The Women’s NCAA Tournament Bracket was announced and there weren’t many surprises. As expected, the number one seeds were UConn, Tennessee, Nebraska & Stanford. There will be some nice stories to come out of this tourney, but when all is said and done, the championship will be UConn’s to lose.
Here’s a look at some of what we think are the cool stories of this year’s tournament:
- The ladies of St. John (NY) return to tournament play for only the second time in 22 years.
QUEENS, N.Y. – In a season filled with milestones, the No. 15/17 St. John’s women’s basketball team added another to the list as it earned an at-large bid to the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The Red Storm earned the No. 6 seed, its highest in history, in the Dayton Region and will face Ivy League champion and No. 11 seed Princeton on Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 12:21 p.m. St. John’s will take on the winner of the Florida State-Louisiana Tech matchup if the team advances to the second round.
“I am really excited that we were selected to the NCAA Tournament,” coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “I am so proud of the team and their accomplishments this year. We have worked extremely hard to get where we are at, and we look forward to bringing that intensity to the Big Dance. We have a young team, and this is going to be a great experience for everyone. I am especially happy that our seniors will have an opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament. Their hard work and determination has been a staple in our program for the past four years and they deserve an opportunity to showcase St. John’s to the rest of the country.”
This year’s appearance in the NCAA Tournament is the fifth in history for the Red Storm and the second for Barnes Arico at STJ. The last appearance for the Red Storm was during the 2005-06 campaign, which marked the first NCAA Tournament appearance in nearly 20 years. St. John’s opened the tournament with a 78-68 win over California and then lost a close contest to eventual national champion Maryland, 81-74, in the second round.
The Red Storm is enjoying one of its best seasons in history, posting a 24-6, 12-4 BIG EAST mark. The 24 wins are the most in 26 years (24 in 1983-84). The 2009-10 edition of the Red Storm tied for the third-fastest in history to reach the 20-win plateau, and the 20-win season is the 11th all-time.
- Louisiana Tech with new Head Coach Teresa Weatherspoon return to tournament after a 3-year absence.
Tech’s contest against the Seminoles will be played Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CT and televised on ESPN2.
Florida State defeated LA Tech 80-71 in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament in Denver, Colorado.
Quotes from NCAA Tournament Selection Show Party
Head coach Teresa Weatherspoon
On the future of the Lady Techsters:
“We want to continue to do what we do. Our kids are doing great things because they want it and that’s the key. They want it and believe in it and those are the things that people look at your program and want to be a part of. They want to play for the joy and camaraderie that we have and the togetherness that we play with. People want to be a part of those things. They are only going to get better. We want to continue to climb the ladder.”
- Georgetown’s first NCAA tournament berth since 1993
WASHINGTON – The Georgetown University women’s basketball squad continued its historic season Monday evening earning its first NCAA bid in 17 years. The Hoyas received the fifth seed in the Memphis region scheduled to face 12th-seeded Marist College in the opening round on Saturday at host University of California-Berkeley.
“This is incredibly exciting and it’s great for the Georgetown program,” said Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. “I haven’t made this happen on my own. We’ve had a consistent coaching staff and brought in some really good players to get to this point.”
Georgetown is 25-6 overall after earning the third seed in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Hoyas have been in the national rankings since January currently sitting at No. 13 in both polls. The Blue & Gray was a perfect 13-0 at home and defeating two nationally-ranked squads at McDonough Arena.
The Hoyas posted a 16-game win streak early in the season and was one of the best defensive squads in the nation leading the country in turnover margin (8.32) and ranking third in steals per game with 13.4. Georgetown’s 25 wins in the best in program history.
The Blue & Gray has been to the NCAA Tournament once prior, during the 1992-93 season. That was Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy’s first season as an assistant coach with the Hoyas. Georgetown fell in the opening round of the BIG EAST Tournament, but advanced to the Sweet 16 finishing the season with a record of 23-7.
- The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team suits up for the first time since 2002
Wisconsin is making its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in seven years. The Badgers have played in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) in each of the last three seasons, including a championship game appearance in 2007 when UW fell at Wyoming 72-56.
This season the team posted a record of 21-10 overall, the eighth 20-win season in the program’s history and the second under head coach Lisa Stone. Wisconsin finished third in the Big Ten with a 10-8 mark matching its second-best conference place ever.
Stone was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year by league coaches this season. Junior Alyssa Karel earned second-team All-Big Ten honors by both media and coaches, and senior Rae Lin D’Alie was a third-team pick by media.
The Badgers advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament where they were upended by then-No. 10 Ohio State, 82-73.
DON’T I KNOW YOU?
- Rutgers & Coach C.Vivian Stringer faces Iowa, the school she helped put on the map. (#8 Iowa vs. #9 Rutgers 19-14)
Their two victories in the Big East tournament had perhaps removed much of the doubt for C. Vivian Stringer and the Rutgers women’s team going into Selection Monday, so the suspense probably was not as great as it might have been.
But shortly after the Scarlet Knights got the official word that they had indeed made it into the NCAA Tournament, reality quickly set in.
Rutgers (19-14), which made the Tournament for the eighth straight year and the 21st time overall, was chosen as a No. 9 seed, and will open against No. 8 Iowa Saturday at Maples Pavilion, on the campus of Stanford, at 8:16 p.m. Eastern, in the Sacramento Regional.
The pairing pits Stringer against the team she coached for 12 years and led to the Final Four in 1993 before she came to Rutgers in 1995.
“They’ve got a real flair for the drama, don’t they?’’ Stringer said of the tournament selection committee.