The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors know how to set fire our March Madness brackets. The Big West Conference reigning regular season and tournament champions did just that on Friday when they took down the California Golden Bears to do President Barack Obama a solid. But will the Rainbow Warriors continue their Cinderella run when they face the Maryland Terrapins, who escaped a close one against the South Dakota Jackrabbits in the first round?
For more March Madness previews, you can check out our breakdown of Xavier vs Wisconsin.
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March Madness No. 5 Maryland vs No. 13 Hawaii Preview
Where: Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane
When: Sunday, March 20, 7:10 PM ET
Line: Maryland Terrapins (-6.5) vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (+6.5); total: 144.0 – view all March Madness lines
TV Broadcast: TBS
Betting on the Maryland Terrapins
The fifth-seeded Terps survived a second-half onslaught by the South Dakota Jackrabbits on Friday, 79-74. Maryland failed to cover the spread as a nine-point favorite, but it still has a 3-2 ATS record in its past five games.
While Trimble netted 19 points, Layman did most of the damage on South Dakota, as the senior forward unloaded a career-high 27 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field with five triples. Maryland also managed to eke out a win despite minimal production from Diamond Stone and Robert Carter, who combined for only 11 points. Stone is the second leading scorer for the Terps with 12.6 PPG to go along with 5.5 RPG and should be able to throw his weight around against Hawaii’s undersized frontcourt. Same goes with the 6-9 Carter, who is also producing 12.6 PPG.
Once Stone and Carter get going, it’ll be hard even for Hawaii’s stingy defense to slow down Maryland’s offense that produces 75.6 PPG on 48.6 percent field goal shooting–10th in the nation.
On defense, Maryland may not worry that much about Hawaii’s outside shooting, as the Rainbow Warriors are shooting just 32.6% from the three-point region. Hawaii even went 3-for-14 from that area against California on Friday—14th time the Rainbow Warriors shot below 30.0% from there.
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Betting on the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
The Rainbow Warriors didn’t fly to the mainland just to make a brief cameo in the national tournament. They’re here to stay and make waves. And they’ve already made a statement by defeating fancied four-seed California Golden Bears on Friday, 77-66.
Three players scored in double figures for the Rainbow Warriors led by 6-11 forward Stefan Jankovic, who had 16 points on 5-for-9 shooting against the Golden Bears. California definitely felt Hawaii’s stout defense that allows just 66.3 PPG. For all the talent on the Golden Bears’ team, albeit minus the injured tandem of Tyrone Wallace and Jabari Bird, they shot just 41.1 FG% and 15.8% from beyond the arc.
Hawaii is looking to administer the same defensive treatment on the Terps, whose carelessness could make life easier for the Rainbow Warriors. The Terps have the fourth worst turnover per game average in the Big Ten with 12.8 per game and their tendency to commit several miscues showed up in the South Dakota contest in which they had 13 errors.
As mentioned, the Rainbow Warriors are undersized inside, but they’re good in fishing fouls. They could send any key Terps players such as Stone into early foul trouble and make a living on the foul line. Hawaii is really good in getting referees blow the whistle, as Rainbow Warriors’ opponents average 22.8 fouls per game, fifth most in the nation. Hawaii is also 21st in free throws made per game with 18.0.
Hawaii is 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS in its last five games as an underdog.
Maryland (-6.5) wins, 76-72.