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Dance Card: Maryland, ACC at-large

Turtle power!

Who? The Terrapins of Maryland.

What? The diamondback terrapin is the state reptile of Maryland. Testudo's name comes from the Latin. Somehow. (With all the debate about team names, I assume Maryland has a very good debate team...)

Where? College Park, Maryland, site of the National Museum of Language WHY DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS WHEN I WENT TO MARYLAND.

When? March 23rd, in College Park, Maryland.

Why? Top-20 RPI, solid SOS.

How? They were an at-large selection.

Surprise? Predicted to finish third in the conference, they tied with Duke for second, four games back of Notre Dame, but fell to third on a tiebreaker.

RPI: 19

SOS: 48

Record: 24-6 (12-4 Atlantic Coast)

Good wins: At North Carolina.

Bad losses: At Virginia.

Who's running this show? Brenda Frese, since 2002. Her twins are adorable.

Extra, Extra! The Washington Post. Our co-conspirators at Testudo Times have been keeping a close eye on these Turtles, too.

It's been the Alyssa Thomas show this year for the Terps. The senior forward averages a double-double with 18.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game to go with a team high 4.3 assists (although, to be fair to freshman Lexie Brown, the total difference between them is four assists). No other Terrapin averages in double figures, but freshmen Shatori Walker-Kimsbrough and Lexie Brown are both over nine points per game. Everything goes through Thomas, and everyone knows that everything goes through Thomas, and she still hits more than half her shots- and 80.1% of her free throws.

If Thomas's teammates can consistently step up for her, allowing her to shine, Maryland can surprise some people. But if Thomas has to go it alone, the Terps could be a quick out.

Random thing that amuses me: their alternate fight song is the theme song from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Turtle Power!