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2013 NIT Tournament Preview and Prediction: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Maryland Terrapins

Daniel Shirley-USA Today Sports

As much of the nation prepares for this Saturday’s NCAA Tournament Final Four, we can’t forget that about that “other” tournament that is going on in the world of college basketball.

Yes, that’s the NIT Tournament and it too is down to its Final Four.

In the second of Tuesday night’s semifinal match-ups, the Iowa Hawkeyes will take on the Maryland Terrapins. The winner of this game will advance to play the winner of the first semifinal between Baylor and BYU.

 

Watch to Watch For:

The Hawkeyes have won six of their last seven games overall heading into Tuesday night’s contest, while Maryland enters having won five of its past six. Each of the team’s losses in that span came within their respected tournaments, but since failing to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, both Iowa and Maryland have continued their winning ways.

Now their paths collide at Madison Square Garden with the right to play for the championship of the NIT. The key in this contest may very well come down to Iowa’s ability to slow down Maryland forward Alex Len. With that being said, the injury to Seth Allen hurt to the Terrapins’ depth, so we will see if Iowa can take advantage of things in the back court.

As part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge earlier this season, each squad played one game against the other team’s respected conference. Maryland went 1-0 against the Big Ten, while Iowa lost its only game against an ACC opponent.

 

Prediction:

Iowa has made a nice run here in the NIT Tournament, but Maryland will surely be looking to set the tone inside early on in this one. If Dez Wells is scoring the ball on the perimeter as well, expect the Terps to advance to the championship game.

 

Tuesday Night’s Prediction- Maryland 68, Iowa 61

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS