The Terps open up Big Ten play this afternoon against Illinois at the Comcast Center. If you been following Maryland this year and you think this will be an easy victory; you're kidding yourself.
No wins in the Big Ten will be "easy" for Maryland. The Terps have shown a tenacity that I've rarely seen in all my years following the program, but they've also shown a frustrating tendency to start slow and/or keep teams in games with sloppy turnovers and dumb fouls.
Illinois is good enough to make the Terps pay. Despite three early losses, the Illini have stiffened and rattled off some decent wins against the likes of NC State, BYU, and Mizzou. They are playing well right now.
The Terps should win but I suspect it will be close, with Melo making the difference down the stretch with clutch free throws. Not exactly a wild prediction but I just don't see the Terps pulling away unless they get really hot from three.
For the record, Illinois is a top 50 RPI team right now, so it would be a nice win. Obviously, that is subject to change as the season progresses but it
Could bode well as the top teams come to town.