Oklahoma and Nebraska will not be the only highly ranked teams doing business in Miami the next few days.
Six of the 17 best women's college basketball squads will participate in the first annual Orange Bowl Classic starting today at Miami-Date Community Colleg's south campus.
If form prevails, No. 4 Maryland will face No 3 ULCA in the championship game Saturday. The Bruins knocked off the Terrapins in theAssociation for Intercollegiate Athletics for Womens' national title game last season.
But the two teams first must get past a field that includes fifth-ranked Tennessee, seventh-ranked Delta State, No. 11 Penn State nd No. 17 Mississippi. The six teams in this tournament boast a combined record of 37-6.
Today's first round pairs Penn State (5-0) and Mississippi (10-2), followed by Tennessee (7-2) vs. Delta State (6-1).
The Bruins, who like Maryland have a first-round bye, will play the winner of Penn State-Ole Miss in Friday's semifinal round; the Terps face the Delta State-Tennassee winner. Third-place and championship games are scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
The Terps are 4-1 with a seven-point loss to Nevada-las Vegas the only blot on their record. Guard Betsy Bailey leads the team in scoring with a 15 point average; forward Jane Zivalich is second at 13.6 and the team's leading playmaker with 19 assists.
Sophomore center Kris Krichner, a Street & Smith's All-America pick, has been slowed with a knee injury but still is averaging 9.8, plus a teamhigh 12.2 rebounds.
The Brunis (6-0), who are starting a six-game road trip that will see them play all top-20 opposition, own a 27-game winning streak. Four Bruin starters average in double figures, led by 6-foot-1 sophomore forward Denise Curry (21-0).
Tennessee is paced by All-Americas Cindy Brogdon (19.5 points per game) and playmaker Holly Warlick. Warlick is not a big scorer (4.1, but averaged five steals and the same number of assists per game last season.
The Nittany Lions are sparked by junior guard Jen Bednarek (19.8) and forward Sue Martin (16.6).
Delta State, which won AIAW national titles for three straight years (1975-77) has in 6-2 junior college transfer Jessie Brown the tournament's leading scorer (25.0).