Xavier has pulled a 11 seed in the West regional; their opponents will be the Maryland Terrapins, who got here by an at large bid out of the Big Ten. For the second time in three years, Xavier was in the last pairing announced, leaving hearts in mouths until they were finally the last team to officially be placed in the field. If you nearly were ill, you weren't alone.
Against the KenPom Top 100 the Terps have gone 13-5, with their best win being coming against either Oklahoma St or Michigan, depending on how you like your metrics. Maryland also had a couple of let down games, losing to Penn State and Nebraska, both of whom inhabit the realm of teams like St. John's.
One name comes to mind when you talk Maryland, and that is Melo Trimble. Trimble isn't terribly efficient but he uses a lot of possessions on his way to 17/3.7/3.7. Behind Trimble is freshman guard Anthony Cowan at 10.5/3.9/3.7. Cowan, like Trimble, prefers to get to the hole but is wholly unafraid to lift. The Terps don't have a great deal in the way of post presence. 6-7 Justin Jackson (10.4/6./1.0) has the size but shoots a deadeye 43% behind the arc.
Xavier’s first round game will be played in Orlando at 6:50pm on Thursday on TNT,
and we’ll let you know as soon as the tip times are announced. Should the good Lord smile upon the Musketeers with a win in the first round, Florida St or FGCU could be waiting with a bid to the Sweet 16 on the line. That bridge can be crossed if/when the Musketeers arrive upon it. For now, after an extremely tense 38 minute wait, all that matters is that Xavier is going dancing.