Thursday night at 6:50, the last two teams that were announced on Selection Sunday will face off. Number 6, University of Maryland, and number 11, Xavier University, will go for the first-round win.
The Xavier Musketeers have had a down year. Last year they had amazing year, finishing with a 28-6 record and earning the number two seed in the tournament. However, they lost about four seniors, including three starters. This has affected them this year, not to mention that they have also lost a few players.
Xavier lost their starting point guard, sophomore Edmond Sumner to a torn ACL at the end of January. He is the most talented player on Xavier’s team and was projected to go in the late first round in this year’s NBA draft. They went on a six-game losing streak right after his injury.
Sumner was moved to the point guard position this year after playing shooting guard last year because their starting point guard Myles Davis was suspended indefinitely due to off court issues. Davis returned for three games, where Xavier went on a three-game losing streak. Davis then withdrew himself from the basketball program.
This leaves Xavier without their most experienced player who played in the tournament the last two years and their most talented player in Sumner. This leaves freshman Quentin Goodin as their starting point guard. He is great at attacking the rim but defenders usually sag off due to his lack of shooting ability. This could be a problem for Xavier because they make their money on threes.
The Maryland Terps have had a very good regular season finishing with a record of 24-8 and with a raning of 25th. However, after having a great start to the season, 20-2 (best start in school history), they fell as the season was coming to an end. They lost six of their last ten games, including an upset loss to Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.
It should be an interesting matchup between each of their star guards. Maryland’s Melo Trimble, averaging 17 points per game and Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett, averaging 18 points per game headline the matchup.
Both guards are juniors and are trying to make it to the NBA. Both went to the combine last year but decided to return to school.
— Marvelous Marv’s (@Murphwvu) March 14, 2017
This game should go down to the wire.