After winning 20 of its first 22 games of the season, Maryland is looking for a reset after stumbling to a 4-6 record to close the season. And there is no more margin for error.
The Terrapins (24-8) will get their chance at that reset in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, when the West Region’s 6-seed tips off with 11-seed Xavier at 6:50 p.m. ET in Orlando, Fla. TNT will televise the game.
Xavier, like Maryland, started hot but had a rough go to close the season — the Musketeers opened 13-2, then an up-and-down stretch had them at 18-6 before a six-game losing streak put them in peril of missing the tournament. Beating then-No. 18 Butler in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals likely got them in.
The winner will face the winner of Florida State-Florida Gulf Coast.
Xavier-Maryland game time, details for 2017 NCAA Tournament
Time: 6:50 p.m., ET
Date: Thursday, March 16
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Fla.
Which TV channel is Maryland-Xavier basketball on?
How can I watch Maryland-Xavier basketball online?
All NCAA Tournament games will be streaming through NCAA March Madness Live.
How can I listen to Maryland-Xavier basketball on the radio?
For a list of Maryland affiliates, click here.
Who are the announcers for Maryland-Xavier basketball?
The TNT team of Ian Eagle, Steve Lavin and Evan Washburn will be on the call in Orlando.
Maryland-Xavier basketball preview
Maryland point guard Melo Trimble will undoubtedly be the best player on the floor, and if he plays like that, the Terps will be fine. Maryland, especially lately, has had the tendency to be shaky at times, and if Trimble is off the Terps will be in a world of trouble.
Contain Trevon Bluiett
The junior guard is the Musketeers’ best player and, like Maryland with Trimble, Xavier goes as Bluiett goes. If the Terps can keep Bluiett from having a big scoring day, Xavier will have nothing but a slim chance at pulling the upset. But he’s certainly capable of putting up big numbers.
Rebound, rebound, rebound
Xavier is a solid rebounding team, ranking 20th in the nation in rebounding margin. Maryland, meanwhile, is tied for 166th in that category. Terps rebound, they win. They don’t, and Xavier is likely to pull the upset.