Lady Bucs to play Iowa State in first round of NCAA Tournament

Monday, March 16, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 16, 2009) - After having a little over a week to think about possible opponents and destination sites for its trip to the 2009 NCAA Tournament, the ETSU women's basketball team finally learned its fate on Monday night.


The No. 13-seed Lady Bucs learned they will play No. 4-seed Iowa State on Sunday, March 22 inside Western Kentucky's E.A. Diddle Arena during the ESPN Selection Show special on Monday night. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Central).


When ETSU saw its name appear on the screen, the Lady Bucs celebrated with their fans, cheerleaders and band members inside Fanatics, located inside the Doubletree Hotel.


"We were hoping to be a 13 seed and to get that respect from the selection committee means a lot," said head coach Karen Kemp, who is guiding her Lady Bucs to a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. "I am also glad we were able to stay close to home, because I think this will give our fans an opportunity to travel and support the Lady Bucs."


ETSU (20-10) was the first team to punch its ticket to the Big Dance back on Saturday, March 7, after the Lady Bucs knocked off Jacksonville, 58-52, inside Lipscomb's Allen Arena. The victory marked the third straight time the Lady Bucs ended the Dolphins' season and it secured ETSU its second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.


Meanwhile, ETSU is one of 25 programs to have both its men's and women's teams play in the NCAA Tournament - which also marks the first time in program history this feat has been accomplished. Ironically, a potential second round matchup with Tennessee looms for both the ETSU men's and women's squads.


Iowa State (No. 17 AP/No. 19 ESPN/USA Today) earned an at-large bid and brings a record of 24-8 (11-5 in Big 12) into the tournament. This marks the third straight year the Cyclones have made the NCAA Tournament and 10th time in the last 12 years. 


This will be the first time these two teams have met, and the second straight year the Lady Bucs will be playing a Big 12 foe in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. ETSU fell to third-seeded Oklahoma State 85-73 in Des Moines, Iowa last season.


The winner of ETSU/Iowa State will play the winner of Tennessee (No. 5 seed) and Ball State (No. 12) on Tuesday night.


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