COLLEGE PARK -- When the Maryland women's basketball team learned yesterday that it had earned a No. 7 seed in the coming NCAA tournament, the reaction among the players was low-key.
Some smiles, a fist pump here and there, but nothing like the leaps of joy and screams of euphoria that swept the Terps when they were invited to last year's tournament as a No. 12 seed.
Then again, this season's Maryland squad knew that a 21-9 record, a 7-7 regular-season mark in the toughest-rated conference in the country and a semifinal appearance in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament were more than enough to earn its first back-to-back NCAA appearances since 1991-92.
"It's a huge accomplishment for any team to make the NCAA tournament, so don't get the reaction wrong," sophomore guard Shay Doron explained. "It's an unbelievable opportunity for us, but we wanted to know who we were playing, not if we were going to play."
Doron and the Terps got their wish yesterday as they learned they will meet 10th-seeded Wisconsin-Green Bay (27-3) in a Philadelphia Region first-round game on Sunday at Comcast Center in College Park, which will play host to first- and second-round contests.
Tennessee (26-4), ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press poll, is the top seed in the region. No. 8 Ohio State (28-4) earned the second seed and could be Maryland's second-round opponent if the Terps get past the Phoenix.
Last winter Maryland compiled a 17-12 regular-season record and was clearly on the bubble before drawing the 12th seed.
This season's Terps played a schedule ranked as the 13th toughest in the country, owned an RPI ranking of 16 and defeated three top-25 RPI teams: North Carolina (No. 9 RPI), Virginia (No. 15) and North Carolina State (No. 22).
Surrounded by about 80 supporters who cheered when Maryland's seeding was posted on a big-screen television, the players enjoyed the moment, but looked forward to getting to work today.
"It starts [today]," said freshman center Crystal Langhorne, who is averaging 17 points and 10.5 rebounds and is second to Doron (17.6) in scoring. "The coaches are probably going to have us watching film and everything. I think we're going to get ready for them [Wisconsin-Green Bay] pretty soon."
Ranked 24th in the AP poll, the Phoenix recently captured a fourth consecutive Horizon League championship, lost to No. 12 Minnesota -- which earned the No. 3 seed in the West Region -- by nine points in December, and will make its seventh NCAA tournament appearance in the past eight seasons.
Horizon League Player of the Year and senior forward Tiffany Mor leads Wisconsin-Green Bay in scoring (16.2 points a game), rebounding (6.3) and blocks (2.4). Senior guard Abby Scharlow and sophomore forward Nicole Soulis average 13.2 and 12.6 points, respectively.
Still, the Phoenix had already made an impression on Maryland coach Brenda Frese.
"They play a lot of zone," she said. "They're going to be very fundamentally sound. They don't turn over the ball a lot. It'll be a difficult matchup."
Record: 21-9, 7-7
Conference: Atlantic Coast
Coach: Brenda Frese
Top players: G Shay Doron 17.6 ppg; C/F Crystal Langhorne 17.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg.
Skinny: The Terps have the ACC's third-leading scorer in Doron (first team All-ACC) and the ACC's Rookie of the Year in Langhorne (second team), who have put up big numbers against top competition. Maryland has beaten North Carolina and North Carolina State.
Record: 27-3, 15-1
Coach: Kevin Borseth
Top players: F Tiffany Mor 16.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg; G Abby Scharlow 13.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg; F Nicole Soulis 12.6 ppg
Skinny: With the exception of back-to-back early-season losses, the Phoenix cruised through the regular season, winning 16 in a row before a loss to Youngstown State. The Phoenix won its fourth straight Horizon League tournament.