Despite Maryland's loss to Penn State last weekend -- when Coach Chris Weller pulled her team off the floor because she felt the State pep band was playing when it shouldn't have -- the Terrapins should receive a high seeding in the AIAW pairings.
The eight teams selected and their seedings for the Division I, Region 1B action will be announced this afternoon. Maryland, ranked 13th nationally before Thursday night's victory over St. Joseph's, is expected to be one of the top four seeds.
If the Terps receive one of the top seeds, they will play their first-round game at Cole Field House March 6 at a time to be designated later. If they receive one of the bottom-four seeds, they will play on the road either March 6 or 7.
The winners of the four first-round games will advance to the regional semifinals March 13-14 at the Palestra in Philadelphia. Maryland won the tournament last year and made it to the national quarterfinals before losing to Tennessee.
Other teams considered good bets for high seedings are fifth-ranked Rutgers, which the Terrapins defeated, and seventh-ranked Cheyney State. Maryland closed its regular season last night at Cheyney.
Georgetown (16-6) and the University of the District of Columbia (19-5) lost important games in the last two weeks and probably won't receive bids.
In Region 2, 16th-ranked Virginia (21-8) is rated an outside contender to receive one of eight bids that will be announced March 8. In Region 2, the five winners of state tournaments (in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky) will receive automatic bids. Three other teams will get at-large invitations.
The Cavaliers are in one of the toughest regions of the country, along with Old Dominion, the two-time defending national champion, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina State, East Carolina and Clemson. All are ranked in the top 20.
In the AIAW's Division II, George Mason (14-9) won the Virginia championship with a 12-3 record and will host Liberty Baptist in the first round of the playoffs Tuesday at 7:30. If the Patriots win, they will advance to the state tournament March 6-7 at Longwood College.
Four players are scoring in double figures for George Mason. Ann Johnson, a sophomore from Herndon, is averaging a team-high 14 points per game and has a 10.3 rebounding average. Lavon Jones, another Herndon graduate , leads the team with 11.5 reboundings.
The two intraregional losses last week might have hurt any chances of Georgetown's receiving a postseason tournament bid, but the Hoyas still were one of the most exciting area women's teams. Often starting a lineup without a player taller than 5 feet 11, Georgetown defeated many bigger teams with a simple but effective halfcourt press.
They double-team whoever has the ball in the back court, forcing the player into a corner where she is more likely to make a mistake.
"We're not very big, but we are quick," said Mary Briese, Georetown's assistant coach. "We usually start three guards (Abbie Dillon, Erin Reid and K. C. Comerford), and when we use our press, it forces teams to turn the ball over or throw it away."
Comerford, a sophomore from New York City, usually plays up front in the Hoyas' 2-1-2 zone with Reed or Diane Toliver, a freshman from St. Anthony's.