February 23, 2015

In its return to conference play, Maryland has a chance to gain sole possession of the Big Ten lead.

At least for one day.

To accomplish that, the second-ranked Terrapins will have to stop surging Wisconsin on Saturday night while extending their school-record home win streak.

Maryland (22-3, 10-2) can get a slight jump on the Big Ten's co-leaders this weekend with Indiana and No. 4 Iowa playing on Sunday. Indiana has the far tougher matchup with a trip to No. 8 Michigan State, while Iowa hosts last-place Minnesota.

The Terps will try to do their part with a 28th consecutive home victory. They surpassed a 26-game streak from 1979-81 on Tuesday with a 93-62 win against Division II Bowie State.

Maryland, 14-0 on its own floor this season, has won all 15 Big Ten home games since joining the conference last season and 37 in a row against unranked teams.

Wisconsin (15-9, 7-4) will try to end those streaks while notching a seventh straight victory. The Badgers started that run by knocking off then-No. 4 Michigan State 77-76 on Jan. 17 and topped then-No. 19 Indiana 82-79 in overtime nine days later.

They connected at a season-best 61.1 percent from 3-point range (11 of 18) in Wednesday's 72-61 victory over Nebraska. Vitto Brown went 3 of 3 beyond the arc - 6 of 7 overall - while scoring a career-high 18 points, and Nigel Hayes had 20.

The Badgers started 2-4 under interim coach Greg Gard, who took over when Bo Ryan unexpectedly retired Dec. 15, but nearly pulled off a stunning rally against the then-No. 3 Terps in one of those losses Jan. 9.

Maryland led by eight with 1:27 to go but needed Melo Trimble's 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left for a 63-60 road victory.

"I think our guys are excited about this game for a lot of reasons, and it's not only because they're ranked (No. 2) in the country or because of the potential postseason ramifications," assistant coach Lamont Paris told the school's official website. "It's because they felt like they left something hanging out there in the first game. We made some mistakes and didn't finish around the rim."

Wisconsin is 24 for 45 from 3-point range in its two games this month and shooting 50.0 percent overall. Bronson Koenig has made a team-leading six of his 11 shots from beyond the arc in those contests after going 2 of 7 in his previous two.

The Badgers, though, are connecting at 39.0 percent and a conference-low 25.9 percent from behind the arc in their six road contests. They went a season-worst 2 for 14 from 3-point range in a 63-55 win at Illinois on Jan. 31.

While Wisconsin contained Maryland's two senior starters, limiting Jake Layman and Rasheed Sulaimon to a combined eight points, Trimble scored 21 in last month's matchup.

Sulaimon has a combined 37 points on 14-of-22 shooting in his past two games and scored 16 in 20 minutes Tuesday. Trimble, averaging 17.8 points in his past six Big Ten contests, should also be well-rested after playing 17 minutes - the fewest among Terps starters.

"The good thing is that we didn't play a lot of guys a lot of minutes," coach Mark Turgeon said.

Brown, who has been dealing with a rib injury, was held scoreless for the only time this season in the loss to Maryland. He has totaled 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting in his past two games.

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