YPSILANTI Confidence surfaces in many ways. Yesterday, it emerged in the form of fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
Michigan coach Sue Guevara was so confident that her team would get a bid that she held an open house for her players and the media to watch the NCAA Tournament Selection Show together on ESPN.
But even mashed, the potatoes couldn”t go down smoothly until the Wolverines officially received a No. 8 seed in the Midwest regional.
Guevara admitted she “ran for about 55 minutes this morning just to get rid of the stress and the anxiety. Now I feel relieved that I know what we”re doing.”
Michigan (10-6 Big Ten, 18-11 overall) will take on No. 9 seed Virginia (8-8 ACC, 18-13 overall) on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Joyce Center in Notre Dame.
“When you”re worried about getting in or not, when you get any type of seed you”re happy,” LeeAnn Bies said.
Throughout the season, Guevara had designated 18 wins as necessary to make the tournament. Those seemed a world away when the Wolverines had an 8-6 overall, and 1-3 Big Ten record by Jan. 7. But five straight and ten of thirteen Big Ten wins put Michigan back in contention. Still, the selection process could just as well be decided by a Ouija board.
“You”re always nervous,” Anne Thorius said. “There is that slight chance that someone had a little better schedule or performed better in certain games.”
Guevara said she will learn more about Virginia when her scouts give her the scoop today, but she knows about Schuye LaRue, who was last year”s ACC freshman of the year and was named to the ACC First Team this year, averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds per game.
If Michigan makes it past the Cavaliers, it will likely be pitted against first-seeded Notre Dame.
“I think the Big Ten has prepared us for this,” Guevara said. “It doesn”t matter who they throw at us.”
The prospect of an upset makes any underdog lick its chops, and Michigan is no exception.
“We”ve played ranked teams all year and beat them and we”re not in fear of that at all,” Katie Dykhouse said.
Michigan has won big games, including three straight against a ranked Penn State team that likely catapulted Michigan into the tournament.