The NCAA women’s basketball tournament selection committee threw Marquette fans a curveball on Monday evening when they announced that the Golden Eagles earned a #5 seed in the 2017 NCAA tournament.
Sure, the Golden Eagles had won three games in three days last week to win the Big East tournament and secure the league’s automatic berth to the national championship field. Even after that, ESPN’s Charlie Creme only had MU as a #7 seed, so rising all the way up to a #5 is quite the welcome surprise.
The Golden Eagles will be headed to Coral Gables, Florida, for their first round game, where they’ll be facing the #12 seeded Quinnipiac Bobcats. QU went 27-6 this season and won the MAAC tournament as the #1 seed to secure their spot in the 64 team field. While Coral Gables might be an unfamiliar setting for the Marquette players, it won’t be for the MU coaching staff. Head coach Carolyn Kieger was an assistant at Miami for six seasons before returning to Milwaukee to take the head coaching position at Marquette, while assistant coach Vernette Skeete was on the staff at Miami for five seasons alongside Kieger.
The women’s tournament has the top four teams in each region play host for the first round, so as you might be able to guess, the winner of the Marquette/Quinnipiac game will advance to play either #4 seeded Miami (FL) or #13 seeded Florida Gulf Coast. If it is the Golden Eagles and the Hurricanes advancing, it will mean Kieger and Skeete will be coaching against Katie Meier, their former boss.
All we know right now is that the game is scheduled for Saturday, March 18th, so keep your eyes and ears open for a tip off time and TV information.