Terps Headed to Third Straight NCAA Tournament

Maryland Athletics
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland men’s basketball team has punched its ticket to a third consecutive NCAA Tournament, earning the No.6 seed in the West Region. The Terps will face No. 11 seed Xavier in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 16 at 6:50 p.m. at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. The game will air live on TNT and on ESPN980 and 105.7 FM locally and across the region on the Maryland Sports Radio Network.

The Terps, ranked 25th in the Associated Press Poll, enter the national tournament with a 24-8 record. Maryland is led by three-time All-Big Ten selection Melo Trimble, who is averaging 17 points per game.

Head coach Mark Turgeon has guided the Terps to three consecutive 24-plus win regular season performances. He is the first coach in Maryland men’s basketball history to lead three teams to 24 or more victories in the regular season. It is his 12th career postseason appearance and his eighth in the NCAA Tournament.

Maryland is making its 27th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and 21st postseason appearance in the last 24 years. The Terps have advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen eight times in the last 22 years, including consecutive trips to the NCAA Final Four in 2001 and 2002. The Terps captured the NCAA National Championship in 2002.

Maryland is 41-25 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 11 consecutive appearances from 1994 – 2004. The Terps have won at least one game in 12 straight NCAA appearances dating back to 1998.

Maryland leads the all-time series with Xavier, 2-0, including a 77-64 win in the 2003 NCAA Tournament in Nasvhille.

Should the Terps defeat Xavier, they would face the winner of the No. 3 seed Florida State/No. 14 seed Florida Gulf Coast matchup on Saturday.

Head coach Mark Turgeon Media Availability Quotes

Opening Statement:
"We were sitting in my basement wondering when our name was going to pop up. Each time we said, 'it's going to be this one, it's going to be this one'. Then you saw Wisconsin was an eight seed and you're like 'oh my gosh, what's going on here.' To make a long story short, once we weren't in the lower part of that bracket I knew we were going to be one of the last teams called. My heart was coming through my sweater. You never know, there's no guarantees. I was 99% sure we were in. The last two years our name has been called quickly and it was anti-climatic. Today was fun. We had quite the celebration in my basement when our name popped up. I didn't even know we were playing Xavier until probably a minute because we were going crazy. It was really a special moment and I was happy for my guys."

On being a six seed:
"I think what it is is we were 8-2 on the road. It's the hardest thing to do in college basketball is win on the road and we were rewarded for it. I said all along I think we're going to be a six and I said to my staff today privately 'we won eight road games, we've got to be a six'. We had 24 wins, we tied for second in the league. I was a little worried when Wisconsin came up an eight seed but those road wins are hard to get and I think that's what carried us to that line."
On regrouping entering the NCAA Tournament:
"We won a couple games going into the tournament. I thought we were ready to play. I don't usually get on my guys right after a game but I was upset Friday night. I let them know it. We started the season fresh today. The practice plan said one today not eighty six or eighty seven. We had a great practice today. We want to move forward. We've had a terrific year. We didn't play well, give Northwestern a lot of credit. We made some strides today in the right direction."
On his message to the team heading into the NCAA Tournament:
"We've done it all year. We've won so many games that sometimes you just think you're going to show up and then we went up 10 and well we're going to win the game. It didn't happen that way. So we learned a lot. I'd rather learn a lot in the Big Ten Tournament than the NCAA Tournament. We had a great practice today, our attitude was right. The thing that was disappointing on Friday is that our fans were amazing. I felt like we didn't do our part and the fans did their part in that game. We've learned from it. We're a better team. We're looking forward to Xavier on Thursday."
On the freshmen playing in their first NCAA Tournament:
"I'm going to view this as a great thing. When they never played a home game they were great, when they never played on the road they were great. Our guys, sometimes the youth is good. You just have to show up and do it. Our guys are excited. It's one great thing about the Big Ten Tournament and the conference tournament, it's like a preview for the NCAAs. I expect our guys to play well."
On the reaction of the team when they found out they were in:
"I don't know what their reaction was because I was going crazy. I got up so fast I almost fainted. I was sitting on our beanbag with Leo and jumped up and screamed at the same time. It was total chaos in our basement. It was a lot of fun and I'm going to watch the video on our social media like you guys will tonight and see how they reacted. Our guys are excited. They're really proud of themselves and what they have done this year. Our veterans will talk to the young guys. We talked a little bit about it on Saturday morning before we left the hotel - what we have to do to prepare for the NCAA Tournament and how we have to practice. We've done all that already. It's going to come quick. We'll continue to talk and approach it the same way we have all year. We have to get ourselves ready to play well."