Maryland women’s basketball has officially been named a 2-seed in the Hemisfair region for the 2021 NCAA Tournament. It’ll face 15-seeded Mount St. Mary’s in the first round on Monday, March 22 at 4:00 p.m.
Mount St. Mary’s went 15-6 with a 12-4 conference record during the regular season. The Mountaineers defeated Wagner, 70-38, in the North East Conference championship.
Maryland finished the regular season with a strong 21-2 record after dominating the entire Big Ten, which was much stronger than years past. The Terps finished up conference play with a 17-1 record, with their lone Big Ten loss coming to then-No. 17 Ohio State back on Jan. 25. The Terps finished with the nation’s top scoring offense as well, averaging 91.3 points per game.
Six players on the Maryland roster— sophomore guards Ashley Owusu and Diamond Miller, senior forward Chloe Bibby, senior guard Katie Benzan, redshirt sophomore forward Mimi Collins and freshman forward Angel Reese— average 10 or more points per game. Owusu and Miller lead the team, averaging 18.3 points and 17.2 points, respectively.
Headed into the NCAA Tournament, Maryland also has the best three-point field goal percentage (.407) and in assist/turnover ratio (1.69) in the country. The Terps are also No. 3 in field goal percentage (.493), No. 5 in assists (20.4), No. 6 in scoring margin (+21.0) and No. 8 in free throw percentage (.789).
Benzan leads the country with her three-point field goal percentage (.506) and Owusu is fourth in assists (151).
The Big Ten tournament, just a few days prior to the selection show, was another statement for the team. Maryland cruised to three straight victories, which were all won by double-digits, to secure the program’s fifth Big Ten title in the last seven seasons.
Despite losing all five starters, head coach Brenda Frese has officially locked in her 17th NCAA Tournament appearance in 19 seasons with the Terps. The only two times she missed the tournament as the coach of Maryland was in 2003 and 2010.
The Terps now head into the NCAA Tournament with a No. 2-seed and a 24-2 overall record. For the majority of the season, Maryland was projected as a No. 2-seed for March Madness and that’s exactly what the Terps received on Monday, despite swiftly winning the Big Ten tournament. There was some buzz about Maryland possibly getting a No. 1-seed, but the committee chose to give the top-seeds elsewhere.
The Terps shouldn’t take the seeding as too big of a knock, though, because the 2006 National Championship team that came from Maryland just so happened to be a No. 2-seed as well.