themselves as a No. 2.

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Maryland's Kevin Huerter surprises at 2018 NBA Combine

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Maryland's Kevin Huerter surprises at 2018 NBA Combine

Going into the 2018 NBA Combine, Kevin Huerter was not receiving much hype, was off many NBA Draft boards, and many assumed he was heading back to college anyways.

Playing in the first scrimmage of the combine process, all those storylines quickly changed.

Playing against players like Jacob Evans, Donte DiVincenzo, Udoka Azubuike, and Jevon Carter, Huerter emerged as one of the top stars. The two-year Maryland spot-up shooter saw 25 minutes of action and only trailed Penn State prospect Tony Carr in points on his squad.

With 14 points (5-11 FG, 3-8 three-pointers), Huerter showed development since he was last seen with the Terps. His passing was the biggest asset for his team and was not afraid to take a shot against these top defenders.  The 6-7 forward also added three rebounds, an assist, and had only one turnover.

Although his shooting in-game was not fantastic, in the individual drills he showed off.  Of the seven shooting marks, he ranked in the top five in five of them.  He also had the best shuttle run (2.96 seconds).

No question, Huerter’s draft stock significantly rose. Although still early, he is looking to be the highest rated Terp prospect this year over Justin Jackson and Bruno Fernando.

Consensus among those at the NBA Combine seems to believe that Huerter will return for his junior season at Maryland.

After today though, it may be hard to say no.

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Panthers' first-round pick D.J. Moore visits Maryland with his new puppy

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Panthers' first-round pick D.J. Moore visits Maryland with his new puppy

D.J. Moore has an adorable new puppy!

Days after the Carolina Panthers selected Moore as the No. 24 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the former Maryland wide receiver returned to his roots and paid a visit to College Park.

But the first-rounder wasn’t alone when he went to Maryland. According to the Terps’ football Twitter account, he brought his new puppy with him. Seriously, look at this puppy!

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The Big Ten Receiver of the Year in 2017, Moore was obviously a crucial component of the Terps’ offense. He finished the season with 80 catches — a Maryland single-season record, which was also a Big Ten high.

He declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season with Maryland.

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