After a nonconference schedule featuring three top-10 teams and battling in the Big Ten conference, Maryland women’s basketball is ready for March Madness.
“This is just all our hard work,” Diamond Miller said. “We’ve worked hard every game to try and get better and that was super exciting and super rewarding that we got a two seed.”
After losing in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, the 25-6 Terps earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. They’ll host the first and second rounds of the tournament at Xfinity Center next weekend. Maryland will play Holy Cross on Friday and if they move on will face the winner of Arizona or West Virginia.
The Terps are one of seven teams from the Big Ten conference in this year’s tournament. Other conference opponents in the big dance include No. 1 seed Indiana, No. 2 seed Iowa, No. 6 seed Michigan and No. 3 seed Ohio State.
“Although it’s hard when you’re actually going through the 18-game conference slate, I mean it absolutely prepares you for now and for March,” coach Brenda Frese said. “We love that we’ve already faced those battles and we feel like we’re more than prepared.”
[Despite loss to Iowa, Maryland women’s basketball remains optimistic for NCAA tournament]
Maryland has played against six of the top-16 seeds, including two of the No. 1 seeds. The team’s seven wins over ranked opponents and four wins over top 10 opponents have shown its ability to compete with the best in the country.
Last year’s team earned a No. 4 seed and fell in the Sweet 16 to Stanford. After their season ended, the Terps lost four of their five starters to graduation or the transfer portal. Frese rebuilt with five transfers and four freshmen.
“It’s definitely crazy to think a program that loses all those people and has nine new people coming [earned a two seed],” Faith Masonius said. “I think we exceeded our expectations.”
Despite a rough start with losses to DePaul and Nebraska early in the season, the Terps found their rhythm in the new year to finish the regular season tied for second in the Big Ten and earn a No. 6 ranking in the country.