With Bill Murray on hand, the 11-seed Xavier took down 6-seed Maryland 76-65 Thursday night at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
The Terrapins (24-9) used a 10-0 run that spanned the end of the first half to the beginning of the second to take what seemed at the time to be a comfortable lead at 40-35.
But the Musketeers (22-13) got to within 50-47 with 13, minutes, 13 seconds to play, then exploded for a 14-0 run, holding Maryland scoreless for 5 minutes in the process. Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett was instrumental during the run, making a trio of 3s.
The Terrapins were never able to get back within striking distance, as poor shooting and turnovers spelled doom.
What went wrong for Maryland in its 2017 NCAA Tournament opener
Well, in short: the second half. Maryland struggled shooting the ball and had some ill-timed turnovers late in the game when the Terrapins were inching ever closer to Xavier, but an overall inability to score after intermission allowed the Musketeers to never be seriously threatened in the second half.
In all, the Terps had 11 turnovers.
What Xavier’s win over Maryland in the 2017 NCAA Tournament means
Xavier will play the winner of No. 3-seed Florida State and 14th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast, who face off later Thursday. That second-round game will be Saturday. It also means more Murray, whose son Luke is an assistant on the Xavier coaching staff.
Who starred in Xavier’s win over Maryland in the 2017 NCAA Tournament
Bluiett had a game-high 21 points and was nearly unstoppable in the second half. Maryland had no answer for the junior from Indianapolis.
Who stumbled in Maryland’s loss to Xavier in the 2017 NCAA Tournament
It’s tough to pin it on any one player, but it was a nightmare game for Melo Trimble. The Maryland star struggled, picking up just 13 points of 5-of-15 shooting overall, 1 of 9 on 3-pointers.