DePaul Lands Sixth Straight NCAA Appearance

CHICAGO – In what has become an annual rite of spring, the DePaul women's basketball team earned its sixth straight NCAA Championship berth and faces Marist in the first round. The Blue Demons enter the 2008 edition as the No. 10 seed in the New Orleans Region and face seventh-seeded Marist on Saturday in Baton Rouge, La.

In addition to the program's sixth consecutive appearance, DePaul is making its 13th overall NCAA Championship showing. In the previous 12 appearances, the Blue Demons hold a record of 7-12 with six second-round appearances.

A year ago in the first round, DePaul dropped a heartbreaker to Georgia Tech, 55-54, in Minneapolis, Minn. That loss ended a three-year run of reaching the NCAA second round for the Blue Demons.

Marist enters the tournament with a 31-2 record and 21-game winning streak. The Red Foxes posted a perfect 21-0 mark in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and won the league tournament with victories over Canisius, Saint Peter's and Iona. Marist is making its third straight NCAA Championship appearance and reached the Sweet 16 a year ago with wins over Ohio State and Middle Tennessee State before falling to eventual national champion Tennessee.

Saturday's game is the first meeting between the two programs, but Marist holds a slot in DePaul's McGrath Arena history. The Red Foxes played in the first game at DePaul's current facility in a 74-50 loss to Georgetown on Nov. 24, 2000. The Blue Demons knocked off Morgan State, 103-47, in the second game of the Moran Realty Classic before the Hoyas topped DePaul, 73-70, in overtime to win the tournament title.

The winner of the DePaul-Marist match up plays the winner of the game between No. 2 LSU and No. 15 Jackson State on Monday in Baton Rouge.

DePaul stands at 20-11 overall and is the No. 10 seed for the second straight year. A total of eight BIG EAST programs earned bids to the 64-team field to tie the Big 12 Conference with the highest total. The eight teams mark the second straight year and the third time since 2004 that the league has produced a record amount.

DePaul and Marist are scheduled to play at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

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