Maryland on Upset Alert vs. No. 11 Xavier in West Region

Jason Lake

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 2:13 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2017 2:13 PM UTC

Does it count as an upset if the No. 11 Xavier Musketeers beat the No. 6 Maryland Terrapins on Thursday in West Region play in Orlando? The college basketball odds say so, but not everyone agrees.

No. 11 Xavier vs. No. 6 Maryland

West Region, Orlando, Thursday, 6:50 p.m. ET


Hold on a sec: the Xavier Musketeers (21-13 SU, 15-18 ATS) are only an 11 seed in the West Region? My goodness. Sure, they lost six straight SU and ATS near the end of the regular season, but Xavier was the underdog in the first five games, dealing with the best teams in the Big East – teams that are much better on paper than the No. 6 Maryland Terrapins (24-8 SU, 15-12-3 ATS). Surely this is another March Madness upset special on our hands.

Except it barely qualifies as an upset. The Terps are 2-point favorites on the NCAA odds board as we go to press, up from -1.5 at the open. That’s despite all the Giant Killer talk – and despite Ken Pomeroy having Xavier (No. 40 overall) ranked higher than Maryland (No. 45) on his efficiency charts. Did the Committee botch this one or what?

Turtle Power?

Let’s cut the Terps some slack this year. Maryland was looking very good before its own late-season stumble in the Big Ten. Both teams suffered key injuries down the stretch; the Terps lost 7-foot-1 reserve forward Michal Cekovsky (+7.5 BPM) to a broken left ankle, and more importantly, Xavier sophomore guard Edmond Summer (+7.8 BPM) is out of the starting rotation with a torn ACL.

Kills me everyday knowing I can't compete with them anymore this year. Lord knows I'll do anything to get back out there with them

— Edmond Sumner (@EdmondSumner) March 11, 2017

We’re still going to go ahead and recommend Xavier for your college basketball picks. The Musketeers have some depth and they did reasonably well during Championship Week, while Maryland lost to the Northwestern Wildcats (+2) in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Just keep in mind how close this game should be – and don’t forget to tune in because this should be a slobberknocker.

NCAAB Free Pick: Xavier +2Best Line Offered: Heritage

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