LOUISVILLE, KY. » Maryland coach Brenda Frese wanted her Terrapins to send a reminder that they’re still playing too. They did just that by sending home an eight-time national champion and putting themselves a win away from a Final Four.
Alyssa Thomas scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as fourth-seeded Maryland upset No. 1 seed Tennessee 73-62 on Sunday in the Louisville Region semifinal.
Maryland celebrated with a brief message on a board in the locker room: "THEY KNOW OUR NAME NOW!"
"Maybe people will start talking about Maryland and what Maryland’s accomplished," Frese said. "We have a story too. We have tradition. I’m so proud of how these kids fought."
The Terrapins (27-6) reached their ninth regional final and first since 2012. They did it against a program the Terps had beaten only four times previously and never before in the NCAA tournament. Maryland improved to 5-10 against Tennessee (29-6) with a little revenge for their previous tournament loss in the 1989 Final Four.
Guard Katie Rutan said Frese fired them up before tipoff.
"No one has really been talking about us all year," Rutan said. "Just to come out and throw that punch, show them that we’re here, we are Maryland and we are going down fighting no matter what. We’re going to come out on top."
Monday at Lincoln, Neb.
LOUISVILLE 73, LSU 47
LOUISVILLE, KY. » Shoni Schimmel scored 19 points, Tia Gibbs added five 3-pointers and third-seeded the Cardinals (33-4) rolled the seventh-seeded Tigers (21-13) to reach the regional final.
STANFORD 82, PENN STATE 57
STANFORD, Calif. » Chiney Ogwumike had 29 points and 15 rebounds, Mikaela Ruef produced a career performance on both ends, and the Cardinal (32-3) upset the Lady Lions (24-8).
NORTH CAROLINA 65, SOUTH CAROLINA 58
STANFORD, Calif. » Diamond DeShields escaped two close calls with injury to score 19 points, leading the Tar Heels (27-9) over the Gamecocks (29-5) and one win closer to a reunion with coach Sylvia Hatchell, whose doctors have said she could travel to the Final Four after recently undergoing her final chemotherapy session for leukemia.