Maryland is a star-driven team with Melo Trimble getting all the spotlight. They aren’t a very deep team, but you can’t argue with their record. They are a team you can’t take lightly.
Xavier looked like a possible top-four seed team until their start guard tore his ACL. The team is still stacked and the question is, which player will step up for them?
Can Xavier upset Maryland in Orlando?
Who do you think will win? We help you fill out your bracket.
The Maryland Terrapins are about as close of a one man team as you will get in this tournament. Melo Trimble is an outstanding talent, but if he’s off, the entire team follows him like a lemming. They can’t win without him contributing in a big way. Freshman Justin Jackson will lead the team in the future, so we could see him step up if Trimble falters early.
The Xavier Musketeers lost their best player (Edmond Sumner) to an injury in late-January. Most teams would have folded and felt sorry for themselves, but Xavier still competed. They did struggle in early February, but they rebounded with back-to-back wins against DePaul and an upset win against Butler in the Big East tournament. I’ve been a fan of Trevon Bluiett, so I’m not worried about them.
Maryland was a team that was just ‘there’ in the Big Ten. They never had a moment this season that made me think they were an outstanding team. Xavier thinks they are playing on borrowed time after losing Sumner and I like a team with nothing to lose. I expect a bit game from Blueitt.
Prediction: #11 Xavier Musketeers
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.