Breaking down Raleigh's Sweet 16

March, 24, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A few things I'll be watching at Sunday's regional semifinals:

(3) Texas A&M vs. (2) Maryland

ESPN/ESPN3, noon ET Sunday

Star power: Maryland's Alyssa Thomas will be the best player on the floor, but Texas A&M's Sydney Carter is a ferocious defender. If you want to teach a kid how to play hard, have him/her watch these two stars.

Stat power: Rebounds. The Terps are second in the country in rebounding margin (plus-13.9). The Aggies will have to focus on keeping the Maryland bigs off the boards.

What I'm looking for:

1. A&M "defensive coordinator" Vic Schaefer is one of the best defensive minds in the game. What can he come up with to slow down Thomas and the Maryland backcourt?

2. Who will dominate inside? Will it be A&M's Kelsey Bone or Tianna Hawkins and Lynetta Kizer for Maryland?

3. How will the game be officiated? Maryland is a different team with Thomas in foul trouble. She picked up early ones versus Louisville and it affected her the rest of the game.

(5) St. Bonaventure vs. (1) Notre Dame

ESPN2/ESPN3, 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday

Star power: Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins is one of the best point guards in the nation, but the Bonnies' Jessica Jenkins might be the purest shooter.

Stat power: Turnovers. The Fighting Irish force 22.8 turnovers a game, but St. Bonaventure leads the nation in fewest giveaways at only 12 a game.

What I'm looking for:

1. Will Notre Dame have any difficulty defending the Bonnies' 5-out motion offense? (I'll let you in on a secret: No big really likes defending on the perimeter.)

2. Will St. Bonaventure -- playing in its first NCAA tournament -- be able to keep the game close for a while? It is undersized and doesn't have much tournament experience, but plays as well together as any team in the tourney.

3. Does Megan Van Tatenhove's family really own a cheese factory? (Tune in to get the answer to that one.)

Rebecca Lobo

Rebecca Lobo won the 1995 Naismith National Player of the Year Award after leading the University of Connecticut women's basketball team to its first national championship. She was the youngest member of the 1996 gold-medal-winning Olympic team, and now, after seven seasons in the WNBA, she covers basketball for ESPN.


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