No. 5 Maryland Opens NCAA Tourney Against Navy
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s opening game in the NCAA Women’s Tournament will have a decidedly local feel.
As the second seed in the Raleigh region, the Terrapins (28-4) will begin the tournament at home against in-state foe Navy on
“We’re happy with the No. 2 seed,” Alyssa Thomas, the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, said Monday night. “We’re
going to take what we got and just roll with it.”
Coach Brenda Frese did not have to be reminded that Maryland won the 2006 national championship as a second seed.
“I realize that,” she said, “but I don’t think the number in front of your name means anything.”
Momentum is far more significant, and the Terrapins have it. Maryland enters its 20th NCAA Tournament as ACC Champions and riding a seven-game winning streak.
“I like the level we’re playing at, coming off a championship,” Frese said. “I like the way we’re practicing, the
confidence this team has.”
In addition, the Terrapins are battle-tested. They played 18 games this season against teams that made it to the postseason last year.
“I feel like our conference schedule and our non-conference schedule has prepared us for now,” Frese said.
Although Navy plays in nearby Annapolis, the 15th-seeded Midshipmen (18-13) are a mystery to the Terrapins.
“They just won their championship,” Frese said. “I don’t know anything about them but that.”
Navy captured the Patriot League tournament as the third seed, defeating No. 5 seed Holy Cross in last Saturday’s title game.
“I don’t know much about Navy,” Thomas said, “but I’m sure we’ll found out plenty about them in the next couple days.”
Maryland, the host school for games Saturday and Monday, usually has a strong following at home. But there should be plenty of Navy fans in the seats on Saturday.
“I know we’re going to get a lot of fan support,” Terps guard Laurin Mincy said. “A lot of people are going to be cheering for
us — and for Navy. I think we’re going to have a big crowd.”
Frese and her players watched the selection show at a suite in the Comcast Center. They hollered and cheered when their
designation and destination were announced.
If the Terrapins beat Navy, they will face the winner of the Louisville-Michigan State matchup in the second round. The top seed
in Raleigh is Notre Dame, and defending champion Texas A&M is the No. 3 seed.
“We’re pretty glad about where we’re seeded in this tournament,” Mincy said.
Maryland is 45-28 in the NCAA Tournament, including 12-3 at home.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)