No. 11 Xavier knocks off No. 6 Maryland behind Trevon Bluiett’s big second half
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Xavier star went from ice cold to white hot and led his team into the round of 32. Here are three points from the Musketeers’ 70–65 win against Maryland.
1. Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett scored 18 of his game-high 21 points in the second half to spark the Musketeers. Xavier played basically even with the Terrapins for a half as Bluiett struggled. He missed his first seven shots, finally breaking the streak with a three-pointer with 2:54 remaining in the first half.
Bluiett heated up in the second, making his first six shots as the Musketeers built a lead. The final make of Bluiett’s streak was a layup that put the Musketeers up 63–52 with 7:03 remaining. Freshman guard Kevin Huerter led Maryland with 19 points on 5 of 13 shooting. The rest of the Terps also struggled from the field. Maryland shot 40.7 percent for the night.
Xavier advances to face the winner of Thursday’s Florida Gulf Coast-Florida State game.
2. The seeding in this game reflected the full season, but it wound up being a tad misleading considering the trajectory of these teams. Maryland started 20–2, but then its freshmen hit the wall and the Terps lost six of their last 10 heading into the NCAA Tournament. Xavier, meanwhile, lost top playmaker Edmond Sumner to an ACL tear in late January. Bluiett struggled with an ankle injury in February. The Musketeers lost six in a row from Feb. 11 to March 1 as they dealt with the double-whammy of trying to replace Sumner with Bluiett hobbled.
A win at DePaul followed by two wins in the Big East Tournament took Xavier off the bubble, and it seemed during the Big East tourney that the Musketeers had finally adjusted to life without Sumner. So Maryland wound up facing a team that might also have been a No. 6 seed had it not faced some serious adversity during the season. So when the recently surging team beat the recently faltering team, it didn’t feel like much of an upset.
3. The Life Athletic with (proud dad) Bill Murray.
Xavier — where Luke Murray is an assistant — hit a three during this sequence. So the Musketeers have that going for them, which is nice. pic.twitter.com/vUF1Byv0bf
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) March 17, 2017