Maryland Terrapins vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Pick & Prediction MARCH 18th 2023

Stadium: Golden 1 Center Sacramento
Logo Maryland Terrapins
Logo Alabama Crimson Tide

143.5o -110
-8 -111



No. 1 Alabama cruised to the second round of the NCAA Tournament without a single point from All-American Brandon Miller, a testament to the level of talent the Crimson Tide are equipped with entering a second-round matchup Saturday with South Region No. 8 seed Maryland.

Miller, the Southeastern Conference Player and Freshman of the Year, was held scoreless against No. 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi during Thursday's 96-75 victory. He missed his five shot attempts, committed three turnovers and played just 19 minutes.

"He's got a groin injury that he's been nursing since Sunday in the SEC tournament," Alabama coach Nate Oats said of Miller. "We were trying to play him limited minutes. We were able to keep him under 20. Hopefully, he can get a lot of rehab (Thursday night) and (Friday) and look a lot more like himself on Saturday."

The Tide (30-5) otherwise looked as crisp as ever, getting 19 points and 15 rebounds from Nick Pringle and draining 15 3-pointers as a team. Alabama also fed off the in-state crowd, and will have a chance to lean on their supporters again in Birmingham on Saturday.

"As soon as we came out that tunnel I had chills," said Tide guard Mark Sears, who finished with 15 points against the Islanders. "Just seeing all the love we had is just an unbelievable experience."

While the Terrapins (22-12) had a bit of a tougher time getting out of the opening round, they were able to survive and advance.

Maryland coach Kevin Willard sees championship pedigree in his quick scouting of Alabama because of the depth and talent at Oats' disposal.

"I think this is the most talented roster I've seen in college basketball since the '93-'94 Kentucky team. I think Coach (Rick) Pitino's '93 -- with Antoine Walker, Walter McCarthy. This team reminds me of that team with the length, athleticism, how unselfish they play, very similar point guards," Willard said Friday. "I love the way Jahvon Quinnerly is playing right now. I'm happy for him. I've known him since he was in ninth grade.

"The issue with Brandon is he has such good range. So it's not like you can just -- and he's so talented off the dribble. He uses his size. Everyone says he's Paul George, and that's a really good comparison because I think that's who he reminds me of."

Maryland edged West Virginia 67-65 on Thursday after getting off to an extraordinarily slow start, scoring just four points in the first nine minutes.

The Terps clawed back to grab a two-point lead by the break. But it didn't last long, as they found themselves trailing by nine with 15:05 to play.

However, a late 8-0 run and three free throws from Jahmir Young down the stretch allowed Maryland to prevail, as Kedrian Johnson missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.

"It means a lot to move on. Because this is what you work for since the summer began," said Terrapins guard Hakim Hart, who finished with 15 points against the Mountaineers. "Just take it one game at a time."

By overcoming the early drought and the second-half deficit, Hart thinks Maryland is going to be a tough out, even for Alabama.

"It says a lot about our character to me," Hart said about the Terrapins' ability to come back. "It shows we're going to keep continuing to (fight). No matter the outcome could be. Just keep continuing to keep fighting."

Saturday's contest will be a rematch of a second-round game in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Tenth-seeded Maryland defeated UConn to set up a meeting with second-seeded Alabama, which cruised to a 96-77 win. The Tide then fell to UCLA in the Sweet 16.

--Field Level Media

Maryland Terrapins
Alabama Crimson Tide

Maryland Terrapins vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Recap MAR 18TH 2023

Brandon Miller bounced back from a poor game to post 19 points and seven rebounds, leading top-seeded Alabama past eighth-seeded Maryland 73-51 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night in Birmingham, Ala.

Alabama advanced to the South regional next week in Louisville, Ky., and will face No. 5 seed San Diego State in the Sweet 16.

Jahvon Quinerly scored 15 of his game-high 22 in the second half for the Crimson Tide (31-5), while Charles Bediako had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Alabama only outshot Maryland 39.7 percent to 35.2 percent, but the Crimson Tide owned a 44-32 advantage on the boards, and scored 16 second-chance points on 15 offensive rebounds.

Julian Reese scored 14 points for the Terrapins (22-13) despite heavy foul trouble. Jahmir Young scored 12.

Miller went scoreless in Alabama's first-round win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Along with playing through a lingering groin injury, Miller has been under heavy scrutiny for his involvement in the shooting death of Jamea Harris.

Investigators testified that Miller delivered former teammate Darius Miles' gun to the scene of the shooting; Miller has been flanked by armed security at the tournament after receiving "threats," according to coach Nate Oats.

Maryland made its first four field-goal attempts of the night before missing its next nine. The score was stuck at 12-10 Terrapins as neither team could score for a nearly five-minute span, until Bediako's dunk in transition tied the game with 9:25 left in the half.

Reese picked up two fouls 18 seconds apart and subbed out three minutes into the game. He subbed back in at 11:55 but was whistled for his third foul with 8:50 and had to sit the rest of the half.

Miller's driving layup at 6:45 marked his first made field goal of the tournament, and his spin move to the left set him up for a baseline jumper with 4:28 left. It turned into an 11-1 run that pushed Alabama ahead 26-17.

But the Terrapins cut it to 28-23 by halftime as Young sank a floater in the lane with one second left.

Concluding a sequence of big defensive plays at both ends of the floor, Miller blocked a Maryland layup off the glass and was fed for an open 3-pointer on the right wing. That gave the Crimson Tide their first double-digit lead, 40-30, with 15:28 to play.

Not long after converting a three-point play, Reese gave his fourth foul in transition with 12:12 to play and headed to the bench. He returned just over a minute later before eventually fouling out at the 2:24 mark.

"I thought our offense settled in the second half," Oats said on the TV broadcast. "Our defense was pretty good, kept us in the game. Our offense came around. (Quinerly) got a little more aggressive, started hitting some shots."

Six straight free throws made it a 50-35 Alabama lead with 10:15 to go, and Maryland's cold shooting kept it from threatening the rest of the way. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Quinerly made it 65-45 with 3:19 left.

--Field Level Media