Women's Hoops: Vanderbilt gets #1 seed

The 27-6 Vanderbilt women's basketball team, champions of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, received a #1 seed in the Midwest region from the NCAA Women's tournament selection committee today.

The Vanderbilt Commodores officially returned to the national spotlight Sunday afternoon when they were named the #1 seed in the Midwest Region of the 2002 Women's NCAA Tournament.

The Commodores are one of three SEC teams in the Midwest Region. In-state rival Tennessee Lady Vols are the #2 seed, and the Florida Lady Gators are the #6 seed. Five other SEC teams were invited to the Big Dance. South Carolina is the #3 seed in the East, Arkansas and Georgia are in the Mideast with #6 and #10 seeds, respectively, and LSU and Mississippi State are in the West with #6 and #12 seeds.

The road for the Vanderbilt begins in Memorial Gym next weekend, when the Commodores host one of 16 subregionals. In the first round on Saturday night March 16, Vanderbilt will play the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies (17-13) from Rochester, Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin Badgers (19-11) will meet the Arizona State University Sun Devils (24-8). The winners will meet on Monday night in a game to be televised on ESPN2.

In second subregional in the Midwest bracket, #2 seed Tennessee (25-4) meets Georgia State (21-9), and Notre Dame (19-9) plays New Mexico (22-8). The third subregional will be hosted by #3 Iowa State. In the first round ISU (23-8) will play the Temple (20-10), and Florida (18-10) will play BYU (22-8). #4 North Carolina (25-7) hosts the fourth subregional. In the first round, the Lady Tar Heels will meet Harvard (21-5), and Minnesota will play UNLV.

Teams in Vandy's Subregional

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies are relative newcomers to Division I, having made the jump in 1998-99. They joined the Mid-Continent Conference the following year. They've been very successful for a new D1 team, compiling a 56-33 overall record and a 33-13 conference record since they joined the conference. This will be their first trip to the NCAA tournament at the D1 level. They've worked hard to upgrade their schedule, with non-conference games this year including Florida (84-65 loss) , Michigan State (55-53 loss), Boston College (74-53 loss), Georgia (72-51 loss), Michigan (71-42 loss), and Colorado State (77-71 win).

The Wisconsin Badgers have been one of the engimas of the 2001-2002 season. Early in the season, Bucky was on a rampage, compiling a 15-game winning streak and reaching #5 in the national polls. But then, inexplicably, the season made a U-turn, as the Badgers lost 6 straight. Through January 17, Wisconsin had compiled a 16-1 record. After that, they finished the season 3-10, with two of the wins coming against Northwestern, who finished 0-16 in the Big 10. There were no major injuries, so the change of fortunes is hard to explain, especially since Wisconsin has a solid group of seniors.

The Arizona State University Sun Devils received national attention last season when they scheduled an outdoor game in December against the Tennessee Lady Vols in the Arizona Diamondbacks stadium to be played on national television. Whether it was the chilly night air or something else, the Sun Devils gave the Lady Vols a run for the money that night, though Tennessee ultimately prevailed. This year ASU earned the automatic bid from the Pac-10 by upsetting Stanford in the newly re-introduced Pac-10 tournament. Stanford was playing without Lindsey Yamasaki, their leading scorer, who had an emergency appendectomy, but the loss nonetheless likely cost Stanford the #1 seed in the West.

Tickets. The first two rounds of the NCAA Women's Tournament will be at Memorial Gymnasium. Game Ticket Package - $15 Adults, $10 Students. Ticket office opens Monday March 11, 2002 @ 8:30a.m. to place your order, or call 322-Gold, or go online at vucommodores.com.


at Vanderbilt  (Saturday)

Vanderbilt (27-6) 1
Oakland (17-13) 16

Wisconsin (19-11) 8
Arizona St. (24-8) 9

at North Carolina (Saturday)

Minnesota (21-7) 5
UNLV (23-7) 12

North Carolina (25-7) 4
Harvard (21-5) 13

at Iowa State (Saturday)

Florida (18-10) 6
Brigham Young (22-8) 11

Iowa St. (23-8) 3
Temple (20-10) 14

at Tennessee (Friday)

Notre Dame (19-9) 7
New Mexico (22-8) 10

Tennessee (25-4) 2
Georgia St. (21-9) 15


NOTE: Regional championship at Ames, Iowa March 23 & 25

Complete NCAA Women's Bracket (.pdf)

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