Two highly ranked teams will square off in College Park, Maryland on Thursday night. The Iowa Hawkeyes and Maryland Terrapins will square off in a big time Big Ten match-up. Here in late January, it's the middle of conference play. It's a time when the elite teams are vying for the regular season crown atop the Big Ten standings, and trying to accumulate quality wins to get a high seed for "March Madness".

In the preseason, many expected Maryland to compete for Big Ten supremacy, but most experts seemed to pick the Hawkeyes to finish in the middle of the pack. Boy, what a pleasant surprise this team has been! It wasn't too long ago that Iowa basketball was difficult to watch (think the Todd Lickliter era... yuck). Nowadays, it seems like the Hawks have something that could turn out to be really special. They seem to be a tight-knit bunch that can beat you in a number of ways. If they can knock off Maryland on their home court... well, is it crazy to think this team could be playing into April?  Tip-off is at 6 p.m. on ESPN for the Hawks and Terrapins.

Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

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