The Cowgirls are part of the Notre Dame Regional, and if they stay on track they will spend all their time trying to get to the Final Four in the state of Indiana.
Top-seed Notre Dame is the toast of that regional with a 32-0 record. But before the Cowgirls even think about spoiling the tourney for the Irish they need to worry about Florida Gulf Coast and the Purdue Boilermakers, their host in West Lafayette, Ind., for the first and second rounds.
The fifth-seeded Cowgirls open play Saturday in West Lafayette at 11 a.m. on ESPN 2 against Florida Gulf Coast.
The 12th seed is 26-7 compared to the Cowgirls 23-8. However, Gulf Coast lost to TCU out of the Big 12 68-47, a team Oklahoma State swept. They also lost big to NCAA Tournament teams Stanford 83-59 and LSU 69-46.
Should the Cowgirls win that first-round game, and they will be a heavy favorite, they would likely see the host Boilermakers. Fourth-seeded Purdue (21-8) will play 13th seed Akron (23-9) on Saturday. Purdue beat a pair of Big 12 teams this season, defeating TCU 75-68 topping Kansas 71-68.
In Big 10 Conference play they lost to Michigan State 89-73, while the Cowgirls handled the Lady Spartans early in the season 63-57. Purdue also was eliminated in the first round of the conference tournament by Iowa 87-80.