Maryland basketball will open its 2017 NCAA Tournament campaign as a No. 6 seed against No. 11 seed Xavier in the West Region. The Terps will start play against the Musketeers on Thursday in Orlando, Florida.
Most projections had Maryland as a No. 7 seed, so this was a bit surprising. If the Terps are able to get past Xavier, they’ll play the winner of Florida State-Florida Gulf Coast. Gonzaga is the West’s No. 1 seed, and Arizona is at No. 2.
Maryland enters the big dance following a quick exit in the Big Ten Tournament, falling at the hands of Northwestern in the Terps’ first game on Friday. The Terps finished the regular season with a 24-8 record, including a 12-6 mark in conference play. The program went 4-6 in its last 10 games. Michigan earned the Big Ten’s automatic bid with a win over Wisconsin earlier on Sunday.
After a relatively weak season, the Big Ten had a wacky Selection Sunday. Purdue landed as a No. 4 seed, while Minnesota drew a No. 5. Behind the Terps, Michigan came in as a No. 7, Wisconsin and Northwestern are No. 8 seeds and Michigan State is a No. 9. Maryland was the last of those teams to be named, and the second-to-last team announced overall, which made for a drama-filled show.
Maryland went to the Sweet Sixteen last year with a starting lineup full of four players who left for the pros after the season. This year’s group is a bit different. Coach Mark Turgeon has started three freshmen all season, and Melo Trimble has take on an even more integral role in the team’s success. Maryland will need all four to be at their best.
Here’s the full West Region: