No. 11 Xavier upset No. 6 Maryland, 76-65, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, using a 14-0 run in the second half to take control of the game.
“It’s always nice to get a win in the tournament,” Xavier forward Sean O’Mara said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “We held them scoreless for about five minutes, and it’s tough to deal with anybody, but especially us, (when that happens). I think it just speaks volumes to how much our defense has grown and how much better we’re doing communicating with each other compared to how we’ve been throughout the season. We’ve kind of had some ups and downs. A lot of guys stepped up on defense. It was a great all-around team win.”
Junior guard Trevon Bluiett hit five three-pointers and scored a game-high 21 points for Xavier, while O’Mara, a 6-10, 245-pound junior, had 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
“It’s awesome to get wins in the tournament, no matter how it comes,” said O’Mara, who shot 5-of-6 from the floor and 8-of-9 from the foul line. “Luckily, tonight was my night.”
J.P. Macura scored 10 points for Xavier, while Quentin Goodin added nine points and nine assists.
Xavier (22-13) will face No. 3 Florida State (26-8) in the Round of 32 on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. ET.
O’Mara was also asked about super-fan Bill Murray, whose son, Luke, is a member of the Muskies’ coaching staff.
“It’s always cool to have him around,” O’Mara said of the legendary actor. “He’s exactly what you would imagine him to be.”