The Maryland basketball team didn’t have the smoothest end to the regular season.
Despite losing in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, the Terrapins still managed to earn a No. 6 seed and a matchup with Xavier in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
The West Region was the final one to be unveiled on Selection Sunday. It does boast two very talented teams in top seed Gonzaga and second-seeded Arizona, who both won their conference tournaments.
After that, it’s honestly wide open.
Maryland faces No. 11 seed Xavier on Thursday evening to start off the action. That definitely won’t be an easy matchup, but the Musketeers will be without sophomore guard Edmond Sumner.
Sumner is the team’s second leading scorer with 15.0 points and was one of three players that averaged double figures. Guards Trevon Bluiett (18.1) and J.P. Macura (14.5) also average double figures.
This is a talented team, but they’ve struggling over the past month. The Musketeers lost six straight games before beating DePaul twice and Butler in the Big East Tournament.
If Maryland can beat Xavier, they’ll get the winner of No. 3 seed Florida State and No. 14 seed Florida-Gulf Coast.
The Seminoles had nearly an identical year to that of the Terps record wise. Florida State finished 25-8 with a 12-6 mark in the ACC.
They did beat the likes of Duke, Louisville, Notre Dame, and Virginia, all of which were ranked.
However, one of the popular upset picks seems to be Florida-Gulf Coast. The Eagles were the top team out of the Atlantic Sun this year and many may remember them from their “Dunk City” team that defeated Georgetown back in 2013.
Regardless of who Maryland would potentially get in the Round of 32, it’s entirely possible that the Terps could be in the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season.
The bottom half of the West Region includes No. 2 seed Arizona, who faces No. 15 seed North Dakota. The Wildcats would face the winners of No. 7 Saint Mary’s and No. 10 VCU for the right to go on to face Maryland.
In the end, Maryland is likely going to have to beat both Arizona and Gonzaga to get to the Final Four. That’s certainly a tall task considering the Bulldogs and Wildcats have only lost five games throughout the entire season.
The Terps’ play has been up-and-down over the last month. However, the Sweet 16 is definitely an attainable goal for this young team.
If Melo Trimble and company can win two games in the NCAA Tournament, that’s extremely impressive for a young group like this.