Maryland Receives No. 2 Seed

The Terps will open the 2012 NCAA tournament as a #2 seed against #15 seed Navy.

The NCAA Tournament bracket has officially been announced, and the Maryland women's basketball team has earned a No. 2 seed and will be in the Raleigh, N.C. region.

The Terps' (28-4) first round match-up will be against No. 15 seed Navy, who went 18-13 and received an automatic bid to the tournament after winning the Patriot League Championship.

Maryland hosted a team watch party for fans and players to watch the Selection Show together, and the room erupted in cheers upon the announcement of the Terrapins' seeding.

“I like the match-ups,” said senior Lynetta Kizer. “I'm excited about the competition, I know the other girls are excited about the competition, and we're ready to go out and play.”

Should Maryland win, it will face the winner of No. 7 seed Louisville and No. 10 seed Michigan State, also at Comcast Center. Other top teams in the Raleigh region include No. 1 seed Notre Dame, No. 3 seed and reigning NCAA Champion Texas A&M, and No. 4 seed Georgia.

Being in the Raleigh region ensures that, should the Terps keep advancing, they will be relatively close to home through the Elite Eight round.

“For us to stay relatively close to home is good, because we've played in North Carolina a lot of times and also it allows our fan base to follow us as we progress,” said senior Kim Rodgers.

With the first two rounds at Comcast Center and a potential two more games in North Carolina, the Terps have more of a hometown advantage than many other teams. However, Head Coach Brenda Frese warned not to get caught up in location.

“Playing at home doesn't guarantee an automatic ticket for us to Raleigh,” she said. “It's one-and-done, so we've got to take that same sense of urgency like we had in the ACC Tournament to the NCAA's and just focus on the given opponent that we'll be playing.”

The Terps players, who have not played in a game since the ACC Tournament, are just excited to get back on the floor.

“We haven't played in a week and a half, so I'm looking forward to getting out there,” said senior Anjale Barrett. “Just to see the improvement that we've had in practice over the past week and a half has been tremendous, and just to see how hard everyone's going in practice I know it will transfer over in the game.”

Barrett also said that she thinks that the experience of the team is going to be key this year.

“Last year our freshmen, who are now contributing a lot this year, didn't really know what the NCAA Tournament is all about. Now they understand how hard teams are going to come out because they don't want their season to end,” she said.

Frese thinks the Terps' schedule this year has had a big hand in that experience and getting her team to where they need to be mentally.

“We've learned how to win all season long,” she said. “Playing that top half of the league twice has definitely helped allow us to get better in terms of the overall picture to get ready for now.”

Maryland's NCAA Tournament journey will begin on Saturday, March 17, when they host Navy at 11:15 a.m. The Terps have high expectations, and the teams' three seniors are aiming to make a deep run to the Final Four in their last season.

“This my last shot at it,” said Kizer. “The way our underclassman have played for us this year, I know they're going to be excited to send us out on a high note.”

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