Among the NCAA Division I basketball teams in Massachusetts, Holy Cross is in a class by itself. It is the only program, men’s or women’s, to earn a March Madness berth this year.
The Crusaders knocked off Boston University 66-61 in the Patriot League tournament just hours before the Selection Show on Sunday that revealed the 68-team women’s tournament bracket.
There is an added excitement to March Madness this year, as sports betting in Massachusetts is live. Commonwealth bettors can place wagers on teams playing in tournaments with at least four participants. So, betting on Holy Cross is fair game for MA residents.
Seeded at No. 15 in the College Park, Maryland, regional, the Crusaders will face No. 2 seed Maryland on March 17. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m.
Holy Cross vs. Maryland betting odds
Holy Cross enters Friday’s game as heavy underdogs. FanDuel has the point spread at 29.5 points and has Holy Cross as 40-1 long shots to win the game. According to DraftKings, the Crusaders are 26-point dogs.
The Terrapins have odds of +3500 to win it all on DraftKings, and odds of +4000 to go all the way on Caesars. As a 15 seed, Holy Cross’ odds are a bit steeper. The Crusaders are +70,000 to win it all on DraftKings MA, and +500,000 on Caesars MA.
The Crusaders and the Terrapins have only met twice, and the series is tied 1-1. The last meeting was on Nov. 30, 1997, a contest that Maryland won. Maryland sits at No. 6 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 7 in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll.
If Holy Cross gets past Maryland, the team will play either No. 7 Arizona or No. 10 West Virginia in the second round. Those teams will play each other in College Park before Holy Cross tips off against Maryland.
Game details: Holy Cross vs. Maryland NCAA Tournament
Here’s a breakdown of Holy Cross and the team’s first-round opponent.
|Head coach||Maureen Magarity|
|Leading scorer||Bronagh Power-Cassidy|
|Leading rebounder||Lindsay Berger|
|Assists leader||Kaitlyn Flanagan|
|NCAA Tournament history||12 appearances|
1-12 All-time record
50-28 All-time record
2006 National Champions
The Crusaders are in the tournament for the first time since 2007. Leading up to the Patriot League final, Holy Cross topped American 73-44 in the quarterfinal and then Lehigh 71-54 in the semis.
Junior guard Bronagh Power-Cassidy leads Holy Cross, scoring double digits in 13 of the last 15 games. Power-Cassidy was named the tournament MVP for the Patriot League Championship, scoring 27 points in the semifinals and 21 in the final. The conference title was the 12th in Holy Cross program history.
Mighty Maryland has won seven of eight games heading into Friday. The Terps are scoring 79 points a game.
NCAAW March Madness bracket breakdown
There are two Sweet 16/Elite Eight sites for the women’s tournament: Greenville, SC, and Seattle, WA.
Holy Cross’ College Park regional winner would go to Greenville.
The Greenville half of the bracket includes the overall No. 1 seed and reigning champions, the undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks (32-0). South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, who won all last season’s National Player of the Year awards, was a local prep standout at Massachusetts’ own Worcester Academy before heading to play for the Gamecocks.
Holy Cross head coach Maureen Magarity is the second person in her family to direct a women’s team to a Patriot League title. Her dad Dave led Army to the title in 2016. The duo became the first father-daughter combo to coach against each other in 2021.If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 1-800-327-5050 or visit www.mahelpline.org/problemgambling to speak with a trained specialist for free, 24/7
PlayMA writer Kayleigh Toney contributed to this report.