Maryland basketball is set to play 11-seed Xavier Thursday as the Terps are dancing in the 2017 March Madness Tournament for the third consecutive year.
Maryland basketball continues to prepare for their intriguing matchup against Xavier in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, or better known as, March Madness. To remind everyone, Maryland plays Xavier Thursday, March 16 at 6:50 p.m. E.T. on TNT at the Amway Center in Orlando.
Yesterday, I rounded up tournament predictions, but today I want to get a bit more in-depth with some of the data-backed tournament projections including predictions from Kenpom, FiveThirtyEight and much more.
Before we move on, let’s acknowledge the current Maryland vs. Xavier odds. According to the FOX Sports college basketball odds, Maryland’s -2.0 spread over the past couple of days fell to a -1.5 spread Wednesday afternoon by 5Dimes.eu, BETNOW.eu and, MYBOOKIE.AG sportsbooks. However, Thursday afternoon when March Madness opened, the Maryland-Xavier spread is down to -1.0 ATS in the Terps favor.
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So, despite Maryland being the current favorites (barely), computer generated college basketball projections and forecasts favor the 11-seed Xavier over the 6-seed Maryland Terrapins. For reference, Maryland is 18-13 ATS (against the spread) this season.
As of Wednesday, Westgate Superbook showed Maryland -2.0 favorites as of 6:51 p.m. ET but at 6:00 p.m. ET, the Maryland spread increased to -2.5 before falling back to -2.0 favorites. The Terps have seen their spread shrink to -0.5 as of 10:58 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Lastly, looking back at the history of March Madness, 11-seeds are 19-13 ATS when facing 6-seeds since 2009 according to Matt Bonesteel of The Washington Post.
Let’s explore some of the high-level college basketball analytics and see what they say about the Terps.
Maryland Basketball vs. Xavier Odds From Around the Web
Xavier stumbled into the field of 68 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament by losing seven of their last 10 games and never returned to top 10 form since suffering the loss of Edmond Sumner.
Despite Xavier’s collapse, Rob Trites of OddsShark is the newest college basketball writer to become intrigued by 11-seed Xavier. In Trites’ write-up, he opens up with this statement about the Terrapins:
In Trites’ write-up, he closed by expressing his thoughts on Maryland:
"The Terrapins gave way to Northwestern in the Big Ten tournament and with a pretty horrendous stretch run before that, it’s clear the 20-2 record they got their year started off with was extremely fluffed up. Neither of these teams is going very far in this tournament so proceed with extreme caution."
One stat that Trite shared that support the Terps is their 10-2 record SU (straight up) in their previous 12 games after falling as a favorite. On the other hand, Xavier is just 3-9 ATS throughout the last 12 games as the underdog.
Lastly, OddsShark projects Xavier to beat Maryland with a predictive score of 72.8-67.1 and even goes on to say that Xavier will not only win but also cover the spread.
Sports Insights’ bracket simulator is an extremely resourceful tool for March Madness fans planning to fill out a bracket.
First, the bracket simulator gives you the option to select a specific rating system (Sports Insights, Ken Pom, Sagarin and ESPN), along with the ability to embed probability upset into your simulation.
Next, Sports Insights provides users with a matchup tool that lets you compare two teams and projects win percentage based on the selected rating system and upset level.
BetLabs John Ewing summarized all of the data from Sports Insights’ bracket simulation tool in a valuable blog post. In the post, Ewing breaks down the data by region with multiple scenarios.
In the West Region, the most likely first round upset does bode well for Maryland basketball as the data gives Xavier a 50.2 percent chance to beat Maryland.
Lastly, after one million bracket simulations by Sports Insights, the results show Maryland with just a 16.9 percent chance to reach the Sweet Sixteen and gives the Terps’ opponent Xavier an 18.8 percent chance.