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Fear The Turtle!

Never mind that this is totally unrelated to the purpose of this blog.

Forget the fact that the University of Maryland Men's team sucks and missed the NCAA Dance for the third time in the last four years (Yea! They get to go to the NIT! Wow!).

The great, big news is that the Lady Terps hoops team received a #1 seeding in the Women's Tourney and based on their 30-3 (yeah, that's no misprint, boys) record, and have a great chance to return to the Final Four, where they won it all only two years ago.

The Terps also are hosting the first two rounds at College Park, MD, where they meet the little school from nearby Baltimore City, Coppin State, in the first round this Saturday.

The other three #1 seeds were easy choices and include North Carolina, Tennessee and top rated Connecticut.

Maryland beat out Stanford for the final #1 seed, even though the Cardinal also finished their season at 30-3, and won both the Pac-10 regular season and conference tournament while the Terps did neither. However, the Terps RPI and early season non-conference schedule, coupled with the important fact that Standord lost to UCLA while the Terps beat the Bruins in LA certainly helped their seeding.

While the Terps won the national crown in 2006 with a group mostly consisting of freshmen and sophomores, this squad is now a seasoned group of seniors and juniors, including two second-team All-Americans in senior forward Crystal Langhorne and junior point guard Kristi Tolliver. Rounding out the starting five are senior center Laura Harper, junior forward Marissa Coleman and freshman guard Mara Strickland. Key backups include seniors Jade Perry and Ashleigh Newman. Other than Strickland, all these players have Final Four experience, which will be a key in the upcoming games as the pressure mounts.

As you can see, I'm a big fan of the women's game. They can't rely solely on athleticism, and must be technically sound in the finer points of the game. There's no question in my mind that the women can beat the men in a game of HORSE. At the same time, we all should enjoy watching the ladies play, as they play the game the same way most if not all of us do - below the rim!

Finally, my daughter, who is now 18, is a huge b-ball fan and to that end, we've attended the last five Women's Final Fours, and plan to be in Tampa the first weekend in April to hopefully watch our Terps play for the title once more.

Go Lady Terps! Fear the Turtle!