Second-seeded Maryland will hit the road next week, traveling to top-seeded Alabama on Tuesday for a berth in the National Invitational Tournament semifinals on the line.
The Crimson Tide, which is 13-3 at home this season and hasn’t lost there since Dec. 30, 2012, rolled past Stanford, 66-54, on Saturday afternoon, and will host the Terrapins at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
At stake is an opportunity to advance to the NIT final four at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Maryland was a 62-52 winner against No. 3 Denver on Thursday, when Coach Mark Turgeon’s switch to a five-guard lineup provided the impetus.
The Terps have talked all season about “growing up” and “playing their best basketball now.” Beating a tough Crimson Tide team would be a great place to start. Maryland, however, is just 3-7 away from College Park this season in true road games, with wins at Virginia Tech, Northwestern and Wake Forest.
Alabama is another slow-tempo team, much like Denver, ranking 320th nationally in points per possession. Trevor Releford leads the way with 15.1 points per game, including a 41.2 shooting percentage from three-point range. The Crimson Tide were 0-6 against the RPI top 50 this season, but have solid wins over Villanova, Kentucky, South Dakota State and Tennessee (twice).