HUGE congratulations to the Maryland female hoop squad, who won the program’s first ACC tournament in 20 years last night with a monstrous overtime win against Duke.
No one can say they got a weak draw, either. They beat Duke and Carolina along the way, plus a squeaker over Wake. As usual, the team was led by ACC Player of the Year Kristi “I am the Female Juan Dixon” Tolliver (24 points and overcoming an illness to play) and ACC Tournament MVP and overall attractive woman Marissa Coleman (28 points, 15 rebounds). This almost certainly locks up a #1 seed for them in the Big Dance. Other than UConn — which seems like an unstoppable juggernaut this year — I don’t see anyone playing better ball right now than Maryland.
If only the same thing could be said for the guys, who finished seventh in the ACC regular season standings. After yet another choke in a game they had to win, Maryland is yet again hoping for some kind of crazy ACC tournament run that they haven’t given anyone any reason to hope is a realistic possibility. But I’m a fan, so hope I do. If I have a rant in me somewhere, I’ll wait until after I watch another Selection Sunday go by with no mention of my beloved Terrapins.
In the meantime, I just took a look at their tournament draw and it’s actually pretty decent. According to the latest bracketology (Bracketologist comment on the Viriginia loss: “Who didn’t see [it] coming from a mile away? Over the past few seasons, these are the kind of games the Terrapins have been unable to win.” But I digress.), Maryland needs at least two more wins for a decent shot at an at-large bid. They’ve got N.C. State in the first round (Thursday, 7 p.m., Raycom) — much better than Virginia, Ga. Tech or Miami. If you’ll follow me into Theoretical Town for just a moment, you will see that a victory there gets them to Wake in the second round, who they played pretty close just a few days ago. A possible Duke semifinal showdown is too crazy to consider at this point. Let’s see if we can pull it together for N.C. State — who was no pushover — and go from there.
My prediction: beat N.C. State, lose a close one to Wake, NIT here we come. Hope they prove me wrong. In the meantime, congrats again to Brenda Frese and her team this season, who continue to beat every team that gets put in front of them. Go (lady) Terps!
(Photo credits: Top: Chuck Burton, Associated Press; Bottom: Greg Fiume)