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NCAA Women's Tournament Bracket: American Eagles preview

Sometimes you have to wonder why it took so long for a perfect pairing like American and the Patriot League to come together.

Stewart W. Small

Who? The Eagles of American University.

When do they play in the first round? The Eagles will play Iowa on Friday, March 20 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

What? Naming the athletic teams of American University, in the nation's capital, after the national bird, seems self-explanatory to me. Clawed is a very bad pun, though.

Where? Washington, D.C. Ooh, cherry blossoms.

Why? They won the Patriot League tournament.

How? In a game with a little bit of everything, Jen Dumiak was the star, powering American to a 66-50 win over Lehigh with 24 points, six assists, five steals, and five rebounds. Sarah Williams put up 15 for Lehigh in a losing cause.

Surprise? Predicted to finish second in the conference, they finished in first, two games ahead of Army.

RPI: 51

SOS: 109

Record: 24-8 (16-2 Patriot)

Good wins: They acquitted themselves very well in Las Vegas, with wins over Gonzaga and Oregon.

Bad losses: At UMass.

Who's driving this thing? Megan Gebbia, since 2013, the former right-hand woman to Brian Giorgis at Marist.

Extra, Extra! The Washington Post. Maybe.

The Eagles are one of the top teams in the country in scoring defense, giving up only 57.5 points per game- which is good for them, since they score only 63.3. Senior guard Jen Dumiak leads the American attack at 16.6 points per game, shooting over 50% from the field and hitting just enough threes to keep a defense honest. Junior forward Michelle Holmes adds 11.1 points on top of her team-high 6.6 rebounds.

Last but not least, Nate is also an AU alum!