Georgia women draw a No. 4 seed in NCAA Tournament
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Georgia (22-8) received a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Women's Tournament on Monday night despite losing in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs will open against 13th-seeded Marist at Tallahassee, Fla., in the Raleigh region on Sunday.
The Yellow Jackets were thrilled with their seed, which topped last year's No. 5, and especially excited when they spotted something different in the bracket: They'll have a true neutral-site game in Chapel Hill if they make it to the second round, a change from past years when they usually had to face the host on its court.
Despite losing to South Carolina in the SEC tournament, Georgia coach Andy Landers figured his team was in line for a fourth or fifth seed.
"I thought we were solid," Landers said. "This is a good basketball team. We've had some good wins, and we have no bad losses. It's a team that's been very consistent."
Georgia is a perennial tournament selection, having missed out only two times in the last 31 years. But a fourth seed is something new; it's the first time since 1988 and only the second time overall that the Lady Bulldogs have been placed in that slot.
UGA doesn't have to worry about playing a host school should it advance to the second round in Tallahassee.
Landers isn't looking ahead that far.
"A neutral court is always a good thing," he said. "But you're looking way ahead of where I'm looking. We played Marist four or five years ago, and that's a good basketball team. That's really about as far as I care to look."
Tennessee (No. 2), Kentucky (No. 2), LSU (No. 5), Arkansas (No. 6) and Vanderbilt (No. 7) also earned spots in the 64-team field from the SEC.
Blue Raiders land 2nd straight NCAA at-large berth
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders are heading into the NCAA tournament with a second straight at-large berth expecting a much different outcome from a year ago.
Then, the grief-stricken Blue Raiders mourned the stabbing death of teammate Tina Stewart and huddled at their coach's house to hear of an at-large berth that ended with a first-round loss.
Monday night, they celebrated with their fans an at-large berth capping a season dedicated to Stewart. Coach Rick Insell says it's been a tough season with lots of tears behind the scenes.
No. 10 seed Middle Tennessee will play Sunday at seventh-seeded Vanderbilt in a game it took the NCAA selection committee to schedule. These teams are separated by about 45 miles but haven't played since 1992.