Here are three things to watch for when Maryland (25-12, 8-10 ACC) plays Iowa (24-12, 9-9 Big Ten) on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
Tipoff will be at approximately 9:30 p.m., and you can watch the game on ESPN2.
TRADITIONAL POWERS: These two programs are accustomed to being in the NCAA tournament, not the NIT. They have a combined 46 appearances in the Big Dance (Maryland 24, Iowa 22) and five appearances in the Final Four (Iowa three, Maryland two). Maryland won the national championship in 2002.
But Maryland and Iowa have fallen on hard times of late. The Terrapins haven't been to the NCAA tournament since 2010; the Hawkeyes haven't been there since 2006. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon (second year) and Iowa coach Fran McCaffery (third year) are both in the process of restoring their teams to national prominence.
Maryland is a No. 2 seed in this tournament, while Iowa is a No. 3 seed. The teams have met twice before, in 1984 and 1999. Maryland won both games.
THE TERRAPINS: Maryland, picked to finish sixth in the ACC in the preseason, ended up in seventh, under .500 in the conference. But the Terps upset No. 2 Duke in the ACC tournament quarterfinals before losing to North Carolina by three in the semis, and then knocked off Niagra, Denver and Alabama (in Tuscaloosa) to earn a trip to New York.
(Incidentally, Maryland also opened their season in New York, with a 72-69 loss to Kentucky, in the first-ever college basketball game at the Barclays Center.)
The Terrapins are one of the best rebounding teams in the country -- ranked fourth in the country in rebound margin (+8.7 per game). But they are one of the worst teams in the country when it comes to turnovers -- 338th (out of 345) in Division I in turnover margin (-4.2 per game).
THE HAWKEYES: Iowa, picked to finish seventh in the Big Ten in the preseason, ended up in sixth place. The Hawkeyes were a game better than Illinois and Minnesota in the standings, but both those teams made the NCAA tournament. Iowa had its bubble burst on Selection Sunday, but beat Indiana State, Stony Brook and Virginia (in Charlottesville) to earn a trip to New York.
The Hawkeyes are also a good rebounding team -- ranked 38th in the country in rebound margin (plus-5 per game). They're also one of the best defensive teams in the country -- ranked 18th in defensive field-goal percentage (38.8). But they're not particularly good on offense -- 219th in offensive field-goal percentage (42.4) and 269th in 3-point percentage (30.9).