Women’s NCAA Tournament: Terps to Face Familiar Foe


Mar 23, 2015; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Lexie Brown (4) reacts after a win against against the Princeton Tigers during the second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament at Xfinity Center. Maryland defeated Princeton 85-70. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland women’s basketball team cruised to a 85-70 victory over the undefeated No. 8 seed Princeton Tigers in the Round of 32 of the Women’s NCAA tournament. Now they will see a familiar face in the Sweet 16. On Saturday, the Lady Terps will take on former ACC foe, the Duke Blue Devils. Both teams have long been powerhouses in women’s college basketball and will be renewing a storied rivalry when the two teams take the court in Spokane.

Duke, the No. 4 seed in the Spokane Region, made it to this game by taking down Mississippi State in the last round. The Blue Devils have really been tested this season, having played four games against the other No. 1 seeds: UConn, South Carolina, and Notre Dame. Maryland is the only top-seed they have yet to play this season and Duke will be looking to reverse their fortune.

Looking at history though, the Blue Devils seem to have the Terps’ number. Brenda Frese arrived at Maryland in 2002 and since then, the Terps are just 8-22 against Duke. The last time Maryland beat Duke was back in 2012, but this is a completely different team now. The Lady Terps have only dropped two games this season and are now the favorites to advance.  Of course, as we all know, regular season accomplishments go out the window when tournament time comes around. 

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While the Terps are treating this game just like any other one, you have to think that the long history with Duke is steadily in the back of the minds of the players and coaches alike.

In an interview with the school’s newspaper, the Diamondback, redshirt senior Laurin Mincy said, “With us moving to the Big Ten and then having to go all the way across the country to play them is a little different. But we’re excited.” This will be the eighth time that she squares off with the Blue Devils.

Even having played just one game against Duke, sophomore guard Lexie Brown recognizes the magnitude of this game, saying, “I know that we don’t like each other. You go to Maryland, you automatically hate Duke. Even the regular students hate Duke.” That one game was a blowout loss to the Blue Devils last season, so you can bet that left a sour taste in their mouths that won’t go away until they exact revenge.

Sure, beating Duke is always a great feeling. I mean, who likes Duke? But, the fact remains that they are just another obstacle for the Terps to fight their way through on their road to another National Championship.

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