After the NCAA selection committee's seedings were announced, Maryland coach Brenda Frese said, "I'm not surprised they slighted us." She avoided such talk on Saturday.
"There's a ton of talent in women's basketball," she said. "I mean there are eight or 10 teams out there who are disappointed."
The Terps play 15th-seeded Sacred Heart (26-4) in the first round of the Albuquerque Regional today at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Another No. 2, perennial power Connecticut (29-4), is the other marquee team in Happy Valley and will face 15th-seeded Coppin State (22-8) in the Bridgeport Regional. The Huskies open an NCAA Tournament outside Connecticut for the first time in school history.
"I kind of like being on the road, everybody talks about being at home as this huge advantage," coach Geno Auriemma said. "It can be, but the distractions at home can be huge, too."
Seeding aside, there's little to be disappointed about this year for the Terps. Just three seasons ago, in Frese's first year as coach, Maryland was 10-18 and won just four games in the ACC.
Now, Maryland has recorded back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in more than a decade. All five starters, including Doron (14.1 points), score in double figures.
Doron said the thigh bruise that limited her at the conference tournament a couple weeks ago was healed.
"We're battle-tested," she said. "We've played every situation, overtime, everything that we can possibly go through this season."
Sacred Heart, riding a 10-game winning streak, is in the NCAAs for the first time after capturing the Northeast Conference's automatic bid.
Yet the tournament isn't even tops on coach Ed Swanson's mind - his wife gave birth last week to the couple's first child, 6-pound, 1-ounce Connor John Swanson.
"It's been a crazy week," the proud father said. "You work all your career to get to the tourney and it's the second-best thing to happen to you."