By Connor Bell.
The University of Maryland takes on Bucknell University on its own home court today at noon in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
To many, Maryland seemed a bit low on the seeding scale, receiving a No. 3 seed in their region of the bracket despite being a four seed in the national AP poll to finish the season and repeated as Big Ten Champions for the third straight year.
Despite this surprising seed, the Terps remain on a hot streak, winning 30 out of 32 games this season. Their only losses come to Connecticut and Ohio State and they’ve won four of their last five games.
On paper, this first round seems winnable; the Terps average more than 20 points per game than the visiting Bison and almost double their opponent’s rebounding margin.
Maryland also has experience on their side when it comes to head coach Brenda Frese, who has won 30 games total in the tournament and the 2006 championship title.
On the other hand, Bucknell has never won a NCAA Tournament game and has only played Maryland once in its program’s history, which resulted in a 95-52 loss in 1985. This is their first appearance in the tournament since 2008.
The Bison’s leading scorer is senior Claire Deboer who averages 16.3 points a game, and averages second highest in rebounding with 7.4. Bucknell head coach Aaron Roussell has led the Bison to a school record 27-win season.
If victorious, the Terps will face the winner of the West Virginia-Elon game that takes place right after Maryland’s noon opener.
Fans of both teams can watch the game at Xfinity Center or tune in to ESPN2.