- The Washington Times - Friday, March 9, 2007

Obviously not to the level that has made people like Joe Lunardi must-see television, but the world of bracketology has come to women’s college basketball.

A guy named Charlie Creme reveals a new women’s bracket several times a week on ESPN.com. Yesterday, he had Maryland as the No. 2 seed in the Fresno region and heading to East Lansing, Mich., for the first two rounds.

Not that Terrapins coach Brenda Frese is spending a lot of time analyzing Creme’s work.

“I glance at it every once in a while for 30 seconds to amuse myself,” she said during a recruiting trip on Wednesday. “I’ve learned through the teams not to spend too much time on it.”

The Terps (27-5) have to wait until Monday night to learn when, where and against whom their road to a second straight national title will start. Maryland is expected to be a No. 2 seed in the western part of the nation for the second consecutive season. Last year, the Terps trekked to Albuquerque, N.M. This year’s western-most regional is Fresno, Calif.

“Probably more than likely,” Frese said of getting a No. 2 seed. “But it’s hard to say what happens when they get into the room. But we’re very comfortable where we’re at. We know it’s just a number.”

Duke, North Carolina, Tennessee and Connecticut are the favorites to receive No. 1 seeds. The women’s tournament starts with first-round games on March 17 and 18.

Frese is content with the Terrapins’ level of play following the ACC tournament. Maryland avenged an earlier defeat to Georgia Tech by hammering the Yellow Jackets 75-59 before losing to North Carolina 78-72 in the semifinals.

The Terps have a combined 0-4 record against Duke and North Carolina. Against the Tar Heels last week, Maryland trailed by 10 points early in the second half but rallied to tie the game with two minutes remaining. From there, though, the Terps went scoreless on their next three possessions and North Carolina scored the next eight points.

“We really came together. I really liked the fact we took advantage of the hustle plays and came out stronger and tougher and showed more energy than in our past games,” Frese said of the conference tournament. “That’s encouraging. Even though we didn’t win the [North Carolina] game, it was some of the best basketball we’ve played this year.”

The Terps are in the middle of a 14- or 15-day stretch without a game. Maryland has practiced most of this week but has today off.

“You try to stay as sharp as you can and stay in the best condition you can,” Frese said. “You need to simulate things in practice to seem game-like. But it does give you time to work on areas that needed to be sharpened and fine-tuned.”

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