After two dominating performances to kick off the NCAA tournament, Maryland has more tough tasks ahead as they look to make the Final Four for the first time since 2015. Next up is No. 6 seeded Texas in the Sweet Sixteen on Sunday at 9 p.m.
If Maryland’s high-powered offense wasn’t getting the proper respect it deserved throughout the season, it certainly is now.
Through two tournament games, the top scoring offense in the country is averaging 99 points per game. Both wins came in commanding fashion. In fact, all of Maryland’s wins on the current 15-game win streak have come in commanding fashion.
On this win-streak, the Terps are beating teams by an average margin of victory of 29 points.
In the Round of 32, Maryland put on a show in its 100-64 beatdown of No. 7 Alabama. What makes Maryland so lethal offensively is the collection of weapons from top to bottom on the roster. On any given night, it could be anyone’s turn.
Maryland has six players averaging double figures. That’s the result of a fast-paced, selfless offense that is primed on sharing the ball. The Terps lead the nation in assist/turnover ratio. Against the Crimson Tide, it was the bench’s turn as the second unit combined for 46 points in the win.
Faith Masonius led the way with a career-high 16 points. Angel Reese was the Terps leading scorer in the contest with 19 off the bench.
“I think we would be difficult to scout,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “Because you can’t game plan, you know, which players would you pick. Just by them playing the right way and the unselfishness, I think it would be extremely difficult [to scout us].”
In its first Sweet Sixteen matchup since 2017, Maryland will face a talented Texas team with a strong inside presence. Texas has relied on his defense and rebounding all year to propel them to a 20-9 record and a sweet sixteen berth.
Most prominently, Charli Collier, who is a highly touted WNBA prospect. Collier lives in the paint, averaging a double-double with 19.7 points and 11.6 boards per game. Despite some monster games from Collier, there have been multiple times this season she has been held to five points or less, including in the Round of 32 matchup against UCLA.
Texas holds opponents to just 62.7 points per game and force opponents to 19 turnovers per game, while the Terps average 91.8 points per game and rarely turn the ball over.
“We’re just going to play Maryland defense, and offense,” Chloe Bibby said. “And that’s just how we’re going into this game, with all the confidence that we’ve been playing with.
On the other side of the hemisfair region is a matchup between No. 1 seeded South Carolina against No. 5 Georgia tech.
The Gamecocks are the defending champions and a top team in the nation yet again with a strong defensive and inside presence. If both Maryland and South Carolina do advance and meet in the Elite Eight, it will be a must-see matchup between two of the top programs, and coaches, in the country.