Six conference teams selected for women's tourney
Six Big Ten women's basketball teams were selected into the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship field of 64, it was announced on Monday night. Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State and Purdue will represent the conference in the tournament. The announcement marks the second consecutive year the Big Ten has had at least six teams representing the conference in the NCAA Tournament field, and the sixth time in conference history.
Big Ten Champion Penn State was selected as the No. 3 seed in the Spokane Regional and will take on No. 14 Cal Poly on Sunday in Baton Rouge, La. A win in the opening round would send Penn State into a second-round matchup against the LSU-Green Bay winner. The Lady Lions are making their 14th appearance in the field as a member of the Big Ten, and 24th overall. It marks the third year in a row Penn State has gained entry to the field, the first time that has happened for the program since 2003-2005.
Big Ten Tournament winner Purdue was chosen as the No. 4 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional, opening the tournament against No. 13 Liberty on Sunday. A win in the opening round would send Purdue into a second-round showdown against the Louisville-Middle Tennessee University winner. The Boilermakers advance to the NCAA Championship for the 23rd time in 25 seasons and are the winningest Big Ten team in the tournament field with 44 victories in program history.
Nebraska enters the field as a No. 6 seed in the Norfolk Regional and will take on No. 11 Chattanooga on Saturday in College Station, Texas. A victory against the Mocs will pit the Huskers against the Texas A&M-Wichita winner in the second round. Nebraska is making its 11th tournament appearance and second consecutive as a member of the Big Ten.
Entering the field as the No. 9 seed in the Norfolk Regional, Iowa will host first- and second-round contests at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes will take on No. 8 Miami (Fla.) in opening round-play on Sunday. An Iowa victory in the first round would pit the Hawkeyes against the Notre Dame-UT-Martin winner in second-round play. The Hawkeyes return to the NCAA field for the sixth straight season and make their 22nd appearance overall. It is the 10th time the team has been selected to the postseason field in coach Lisa Bluder's 13 seasons in Iowa City.
Michigan State appears in this year's NCAA Championship field as the No. 5 seed in the Bridgeport Regional. The Spartans open the tournament against No. 12 Marist on Saturday in College Park, Md. An opening round triumph would send Michigan State to the second round to face the Maryland-Quinnipiac winner. Michigan State makes its 13th NCAA appearance. The Spartans will play in the event for the fifth consecutive season and 10th time in 11 years.
Michigan was selected to the field for the second year in a row and sixth time in program history. The Wolverines appear in the field for the first time under first-year coach Kim Barnes Arico, a veteran of four previous NCAA Tournaments. Michigan enters the field as a No. 8 seed in the Spokane Regional, facing Villanova, the No. 9 seed, in Stanford, Calif., on Sunday. A win would send the Wolverines into a second-round matchup against the Stanford-Tulsa winner.
The 2013 NCAA Championship will culminate at the Women's Final Four, held April 7 and 9, at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La.
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