Pac-10 Champs Face Old Dominion in NCAA First Round
March 11, 2001
Seattle - The Washington women's basketball team (19-9, 12-6) earned an at-large berth to the 2001 NCAA Tournament and as a No. 6 seed will face 11-seed Old Dominion (21-8) in first round action at 5 p.m. EST (2 p.m. PST), Fri., March 16 in Gainesville, Fla. Third-seeded Florida (23-5) and No. 14-seed Holy Cross (21-8) complete the field and meet in the second game of the day, 30 minutes following the first. The Huskies are in the West Region.
Washington will be making its 13th NCAA Tournament appearance and third under Husky head coach June Daugherty. It marks the first time the Huskies have been since 1998.
Washington finished the regular season with a record of 19-9 overall and 12-6 in the Pacific-10 Conference. The Huskies were crowned conference co-champions along with Stanford and Arizona State, who also finished with league marks of 12-6. Stanford earned the automatic bid to the tournament through the conference tiebreaker. Washington is the highest seed among the four Pac-10 teams participating in the tournament, as Stanford is at 10, ASU 11 and Oregon 13.
The Huskies are tentatively set to depart Seattle Tuesday, March 13. Their first round game will be carried live on radio on KOMO am 1000. No television plans are currently set.
Old Dominion earned an automatic berth through the Colonial Conference. This will mark the first meeting between Washington and ODU. Florida earned an at-large berth as one of six Southeastern Conference teams to play in postseason. Holy Cross was an automatic qualifier out of the Patriot League.
Head Coach June Daugherty
General Remarks: "Good afternoon. We are really excited to get back to the NCAA tournament, it's been a great year for our team. I can't tell you how great it its for the group of seniors to lead this rest of the team back to the tournament and also be Pac-10 champions. The sixth seed was exciting and well-deserved for the season and we couldn't be more thrilled to represent the University of Washington and the Pac-10 Conference."
On whether or not there was doubt in being selected: "No doubt. Actually I was getting more and more excited about it as the selection show went on. After I saw Oregon was in and what their seeding was, I thought we had a really great shot of being a higher seed. Being the highest seed in the Pac-10 is a great accomplishment for this team."
On whether or not she is a Nascar fan: "Well, no, I'm not. Actually, my parents live in Florida so they will have a lot of company coming down and they will be excited that this is in their backyard."
On Old Dominion: "Old Dominion has great tradition in women's basketball and they have been to the tournament many times. I'm really excited about going to Florida and representing this school against a traditional-tournament team."
On the Pac-10: "The Pac-10 conference was well-represented today with four teams. It is tough to play each other twice, it's a very physical conference, with great players and great coaches. Washington has certainly been well-represented in the NCAA tournament for several years. Our senior class was able to go as freshmen and it has been a definite goal of theirs to get back, as well as earn the Pac-10 ring."
On preparing for the week: "We are going to have a chance to watch some film tonight on Old Dominion and as a coaching staff, see what their strengths and weaknesses are. We will get back in the gym on Tuesday and break it down for the team. But, the biggest thing we want to focus on is ourselves and how we can improve."
On the support this season: "It is great to have the media here, as well as the administration, the players, family, and staff who have been supporting this team all year. It is a great feeling that all of us can share going into the NCAA tournament. To be honest, we put the games from this past weekend behind us and we left it down in Los Angeles and reminded ourselves what a great run we have put on this entire year. This is a program that was ninth in the conference last year. This year, the media picked us seventh, the coaches picked us sixth or seventh, nobody thought that we could be Pac-10 champions, let alone go back to the NCAA Tournament. The good news is that many people in this room did believe it, most importantly, the players. They started working hard last year, never giving up in their 8-22 season, and worked hard to improve in the off-season. For us to go from ninth place to Pac-10 Champions, is a great feeling for everyone, especially the players."
On the West Region: "To tell you the truth, I didn't get to see the last eight teams that were picked in our region. Again, I am just really proud of our seeding and the four teams from our conference getting into the tournament."
First and second round games of the championship will be played at sixteen campus sites March 16 and 18 or March 17 and 19. The winners advance to four regional sites to be held on March 24 adn 26. The regional sites are: : East - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Mellon Area), Mideast - Birmingham, Alabama (Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Area), Midwest - Denver, Colorado (Pepsi Center), and West - Spokane, Washington (Spokane Area).
The four regional winners will meet at the NCAA Women's Final Four, March 30 and April 1, at the Savvis Center in St. Louis, Missouri.