Iowa and Maryland both had NCAA Tournament aspirations this year, but after falling short in their missions to make the field of 68, both teams still have a shot at postseason glory.
The two will meet Tuesday night in the second game of the National Invitational Tournament semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The third-seeded Hawkeyes come into the NIT semis winners of 10 of their last 13 games, including a road victory over No. 1 seed Virginia last week to reach Manhattan. Roy Devyn Marble had 24 points and shot a perfect 7-7 from the foul line to lead an Iowa team that went 15-15 overall from the stripe to hold off the Cavaliers down the stretch.
Maryland reached the semifinals as a two seed and won a 58-57 thriller over top-seeded Alabama in the quarterfinals. The Terapins almost blew a six-point lead with 90 seconds to go as the Crimson Tide pulled to within one in the game's final moments. But Alabama's Trevor Lacey missed a jumper at the buzzer that would have won it, allowing the Terapins to survive.
Tuesday night's game promises to be a physical one that could be decided on the boards, with each team boasting one of the best rebounding squads in the country. Sophomore center Alex Len averages just under eight rebounds per game for Maryland, to go along with11.8 points. Maryland also has six players that routinely grab at least three boards per game.
Aaron White (6.1 rpg) and Melsahn Basabe (5.1 rpg) lead the way on the glass for the Hawkeyes, while Devyn Marble averages 15 points and shoots 41 percent.
The Terapins and Hawkeyes will tip off around 9:20 p.m., shortly after the conclusion of the first NIT semifinal between BYU and Baylor. The two semifinal winners will meet Thursday night for the NIT championship.