COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Despite several changes made for the 2020-2021 competition year — the enforcement of wearing masks when off the court, multiple COVID-19 tests a week for players and coaches, and a lack of fans — the NCAA was still able to complete a full and semi-regular college basketball season.
Now begins the real madness. The brackets have been set. And four teams from Maryland are going dancing.
Both the men’s and women’s teams from the University of Maryland(UMD) and Mount St. Mary’s have fought their way into the big dance.
The UMD Men’s Terps (16-13) have earned the 10th seed in the tournament and will face off against #7 UConn Huskies (15-7) on March 20.
The men’s team from Mount St. Mary’s are ranked at #16 and will play in the “First Four” games against another #16 seed, Texas Southern, on March 18.
The entire men’s tournament will take place in Indiana, which is one of the changes that arose from playing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Terps have relied heavily on their defensive stops during the last several games of the season. ESPN has projected their first round game against the Huskies to fall in favor of their opponent. Mount St. Mary’s has relied on the offense of Damin Chong Qui, who had 21 points in their conference championship, and Malik Jefferson to propel them in the tournament. It will likely be a very evenly matched game for them in the “First Four” play-in game.
Looking to the female squads, the #2 UMD (24-2) will take on #15 Mount St. Mary’s (17-6) in San Antonio, Texas on March 22. Senior Terp Katie Benzan is currently leading the country in three-point field goal percentage, shooting .506 from beyond the arc for the season.
Coached by Brenda Frese, who is making her 17th appearance in the tournament, the Terps are coming off back-to-back Big Ten Championship wins and lead the nation with the best offense. Redshirt senior Kendall Bresse of The Mountaineers is averaging 14 points-per-game while leading her team in rebounds. Recently defeating Wagner in the NEC conference championship, the Mount appears ready to take on the Terps in the first round.
With two teams from Maryland in each bracket, it will be exciting to see how far each will go in the tournament.
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