President Obama successfully predicted 13 of 16 winners in the first round of the NCAA tournament played on March 19—fortunately for Marylanders, his winners included their No. 4 Terrapins, who smacked around the No. 13-seeded University of Houston Cougars, 89-77, in a Midwest regional matchup in Spokane, Wash.
Houston star Aubrey Coleman, the nation’s leading scorer, tried his best to prove the president wrong with a game-high 26 points with eight rebounds, two steals and two assists.
But Maryland was simply at its best late Friday night, with multiple players contributing double-digit points.
Four of the five starters for the Terrapins scored at least 11 points in the game, including Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez, who scored 11 of his 16 total points in the second half. He also added seven rebounds and six assists.
But it was Maryland freshman Jordan Williams who stood out the most, scoring a team-high 21 points with 17 rebounds. Vasquez told reporters that Maryland’s game plan was to feed the Williams the ball as much as possible.
“That was the game plan…inside out,” Vasquez said after the game. “He’s only a freshman. In two, three years, he’s going to be good.”
But the Terps also fed the ball to forward Landon Milbourne, who followed Williams with 19 points and seven rebounds. Guard Eric Hayes added 11 points with six assists.
Maryland (24-8) will face No. 5 seed Michigan State (25-8) in a second round matchup on Sunday, March 21.