Six Big 12 Women’s Teams Headed for NCAA Tournament
The Big 12 Conference will have six teams in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament which will start this weekend at venues around the country.
Those six teams are vying for a spot in the Final Four, which will be in Dallas, Texas, in three weeks at the American Airlines Center.
Iowa State defeated Texas in the Big 12 Tournament championship game on Sunday in Kansas City, with guard Ashley Joens named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament.
For the first time, the Women’s Tournament will be split into two regions — Greenville, S.C., and Seattle, Wash. The first- and second-round games will continue to be held at campus sites. After that, eight teams will head to Greenville and eight teams will head to Seattle for the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight.
Despite the loss, the Longhorns were the highest-seeded team among the Big 12’s six selections. The Longhorns will also be the only Big 12 team that will host a first- and second-round sub-regional.
The Longhorns (25-9) are a No. 4 seed in the Seattle 4 Region and will face No. 13 seed East Carolina in the first round on Saturday at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. The other two teams in that sub-regional are No. 5 seed Louisville and No. 12 seed Drake.
Iowa State (22-9) may have improved its seeding with the Big 12 Tournament title, but it wasn’t enough to secure a home sub-regional for the second straight season.
The Cyclones, a No. 5 seed, will head to Knoxville, Tenn., to face No. 12 seed Toledo in the first round as part of the Seattle Region 3 action. The other game in that sub-regional is No. 4 Tennessee against No. 13 Saint Louis.
Oklahoma (25-6) shared the Big 12 regular-season title with Texas but lost to Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals. Unlike last season, the Sooners will star the NCAA Tournament on the road.
The Sooners are in the Greenville Region 1 as a No. 5 seed and will face No. 12 seed Portland in the first round on Saturday. The other side of that sub-regional features No. 4 UCLA seed and No. 13 seed Sacramento State.
Oklahoma State (21-22) is back in the NCAA Tournament under first-year head coach Jacie Hoyt after reaching the Big 12 Tournament semifinals.
The Cowgirls are in Greenville Region 2 as a No. 8 seed and will face No. 9 seed Miami (FL) in the first round. The other side of that sub-regional features No. 1 seed Indiana and the winner of No. 16 seed Tennessee Tech and Monmouth in a First Four game.
Baylor (19-12) did not win the Big 12 regular-season title for the first time in more than a decade and was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament by Iowa State.
The Bears are in the Seattle 3 Region as a No. 7 seed and will face No. 10 seed Alabama in the first round in Storrs, Conn. The other side of that sub-regional features No. 2 seed UConn and No. 15 seed Vermont.
West Virginia (19-11) made it in the field. Going into the selections, the Mountaineers were considered the First Team Out by ESPN Bracketology. Their elimination by Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals didn’t help its case.
But, the committee took the Mountaineers as a No. 10 seed in Greenville Region 1 as they will face No. 7 seed Arizona on Friday in College Park, Md. The other side of that sub-regional includes No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 15 Holy Cross.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard