The Maryland Terrapins (24-8) are the No. 6 seed in the West Region, and will take on the No. 11 seed Xavier (21-13). The game will be played at the Amway Center in Orlando on Thursday, March 16.
Preview: Maryland earned the No. 6 seed with big road wins over Michigan, Minnesota, and Northwestern, and a win over Michigan State at home. They are led by junior guard Melo Trimble, who averages 17 points per game.
— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) March 12, 2017
Xavier snuck in as an at-large bid out of the Big East, aided by a Big East Tournament upset of Butler. It also knocked off Creighton, Seton Hall, and Wake Forest this season. The Musketeers are led by junior guard Trevon Blueitt, who averages 18.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
Date: Thursday, March 16
Time: 6:50 p.m. ET
TV Channel: TNT
Location: Amway Center in Orlando, FL
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Steve Lavin, Evan Washburn
Opening Betting Line: -1.5, via OddsShark
This will be the third match-up between the Terrapins and Musketeers. Maryland is 2-0 in the all-time series, with the last game coming in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. No. 6 seed Maryland knocked off No. 3 seed Xavier in the round of 32, 77-64.
Maryland is making its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Last year as a No. 5 seed, Maryland reached the Sweet 16 before falling to No. 1 seed Kansas. This is Maryland's 27th NCAA Tournament appearance. The program has advanced to 14 Sweet 16s, four Elite Eights, two Final Fours, and won the 2002 national championship.
RELATED: The academic ranking of teams in the 2017 March Madness tournament
Xavier is in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year. Last season, the Musketeers earned a No. 2 seed, but fell in the round of 32 to No. 7 seed Wisconsin. Xavier is in its 27th overall NCAA Tournament, with seven Sweet 16s, and two Elite Eights.
Prediction: Maryland has lost a lot of talent the last few years, but continue to replenish well, and have a strong veteran in Trimble to lead them. His match-up with Blueitt should be fun, but Xavier lost a major cog with the ACL injury to Edmond Sumner, the team's second-leading scorer through 21 games. The Musketeers found their way into the tournament, but are not nearly as dangerous as they were when they had their full complement of players.
Maryland is a solid team, and we like the Terps to win this one in Orlando.
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