The BCs found it pretty stirring this morning when the Naval Academy Band played their team onto the court to the strains of Anchors Aweigh. The Midshipmen (#15 seed in the Raleigh region), of course, had an 11 AM St. Patrick's Day date with the #2 seed, Maryland, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Once the game got underway, it seemed that the early tip off was the Top O'the Morning for the Mids, who are probably used to rising at o-dark-thirty. But perhaps a bit too early for the Terps, who looked like they would rather be drinking coffee at that hour than Gatorade. Which is another way of saying that it took Maryland a wee bit longer than the Mids to get things going. When they finally did -- thanks in large measure to a great second half by Super Soph (and All Everything) Alyssa Thomas -- it was anchors
To their credit, the women in the Blue and Gold were not intimidated by their much higher-ranked opponent; they fought hard and they gave Maryland a game. We are confident that when these future officers graduate and earn their commissions, they will serve our country well.
AT led all scorers with 17, and notched another double-double (10 boards). She also dished out 4 assists (a number that would have been higher had a couple of her teammates been able to finish). Laurin Mincy also put up double figures, with 14 points. We loved that every Terp got into the game . . . unfortunately, the odds of that happening again will surely decrease as the Tournament progresses.
It was great that some of the players' Naval Academy classmates took time from their spring break to support their team. But, as many of them sported "Beat Army" foam fingers, perhaps someone should have told them the Mids were playing Maryland.
This Navy fan not only knew who her team was playing, but was environmentally responsible enough to recycle an old sign!
In the second half of today's double bill, the Michigan State Spartans squared off against the Louisville Cardinals. The Spartans brought Sparty with them....
. . . and they may have been the "green" team on today's St. Patrick's Day program, but they definitely didn't have the luck of the Irish. The Spartans fell to Louisville, 67-55. This set up a second round game between Maryland and Louisville for Monday night at 7PM.
President Obama, in his women's bracket yesterday, picked Louisville to beat Maryland! We can't imagine this has anything to do with the fact that the State of Kentucky voted for John McCain in 2008, while Obama won Maryland in a landslide victory. In any event, of course, we hope the Terps prove the Commander in Chief to be totally wrong.
The BCs' two other teams, unfortunately, did not fare as well as Maryland did today. (That's why we've sworn off filling out brackets . . . we don't want our heads to get in the way of our hearts during March Madness.) Princeton was edged in a heartbreaker by K-State, 64-67, which means the Tigers will have to wait at least another year for the chance at their first win in the Big Dance. Dayton lost an early lead and fell to the Arkansas Razorbacks, 55-72.
At least the BCs still have Maryland to cheer for!
Go Terps . . . Beat the Cardinals! (Bust Barack's Bracket!)
Photo Credits: DC BasketCases