Army women face Lady Vols on Sunday

Army (20-10, 11-3), slotted a No. 15 seed in the Cleveland Regional of the 2006 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, will make its first appearance in the Division I postseason opposite perennial power and No. 2 seed Tennessee Lady Vols on Sunday, March 19 in Norfolk, Va. Tip-off is slated for 12 p.m. ET on ESPN2 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. The Black Knights earned the right to play in the "Big Dance" by winning the Patriot League Tournament, while Tennessee captured the Southeastern

The Black Knights secured their first trip to the NCAAs by winning the Patriot League's automatic bid with a 69-68 victory over Holy Cross in the Patriot League title game. Tennessee defeated LSU in the SEC Championship, 63-62, winning its 12th overall SEC Tournament crown.

An Army win over Tennessee in the first round would propel the Black Knights into the second round where they would face the winner of No. 7 George Washington (22-8) versus No. 10 Old Dominion (22-8), serving as host of the four Norfolk, Va., games.

Tennessee is ranked No. 6 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN poll entering the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Vols are one of only two teams (Louisiana Tech) to appear in every NCAA tournament. Tennessee owns an 89-18 NCAA Tournament record including a record 16 Final Four appearances.

Tennessee enters the tournament with a 28-4 record, and is coached by college basketball's all-time winningest head coach (men's or women's), Pat Summitt. Tennessee represents Army's third opponent this year ranked in the Top 10. The Black Knights fell to then-No. 5 Baylor at West Point, 85-68, on Dec. 17 and dropped a 85-46 decision at then-No. 8 Connecticut on Dec. 31.

The winner from the Army/Tennessee/George Washington/Old Dominion four-team "pod" advances to the Regional Finals (Sweet 16/Elite Eight) in Cleveland, Ohio.

SCOUTING THE LADY VOLS

The 2006 SEC-champion Lady Vols (28-4) lost just four games all season after playing one of the toughest schedules in women's college basketball. Two of their losses were to teams who earned No. 1 seeds in the 2006 NCAA Tournament (Duke and LSU), while the other two stumbling blocks were fifth-seed Kentucky and sixth-seed Florida. Tennessee has won the NCAA Championship six times, but has not won the crown since 1998.

Tennessee is led by freshman Candace Parker, a 6-4 multi-position player who is the only Lady Vol to start in every game this season. She has ten double-doubles, leading the team in scoring 15 times and in rebounding on 22 occasions. She averages 16.6 ppg and 8.5 rpg in 32 games during her rookie campaign. She was an unanimously selection as the SEC Newcomer of the Year and earned second team All-SEC honors. She was tabbed the MVP of the SEC Tournament after averaging 21 points and 10 boards in three games, and hit the game-winning shot against LSU to clinch a second straight SEC Title for the Lady Vols. She is also a finalist for both the John R. Wooden Award and the 2006 V Foundation Comeback Player of the Year Award.

The Black Knights and Lady Vols share two common opponents during the 2005-06 campaign. Army lost to Princeton, 73-52, at Christl Arena and lost to Connecticut, 85-46, in Hartford, Conn. Tennessee easily handled the Tigers, 107-39, and downed the Huskies, 89-80, in Knoxville, Tenn.


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