Huskers to Face Temple in NCAA Tournament

Lincoln - The Nebraska women's basketball team earned the seventh NCAA Tournament bid in school history and its first since 2000 when the 64-team field was announced live on ESPN Monday night. The Huskers (22-9) earned the No. 9 seed and will play No. 8 Temple (24-7) in the first round in Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday, March 18, at 8 p.m. central on ESPN2.

Nebraska finished one of the best regular seasons in school history with a 22-9 overall record that included a 10-6 Big 12 Conference mark. The Huskers earned the No. 4 seed in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship and a first-round bye in the league tournament for the first time since 1998.

The Huskers will be meeting the Owls for the first time in school history, while playing their first-ever game in Raleigh, N.C. Although Nebraska has never played at the RBC Center, they have faced the hosts from North Carolina State twice in the past three seasons, including a 94-74 win over the Wolfpack at the State Farm Invitational Tournament in Gainesville, Fla., on Dec. 28.

If Nebraska can get past Temple in the first round, NU will face the winner of the other first-round game between No. 1 seed Duke and 16th-seeded Holy Cross. If NU can advance out of the first and second rounds, the Huskers would advance to play in the Greensboro, N.C., Regional, March 24-26. The NCAA Women's Final Four will be held at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, April 1-3.

Nebraska will be making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2000. The Huskers' last victory in the NCAA Tournament came in 1998, when they defeated New Mexico, 76-59, in Norfolk, Va. NU also defeated San Diego, 81-58, in the 1993 NCAA Tournament in Lincoln.

The Huskers, who captured their fourth straight postseason bid, earned their first NCAA Tournament berth under fifth-year head coach Connie Yori. It is the first time in school history the Huskers have made four straight postseason trips.

Nebraska's NCAA Tournament resume includes a 4-6 record against 2007 NCAA qualifiers with wins over No. 4 seed North Carolina State, No. 5 seed Baylor, No. 6 seed Iowa State and No. 8 seed New Mexico. Among NU's nine losses, six came at the hands of NCAA Tournament teams, including two away from home against Iowa State, one to third-seeded Oklahoma, one at third-seeded Arizona State, one at No. 4 seed Texas A&M and one at 10th-seeded Oklahoma State.

The Big 12 Conference produced six NCAA Tournament teams, including Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma State.

Temple will be making its sixth all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and fifth under Coach Dawn Staley. The 1992 Virginia graduate has led the Owls to four straight NCAA bids out of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Temple is led by 6-0 senior forward Kamesha Hairston, who is averaging 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

Hairston leads a solid starting five that includes 6-2 junior center Lady Comfort, who averages 12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while 5-6 senior guard Fatima Maddox has contributed 11.6 points and 1.8 boards per contest. LaKeisha Eaddy (7.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and Shenita Landry (6.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg) round out the starting five.

Nebraska and Temple both faced North Carolina State and Florida this season. The Huskers defeated the Wolfpack by 20 points in Florida on Dec. 28, while the Owls fell to N.C. State, 59-57, on Dec. 2. The Huskers also ran to an 81-73 win over the Gators in Gainesville on Dec. 29, while Temple knocked off Florida in Gainesville, 85-80 in overtime, on Jan. 2.

Six of Temple's seven losses this season came at the hands of 2007 NCAA Tournament teams, including defending national champion Maryland, at Bowling Green, at N.C. State, Rutgers, at George Washington and to Xavier in the A-10 semifinals. The Owls' only loss to a non-tournament qualifier came at Virginia on Nov. 29. Temple managed wins over 2007 NCAA qualifiers Georgia Tech and Xavier during the regular season.

For ticket information, Husker fans can call the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-8-BIGRED to inquire about the limited number of tickets made available to the Huskers in their official allotment for each round. Tickets can also be purchased directly from the host institution North Carolina State at

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